In my previous career as a Music Therapist, I came up with a number of crafty projects, and making musical instruments was my favorite! We were always working on a super-tight budget, with an eye toward recycling when we could, and making instruments that adults wouldn’t be embarrassed to play. One year, I came up with drums made of tubes and shrink wrap- and today, I’m sharing it with you! This is a great rainy day craft, scout craft, vacation bible school or Earth Day activity. And if you streeeetch…. “Little Drummer Boy” for Christmas?
Let’s get started!
You’ll need:(affiliate links below help you shop and help support then content on this website. Thank you!)
- recycled cardboard tubes (Cans will work too, but they sound different. Carpet roll tubes are the best!)
- Duck Tape
- Window Shrink Film (available in the hardware store, used to sealing drafty windows. Basket wrap works too.)
- blow dryer
- X-Acto blade, scissors
You’ll have to first remove the bottom of your tube- I tried to use a can opener, but since the tube is cardboard, it just doesn’t work very well. I ended up using my handy-dandy X-Acto blade.
If the cut end is a little jagged, trim it up with some scissors. Then, starting at the bottom, begin covering the tube with strips of Duck Tape. Of course, I had to use a cool patterned one!
Next, cut a square of shrink film so that it hangs down a minimum of 2 inches over the edges. You can hold it in place loosely with a large rubber band if you’ve got it- or I used painters tape.
Next, wrap another length of Duck Tape around the top of the drum, securing the shrink film. Actually, put 2 layers, just to be sure. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be taut.
Next, use the blow dryer to heat the shrink film. You’ll see it tighten up and smooth out. It’ll look like this:
UPDATE: I got to share this craft on Hands On Crafts for kids in season 1800. Here is the segment I filmed for the show:
Add some contrast tape, too, if you like- or let your kiddos embellish the drum with stickers. So….now you can play your drum! Here are a couple of pointers to get you going:
- Hold the drum in your non-dominant hand with your fingers in the tube and the thumb on the outside. If you set the drum on a table, the air column cannot vibrate and you’ll get a flat tone.
- Use the first segment of your index and middle fingers to strike the drum- use a bouncing motion.
- If you break the head by mistake- no worries! Just trim off the old film, and tape down a fresh layer.
- When using with kids, it’s fun to make a little easy-peasy mallet from a Pom-pom hot-glued to a 6″ bamboo skewer:
Then the kids can hit the drum hard enough to make a good sound, but not hard enough to break it.
The cost of this little gem? The tube was free, and I had the tape on hand. I got the shrink film for $5.99, but I’ve got enough to make, like twenty drums. Total cost? Pennies, my friends!
Rock on with your crafty selves!
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Maggie Holzhauser says
Your project is fantastic. I have found over time everything is recyclable. Cheers Maggie