How To Make Your Own Musical Instruments

How To Make Your Own Musical Instruments

From maracas to kazoos, get the rhythm rolling in your house by spending an afternoon making homemade musical instruments! Your kids will love their colorful creations and can march to the beat of their own drums or throw a concert for the whole family.


There are a million and one different crafty recipes for making your own drums, from coffee can drums to spin drums. Kids of all ages will have fun making these…and they’re a perfect way to “beat” boredom! The best part is that they’re super easy to make and don’t require many materials.

Coffee Can Drums

All you need are some old coffee cans (old soup cans work too!), balloons, scissors, and tape. 

Spin Drums

Better for older kids or with adult supervision and guidance, this craft requires a few extra materials: empty ribbon spools, paper straws, card stock, decorative washi tape, ribbon or twine, wood beads, and a hot-glue gun. 

Den Den Drum (Japanese Pellet Drum)

Similar to the spin drum, this drum only requires wooden spoons, a drill, string, and beads. You will want to drill the holes for your children, but the rest of the craft can be done by them. 

Jingle Jangle

Tambourines, maracas, ankle bell bracelets, bell shakers, rain sticks—what do they have in common? Whether you’re more fond of the jingle jangle of bells, the gentle pitter patter of rain, or the crazy shake of maracas, they all have a similar sound as a result of shaking them.  

Dancing bells

Simply sew or hot-glue some bells onto ribbon that can be tied around your feet as ankle bracelets or around your wrists. Every time you take a step or get your groove on, you jingle a little! 


This simple craft can be as colorful or plain as you want. The main materials are two paper plates, some coins or metal washers, a glue-gun, and ribbon. 

Rain Stick

Everyone loves the pitter patter of a gentle rain, and rain sticks are a fun way to recreate that sound on a dry summer day. Most rain sticks have nails or pins pushing in the tube to help create a more accurate sound, but if you’re doing this craft with younger kids you might want to complete that step ahead of time. 


Although this tutorial will take you through creating a BOHO-inspired tambourine, your kids can decorate it however they would like! You need embroidery hoops, bells, glue, fabric, and decorative materials for the tambourine. 


Instead of a traditional DIY egg maraca (tape the eggs to plastic spoons or forks for an easier grip!), turn the craft into a beneficial lesson for your kids by creating sensory bins! No special materials necessary. Open up the cupboards and find some plastic containers that have lids, and allow the kids to fill them with whatever small items you have around the house like beads, buttons, or seeds. 


Fair warning, think back to how much your parents hated the sound of kazoos or recorders when you were growing up before you make this craft. While it is quite fun, it can certainly grate on you after an afternoon full of the sound. With that being said, this tutorial requires a cardboard tube (toilet paper or paper towel rolls work great!), wax paper, a rubber band, a sharp object (like a pen or pencil) to poke holes, and decorative materials for your instrument.  

Stringed Instruments

Guitars, banjos, and mandolins have never been easier. You can create these crafts with any old box; tissue boxesshoe boxes, and cereal boxes all work fairly well. This banjo tutorial is mini-sized for mini fingers! All you need for materials are some sort of jar lid, popsicle or craft stick, and rubber loom bands. In three simple steps you can make mini mandolins, too—great for younger children. 

  • Step one: Separate embroidery hoops and lightly sand. Paint the outermost rim of the embroidery hoop. Let dry, then apply a second coat of paint.
  • Step two: With a foam brush, apply a layer of Polycrylic finish.
  • Step three: Wrap rubber bands around the inner circle of the embroidery hoop. Nest inside the outside hoop so that the rubber bands are perpendicular to the screw. Tighten the screw.

If you don’t want to paint, that makes it even easier! Simply let your kids decorate the embroidery hoops how they want, and wrap rubber bands around the inner circle. For best results, lay the instrument flat and pluck the rubber bands upward. 


Turn the craft into a science lesson! After you’ve followed the steps to creating the perfect rainbow xylophone, experiment with the tones of the glass by changing the amounts in each glass and dumping different colors together. Pro tip: get your child a rubber mallet or something softer to hit the glass cans with to prevent a big shattered mess! 

Written by Sarah Richards