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Low cost alternate materials

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Hi, it's been a while since my last visit here, and I'm here, looking for some alternative material for trapezoid inlays. I'm finishing my lp style guitar, and yesterday I was ordering some finishing materials from stewmac, and I found out that a blank of mother of pearl inlay costs a fortune! $7 for a little piece (1"x2")!!! :D

Thats really too much for me, cause I need 9 of them.

My question is; is there anything that looks like mother of pearl, but is cheaper and can be used for inlays?

Any help is appreciated, thanks! B)


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Mother of Toilet Seat is popular. Plastic, basically. You could also use wood for your inlays. I've seen quite a few maple boarded guitars that have ebony inlays. Looks very nice. If you're really cheap, you could fill the holes with bubble gum. Let it dry and you have colorful inlays for about $.25 per pack. :D

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Most of the 50's Les Pauls with trapazoid inlays were actually plastic. It's hard to find that exact looking stuff now. Some make 'em out of pearloid guitar picks (glue 2 picks together with certain glue).

I think those plastic inlays look better than real pearl inlays. Real pearl inlays are a pain to sand too.

The most complicated inlays I've ever made were "boomerang" shaped inlays for a guild V. I made them from white plastic off a junked clothes dryer door. That was nice plastic for inlays, it was real stiff and sanded nicely. Most plastic is too "rubbery" to be nice to work with for inlays.

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A 10 piece inlay set for Les Paul (#0972) is $43.79

You could buy a couple of ounces of MOP for about $30 from Stewmac

If you don't mind a bit of work, look for KiwiCrafterNZ EBay store on Ebay.

Some lovely Paua Abalone, both the medium shell and buttons are wel usable! And MUCH cheaper than StewMac, or anywhere else I've seen...

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