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Kids Love Noise: 5 Easy DIY Instruments

on September 15, 2014

My girls love noise! Making noise, playing music, experimenting with sound. It’s fun and a total kid thing. I find the noise makes me feel less crazy when I’ve had some hand in its creation and it is more organized. Ways I do that are to pretending we are in a band, playing their instruments along to music I actually like, and making our own  instruments…here are 5 DIY music instrument projects for kids 🙂

1. Celebration Cymbal


Celebration Cymbals craft

Get ready to march in a band! Lead the beat with your own colorful, fun cymbals.

Using Gel markers or permanent ones, doodle and design patterns and shapes, swirls and curls on both sides of two aluminum pie pans. Create a look as striking as the sounds you’ll make!

Hold the pans by their rims and clap them together.  (If you are feeling really creative you can hot glue pipe cleaners as handles on to the outside middle of the plate).

2. Paper Plate Maraca

This Paper Plate Maraca is an easy homemade instrument. Fill it with what ever you have around the house and you’re ready to make some music! These also make great noise makers for special occasions!

Here’s what you’ll need…

• 2 Paper plates
• Glue or stapler
• Dried beans, unpopped popcorn or small rocks
• Paint and brush, markers or crayons

Here’s how you make it…

1. Paint your paper plates any color and design you choose – eating side down.

2. Once the paint is dry fill one paper plate with dried beans, popcorn, rocks or anything you have around the house that will make noise. Glue the paper plates together, and you’re done!


3. Water Bottle Maraca

Dig through the recycling bin and make this Water Bottle Maraca, a great homemade musical instrument for children of all ages! These also make great noise makers for New Years, birthdays or other special occasions!

Here’s what you’ll need

• Empty water bottle with lid
• Masking tape
• Paint/markers
• Popcorn/dried beans

Here’s how you make it…

1. Wrap your water bottle from top to bottom with masking tape.

2. Decorate your maraca by drawing or painting a unique design on the masking tape.

3. Fill your water bottle up with popcorn or dried beans, put the lid back on, and then shake, shake, shake!

You could also wrap your maraca in different colored duct tape if you have it lying around the house!



This is an easy way to make a guitar using an old shoe box or tissue box, rubber bands, scissors, a paper-towel tube, and a pencil.

  • Find an old shoe box, tissue box, or other cardboard box (cereal boxes work great!)
  • Have an adult cut an oval-shaped hole in the top.
Stretch a few rubber bands around the box and over the hole.
Put a pencil under the rubber bands on one side.
Optional steps. Tape on a paper-towel tube and decorate the box.


5. Rainstick

 Supplies needed:

  • A paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small dried beans (like lentils), unpopped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta.
  • Brown paper (from a grocery bag) or construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
Trace around the end of your tube onto a piece of brown paper (or construction paper). Draw a bigger circle around that circle and then draw a lot of spokes between the two circles.
Cut along the spokes.
Put glue on the spokes and glue the cap onto one end of your tube.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is about one and half times the length of your tube and about 6 inches wide.
Crunch the aluminum foil into two long, thin, snake-like shapes. Then twist each one into a spring shape.
Put the aluminum foil springs into your tube. Pour some dry beans, dry rice, or unpopped popcorn into your tube. The tube should only be about 1/10 full. You can experiment to see how different amounts and different types of seeds and beans change the sound.
Make another cap from brown paper (the same as the first three steps) and cap your tube.


Optional: Decorate the tube by covering it with brown paper or construction paper, and then making designs with crayons or markers (or cut-out paper or stickers). Rainforest designs are nice, especially brightly-colored butterflies, frogs, and flowers. Tiny construction paper butterflies (like the one on the right) are nice glued onto the rainstick.

Have fun and make some noise!!!

4 responses to “Kids Love Noise: 5 Easy DIY Instruments

  1. teachezwell says:

    I could have saved a lot of money on my nephew’s musical instruments! But I think my sister would still wish I hadn’t given him stuff that made SO much noise. 🙂

  2. We’ve made the box guitar before!! But I never thought of pie plates….so simple! Love it.

  3. […] because we all know that when kids are busy there is less trouble! This months activities were 5 Easy DIY Instruments & Fall crafts in 10 steps or Less!! […]

Thoughts?? :)

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