I got a used SX P/J on craig's list recently. The bass I was jonesing for in my head had more of a yellow cream color, with a white pickguard and a rosewood neck. But the P/J I actually found for sale had a light white/cream color, with a black pickguard and a maple neck.
Well, the maple neck is growing on me. But the black pickguard HAD to go.
Originally I thought of replacing it with tortoise shell, but the more I thought about it, the more that reminded me of my friend Ian's Lakland (This is Ian, not me)
The Lakland is nice, but I wanted something different:
It's fabric glued on to the original pickguard. My first idea was for red plaid fabric. Came home and told the wife about my crazy plan, but as we went through all of the fabric we had, we discovered that she already took the best red plaid flannel and made cloth diapers out of it. I was going to shelve the project for later, but luckily she found this bandanna fabric and asked if it would work.
I took the pickguard off the bass, and she cut out the fabric in the right shape. Then she hemmed the edge (by hand!) to keep it from fraying (I did a smidge of this but she did most of it.)
For the edge around the pickup she remembered hearing something about clear nail polish to keep fabric from fraying, so she gave it a shot. Seems to work, but that part of the pickguard doesn't get much wear.
Putting the pickguard cover back on was a little harder because the screws didn't cut through the fabric like I was expecting. Once I had the pickguard in place I didn't know where the screw holes were any more either (and my 3 year old ran off with one of the screws.)
It's glued on with Modge Podge, which is a pretty weak glue, and it's already starting to separate a bit on the top of the right horn edge, although I think I did most of that while trying to get the screw hole fitted.
So, yeah, it's only fabric and it doesn't have anything protecting it from sweat stains or spilled coffee or anything like that. It's ok because I'm still learning and with two kids under the age of 5, I'm not actually playing it much. If I was gigging with this I don't think it would last long.
If it starts looking crappy it could always be ripped off and replaced with something else. The whole project only took 3 or 4 hours start to finish.