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.
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.
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:
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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