Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Upcycling with kids: How To Make a Drum

by Jessica Burko

It's no secret that I love to make use of everyday objects and what other people might call "trash" to create my own artwork and also to do craft projects with my kids. A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post featuring my then 3-year-old son making a drum from an oatmeal container, and since then we have made many, many musical instruments with recyclables. Recently my almost 3-year-old daughter made a drum for her friend's birthday and I thought I'd share this updated DIY post for a slightly different way to achieve child-made drum greatness!

This project is appropriate for any child able to sit up and hold a paint brush, with a parent along side of them providing age appropriate assistance. Especially good for toddlers and children ages 2-4.

• cardboard container - - such as an oatmeal container
• dry pasta - - any type but we prefer penne
• liquid glue - - white school glue or glitter glue
• paint - - the washable kind is recommended!
• paint brushes - - foam or bristle with an easily grip handle

1. Select your container. Any size will do, and the best ones will have a plain cardboard surface.
2. If your container has a removable label, peel it off.
3. Once you have a blank "canvas" you're ready to begin creating your percussion masterpiece!

4. A cardboard egg carton makes a perfect paint pallette
5. Dispense one paint color in each egg cup and set-up your brushes

6. Before you paint add a couple of handfuls of dry pasta to the inside of your container. This adds a great additional sound to your drum while playing and also allows the instrument to double as a shaker.
7. Depending on hand size, 2-4 handfuls of dry pasta should do the trick.

8. It's important to glue the lid to the container top after adding the dry pasta so that the drum stays intact while being played by small children.
9. Any liquid glue will work. My daughter's favorite is purple glitter glue so we used that. Make sure there's an adequate amount all around the interior edge of the lid but not too much so it drips down the outside of the container.

10. Begin painting the outside of your container and paint it some more!
11. Anything goes for the decoration of you drum and it's guaranteed that your toddler will love getting into the painting process!
12. Once your drum is painted to your child's satisfaction let it dry completely before playing.

Bonus step (not pictured) is to cut the letters of your child's name out of colorful construction paper, and using a glue stick, adhere it to the outside of the drum so your toddler can feel even more pride of ownership! Have fun!


  1. So cute seeing her in the process!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. She's a cutie! We had a lot of fun, and tomorrow I'll be making drums with my son's whole preschool class!


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