How to make Musical Instrument Crafts with Kids that actually work!

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Do your kids love music? Ever wondered how to make a musical instrument that actually works? Explore the world of sound and crafts with this fun set of easy Musical Instrument Crafts for Kids. With well over 20 music projects to choose from, you can create your very own band at home! Great STEAM crafty and musical fun for kids! We do love easy kids crafts!

Musical instrument craft ideas
First shared in 2012 and continuely updated for your convenience!

In this post we will explore a variety of homemade musical instrument crafts based on the different musical instrument categories – string instruments, precussion instruments and wind instruments. And hopefully provide you with an easy to make craft for each section. Needless to say, combining a musical instrument from each music category, will provide you with a quirkly little homemade band! Enjoy!

Music is something I am trying to share with my kids, through song and also by “leading by example” – recently I took up playing the piano again, just to inspire my children to have a go.

However, we have not YET, made very many DIY Musical Instruments, so I decided to search the big wide web and find you the best and the most fun and hopefully easiest DIY Instruments out there!

Today, I am to answer the following questions:

How do you make instruments out of household items? (quick answer: there are lots!)

What is the easiest musical instrument to make at home? (quick answer: probably a drum and water xylophone)

Musical Instrument Crafts for Kids and Schools

The crafts shared here today a perfect DIY Instrument crafts for both the home and in the schools. So whether you are homeschool, working in the foundation years or key stage 1 and key stage 2 in schools, I hope you will enjoy making these instruments with your kids as much as we have enjoyed finding them! A great way to compliment any science lesson on sound too!

The music crafts have loosely been grouped by:

DIY String Instruments

The obvious string insturment crafts to make at home are DIY Guitars or Banjos. Or similar based type crafts! Pianos are a fun discussion point in the classroom as they can be classified as both a string instrument AND a precussion instrument. At present, I do have a ONE super simple DIY Piano craft for you, a bobby pin piano.. do check it out below. However you can find some fun stuff on YouTube, that you may want to show as part of any lesson plans! Onto our String instrument crafts today:

Homemade Guitar

All homemade guitars tend to be based on the box guitar model. A box, some elastic bands. The box amplifies the sound.. you simply then add some fun ” casings” as we did with our simple DIY Cardboard Guitar! You can then decorate it to your hearts content – this a simple and fun DIY guitar for kids to make. We also explored the SIMPLE SCIENCE behind Acoustics and Vibrations created by the elastic bands and acoustic “pot”.  A great project for keystage 1 and keystage 2.

DIY Band crafts

Embroidery Hoop Guitar

Hello Bee, has not JUST an DIY Guitar using embroider hoops, but a whole DIY mini band. But I wanted to highlight the Embroidery Hoop Guitar in this section, as I think it shows how easily you can change the sound of your musical instrument craft, simply by changing the dimensions of your craft. The smaller hoop will be a deeper sound, as the elastic bands aren’t stretched as taughtly and are different lengths to the larger hoop.

tin can instrument

Make a Tin Can Dulcimer or Canjo

Learn more about this fun instrument from Tiny Tapping Toes – though I am afraid a full tutorial isn’t available. But I did find this great video on Youtube sharing how to make a “Canjo” for you (get it.. Can/ Banjo…)

Mini Lid Banjo’s

Finally, make some Mini Lid Banjos with The Craft Train! Jar lids really to make a great mini instrument casing!

diy piano craft

DIY Bobby Pin Piano Craft

I am so pleased to have found this Bobby Pin Piano Craft for you… as mentioned above, I thought this one would be a tricky one.. but this little craft is fun and easier than I thought. You do’t even have to do any drilling or difficult mechanics. A staple will do. Sucha clever way to use bobby pins. I confess though, I am not sure if this now counts as a string instrument? Probably! Another good discussion point for you. Check out Thrifty Fun for more info!

How to make diy precussion instruments

The DIY precussion instruments section as a number of subcategories. I think broadly speaking the fit into:

Fun with Drums

easy tin can drums

Simple Drums – fun recycled musical instrument

Here are some simple tin drum craft we made many moons ago on Red Ted Art. With a little bit of masking tape, the children can paint geometric patterns themselves or simply go wild. Lovely. Grab your wooden spoon and you are ready to make some music!

easy tin can music toys

5 minute musical craft – More Tin Drums

Another simple, colourful Tin Can Drum idea, as these balloon tin drums. They are super quick to make, can be used as drums OR shaker toys. Simply fill them with rice, beans or pebbles to turn them into simple shaker toys! You can leave the tins plain or paint them. Your choice! It’s always autumn has a similar set with lots of sizes.

Fun with Bells – DIY Instruments that use bells

musical instruments for kids

Tubular Bells

This is a beautiful craft from the oh so beautiful Mini Eco website – the clever things that you can make with cardboard tubes! A gorgeous site and a gorgeous musical instrument. We love bells and this little instrument looks gorgeous.

musical instruments

Ankle Bells

If the bells caught your fancy, Mini Eco also has some cute Ankle Bells, great for dancing to music too. And would make for a great little project for kids learning to Knit. If you can’t knit.. fret not, be inspired and make a smaller version and plait some ribbons and bells? A lovely way to use yarn and bells to make music.

Simple Jingle Bells – super easy musical craft for kids

Similarly you can make some super quick and easy “Jingle Bracelets” using some festive jingle bells and pipecleaners. So cute! More over on Life At The Zoo

Shaker Instrument Toys, Rattles and Tambourines

Simple Paper Plate Shakers – Musical Instruments for Preschool

Paper Plate Tambourines (so cute!) love those golden coin shakers! The green one is a perfect Musical instrument for St Patrick’s Day.. whilst the Rainbow Shaker can be made all year round. So fun. So cute. And a great little tambourine for preschoolers to make! Make, shake and dance! She Knows has another cute variation on this, tying on bells with yarn as you go around the paper plate tambourine!

How to make a DIY Tambourine

How aboute a DIY Tambourine instrument craft? Using embroider hoops and bottle caps, I think this is genius! From Family Fun. The original is no longer available. But here are the instructions.

musical instruments

Stick Bear Bottle Cap Tambourine

Similarly Family Fun, also has this wonderful forked stick tambourine craft  I think I love this even more, as it combines nature and recycling in such a wonderful way! The link for this is no longer available – but you need to flatten some beer bottle caps and drill a hole in them for threading.

Or make a shell version:

Time for some Nature Music Crafts with this Nature Rattle

Similarly if you are planning a day out by the beach.. and know that it is a shell filled beach.. take a long some rubber bands and bright wool and make these gorgeously simple but oh so pretty Shell Rattles

Other Shaker Instruments, such as DIY Maracas

Egg Shakers – yep, turn real egg shells into a musical instrument!

We adore making these egg shakers made from thrifty REAL eggs. The technique is simple and suitable for young hands too. Make this a great musical instrument craft for Foundation and Key stage one! As wel las fun STEAM project for Easter! People also love making these with left over Easter eggs and two plastic spoons, but I really love the natural element and eco friendliness of egg shells, diy paper mache paste (or glue) and tissue paper!

Egg Maracas

Similarly if working with older kids in Keystafe 2 (KS2), you could have a go at these Egg Maracas, essentially the same craft as the Egg Rattles, with the additional skill of having to add your maracas sticks and decorate you final musical instrument craft!

Rainstick Crafts are fun and easy to have a go at too

We love rainsticks make great musical instrument crafts for kids, they make a beautiful sound and a great DIY musical instrument project for foundation through to keystage too. Buggy and Buddy have a great Rainstick tutorial on their site! You can fill rainsticks with all sorts, from rice, to beans to little stones.

DIY instruments in the Clapper Family

musical instruments

Easy DIY Mini Cymbals

Another little DIY Musical Instrument Craft are these adorable little and simple castanetes from Suite 101 (no longer available! Sorry). Perfect. Great for practising rythms and making mini cymbals. Fun Family Crafts has a similar set.

musical crafts

Crocodile Castanets

Similarly, I have loved these adorable Click Clack crocodiles from afar for quite some time! And they are SO on our to do list. Made as little Click Clack toys, I think they double up marvellously as Castanets! From El Hada De Papel.

We have had a go at these here:

Easy Bottle Top Click Clack Toys - make your own Musical Instruments

Click Clack Toys (includes and easy to follow video too)

Wind Instrument Craft Tutorials

The next set of homemade musical instruments falls into the WIND Instrument Craft Tutorials category. Another super fun way to explore sound making.

Water Xylophone

Of course you don’t have to make yours in rainbow colours, plain or in one colour would suffice, but isn’t it pretty?! Normally a Xylophone is classed as a prescussion instrument. But you can make this water xylophone with bottles of whater too… and the bottle ones, become a WIND Instrument when blowing. I suppose in the image shared here and the craft created by Little Page Turners – it would indeed be a Prescussion instrument again. But we love the bottle version of this, so wanted to highlight the “wind instrument” properties and potential of this craft! Still Playing School also gives this a go.

How to make a DIY Harmonica

I was just beginning to wonder whether you could make your own harmonica for kids, when up popped this guest post from  Montessori Tidbits on Mom 2 Two Posh Lil Diva’s website. Brilliant.

DIY Harmonica instrument

Frugal Fun 4 Boys has another version of this fabulous Harmonica Craft! Check it out. So fun! It is amazing how much fun you can have with craft sticks and some rubber bands!

Fun with DIY Straw Pan Pipes

I am yet to make a pan flute and am curious to see how well this oh so simple Pan Pipe craft works. But As it looks crazily easy and we have plenty of straws knocking about we will be giving it a try. A craft from Deceptively Educational. You can see another version over on Krokotak, but it is essentially the same.

musical instruments

Make a DIY Horn or Shofart Craft

Another fabulous idea and a “little different” are these shofarot is this Shofarot from Hearing Shofar.

Homemade Kazoo made from Toilet Paper Rolls

I made a homemade kazoo from Toilet Paper Rolls and wax paper many moons ago. I need to get round to sharing it hear on Red Ted Art. But I confess, they aren’t my favourite craft.. though fun to make, the sound isn’t always as impressive as you hope.

Other Musical Instrument DIYs

Rythm Sticks

Skip to My Lou has these oh so pretty rythm stick on her site. I think they make a great toddler craft who can paint them to their hearts content.

music crafts

Make a Whole Homemade Band

Delightful Learning has made a whole set of musical instruments and I like each one more than the next. The Pencil Xyolphone is genius AND pretty, the Banjo is hilarious. The Tom Tom Drums ingenious and I love the horn. Brilliant. SO MANY  DIY musical instrument crafts all in one place. Fabulous resource.

After some MORE Music crafts? We have anther 10 shared on this Music Craft Video  – not only SEE the crafts, but hear them:

12 Music Crafts for Kids