DIY & Crafts: 15 Creative DIY Instruments to Make With Kids

In our house, the kids have two very clear favourites when it comes to things to do, enjoy, and be involved in crafting and music. We feel very fortunate to be raising little ones who appreciate such creative, beneficial things and we’re always on the lookout for crafty new ways to foster each of those passions.

It’s especially great when we find ideas that help combine both crafting and music together in one place!

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Our kids are still quite young and the best kind of craft to do with them is definitely one that can still keep them busy even once it’s done because it has some kind of practical use or play value in the finished product, so DIY musical instruments are a total gold mine when it comes to keeping them busy, happy, and inspired.

DIY Instruments to Make

Are you feeling just as enthusiastic as we are, if not more, about the idea of making your very own DIY musical instruments with your kids? Check out this list of 15 fantastic ideas, designs, and tutorials that we’ve come across so far in our search for inspiration and guidance.

1. Simple recycling band for kids

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Are you the kind of eco-conscious DIY enthusiast who loves nothing more than turning basically any craft you do into an opportunity for upcycling? Then we’d be willing to bet that this adorable recycled materials band for kids, outlined step by step on DIY Inspired will be right up your alley! They show you how to make shakers, clackers, miniature drums, and all kinds of basic noisemakers that will lead your kids right into a healthy love of percussion.

2. Wooden spoon and bead den den drums

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If you’ve never tried making and playing with den den drums with your little kids before then we’re very sorry to tell you that you’ve been missing out on something extremely fun indeed! There are all different kinds of this same concept that you can make using all different materials, but this painted wooden spoon and plastic bead den den drum design from Learning 4 Kids is probably the most fun version we’ve come across.

3. Homemade copper pipe glockenspiel

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Are you a slightly more hands-on DIY enthusiast who’s good with tools, loves building structured things from scratch, and isn’t afraid of a challenge? Then we think you just might be the perfect person to give this super awesome (and quite lovely sounding) homemade copper pipe glockenspiel a try! This full tutorial from Instructables outlines all the different steps you’ll need to follow.

4. Embroidery hoop, block, and stick wooden instruments

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Did you really love the idea of making all kinds of different instruments at once like a little band but you’re just not sure that the recycling idea is the one for you, since you’re a rather handy DIY enthusiast who would rather work with wooden based materials whenever possible? Then we think you’ve going to love the way Hellobee came up with these painted noisemakers made from wooden sticks and blocks, bells, elastic bands, and embroidery hoops!

5. Paper plate cymbals

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Are you actually convinced that the better approach for you and your kids right now is one that’s simple, quick, easy, and more based in the typical kids’ crafting supplies you already have lying around? Well, if you happen to have any paper plates on hand, then you’ve got almost everything you need to make these funny paper plate cymbals happen! We all have First Palette to thank for this much quieter version of the classic noisy instrument.

6. DIY kids’ rain stick

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Are your kids very young indeed and mostly interested in or kept entertained by less classic things that they can just have a bit of simple, chaotic fun with? Well, they might not choose to play a rain stick if they were prepping to join a band, but it’s actually a common and lovely sounding percussion instrument that The Imagination Tree is here to show you how to make a kid-friendly version of, covered in super fun and colourful bits and bobs from your crafting drawers.

7. PVC pipe xylophone

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Did you quite like the idea of making a glockenspiel because you like the idea of your kids learning about the pitch changes and rhythm involved in playing such a thing, but you’d rather help them making a novelty version they’ll want to play more? Maybe the idea of working with copper piping didn’t appeal to you very hard. Either way, we’d suggest taking a look at this jumbo xylophone made from PVC piping instead! Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls is here to walk you through how surprisingly simple it actually is to do.

8. Plastic spoon and Easter egg maracas

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Are you actually looking for a simple, housewares based multi-media project you can kind of just whip together this afternoon with your kids because it’s raining outside and they’re feeling restless and need to focus on something for an hour or so? Then we’d recommend trying out something quick and easy, like this Easter egg and plastic spoon maracas featured on Fun 365! They’ll even keep the kids busy after the crafting process thanks to the fun sound they make.

9. Cardboard tube trumpet

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Maybe your kids are usually more enamoured with wind based instruments whenever you watch musical based entertainment than they are with drums and other percussion type things? Well, that might not sound like an easy instrument to make, but Teatime Monkeys is here to tell you that there actually is a simple DIY method for making a kid-friendly beginners version that even makes noise! Take a better look at their tutorial to see how this funny cardboard tube trumpet was made.

10. Popsicle stick harmonica

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Have we actually really got your attention now with this whole idea of making something that your kids can power with their breath and that works on the principles of air pressure just like a real wind instrument, but you’re looking to also make it more of a learning tool than the trumpet provides? Then we think you might have a little more success with something like these simple popsicle stick, wax paper, and elastic harmonicas outlined in simple steps on Housing A Forest! They even walk you through explaining to your kids how the sound is made with the wax paper pinched between the popsicle sticks vibrates, just like happens with a reed in a clarinet or a saxophone.

11. DIY tambourines

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Are you actually a stitch work and embroidery enthusiast of various kinds in your personal crafting time but you’ve been at it long enough that you definitely have some old supplies you could stand to get rid of? In that case, you might actually already have some of what you need to make these awesome stretched fabric and bell embroidery hoop tambourines, featured in awesome detail on A Bubbly Life!

12. DIY yarn and cardboard guitar

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Have you been scrolling through our list and noticing a marked lack of string instruments in the variety we’ve presented you so far? Well, luckily for all of us, Make It & Love It is here to help fix that with this adorable (and quite easy) tutorial for guitars made of layered cardboard and yarn. The best part is that, even though it’s quite soft, these little guitars actually can make strumming sounds!

13. DIY dancing bells

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Are your kids the kind of active little movers who just can’t help dancing whenever they hear any kind of music or tune, even if it’s just you singing them silly songs? Then we’d be willing to bet that you’ll get along very well indeed in helping them make these super fun dancing bells that Rainy Day Mum tells you how to make in easy detail. They’re meant for wearing around your wrists or ankles so you can make music if your body as you dance!

14. Mini plastic throwing disc harp

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If you’re going to put in the time and effort it takes to hand make a musical instrument of your very own, would you actually much rather create something that’s tuned properly and that actually makes music, rather than just making sounds? Well, particularly if you like unique and unconventional instruments, then we have a strong feeling this shockingly lovely sounding miniature harp made from a plastic sewing disc will be right up your alley. Instructables is here to show you how it’s done!

15. Recycled materials guitar

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Did we actually already catch your attention the most with the idea of making a DIY guitar, but you were hoping to help your kids create something right now and you just don’t have the yarn or the amount of cardboard required by the project we showed you earlier? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how CBC Parents made this simple version using elastic bands, a paper towel roll, a tissue box, and other things you might already have lying around your house or in your recycling box. Don’t worry; it still makes quiet strumming sounds, just like the other ones!

Have you made other kinds of awesome DIY instruments with your kids before that were a huge hit but that you don’t see here on our list? Tell us all about what you created and how you did it or link us to photos of your finished work in the comments section!

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