Guitar Bars

By Kastle Waserman
Photos By Lindsay Barlow

Nope, they are not a place to HEAR LIVE MUSIC

As the old saying goes: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” But as proven in recent years, sometimes it’s just boredom. Staying at home bred idle hands looking for something to do. For Steve Cashman, it started with a couple of old sewing machines found in the garbage. “I decided to take them home and make wine tables out of them.”

When helping a friend move, he adopted an old guitar. “It was pretty banged up, and he didn’t want it anymore. I took it home and had some tools I wanted to try out. I looked inside the guitar, and it looked pretty solid, so I cut the face off.”

Cashman tinkered with the piece—staining the wood and putting shelves inside with old wood he had lying around. “I thought it’d be nice to do something with the strings,” he recalls. “So I stitched them around the edge of the guitar.” 

He says the piece was almost complete but needed one last touch. “It looked cool, but it was kind of dark. I thought some LED lights might work. It ended up fitting perfectly.” He says he wanted to put something inside that would reflect the light, so he cut out sections to fit a bottle of alcohol and put some drinking glasses on the shelves. A guitar bar that glows like a museum piece was born.

Artist, Steve Cashman

Cashman says the whole thing came as a surprise. “I’ve never made anything artistic.” He adds that it’s ironic that he created a guitar bar since he also doesn’t drink or play guitar. 

Cashman started making more and giving them to friends, getting most of his guitars from online markets or people bringing them to him. The guitar bars set him on an all-new artistic journey when he started posting them on Facebook under the name All Stitched Up Guitars and got requests not only from people wanting to buy them but also to show his work at art shows and makers markets.

“A guy contacted me on Facebook and asked if I wanted to do some art shows,” he says. “That’s something I never considered in my entire life!” Cashman says he has a lot going on with a full-time job working with at-risk kids and two 18-year-olds starting college. But after doing shows throughout the summer of 2023, he discovered a new community of artists and makers. “During the shows, we walk around and talk to each other. People know each other. They help each other out. You might see them at dinner, and they all say ‘hi.’ It’s just neat.”

Having now sold more than 100 guitar bars, he’s experimenting with ideas other than minibars. He offers some versions with just shelves so people can use them to display anything they want. Cashman says he’s always up for a custom order. He’s been asked to make trophy case versions, one to hold pool balls, and his sister suggested a jewelry case. He says they make great gifts and are often perfect for man caves or entertainment rooms. “I have a realtor who’s given them to clients when they buy homes.”

He says the whole venture still surprises him, but he’s enjoying the journey. “This went somewhere I never expected. It’s been really fun.”

All Stitched Up Guitars