25 Musical Instruments You Can Make at Home

Start your family band by crafting some awesome homemade musical instruments. Most of these are super easy to make, and kids will have a blast banging on a tin can drum, shaking DIY maracas and more. Keep reading to get the dance party started.

Cardboard Guitar

Perfect for toddlers who aren't ready for the real thing, we love this cardboard guitar spotted over at Pink Stripey Socks. You can paint it in any design, too! 

Hand Drums

Kids can twist and twirl these homemade hand drums to their heart's content! Find the tutorial over at Minted.

photo: Mama. Papa. Bubba

Bongo, Shaker, Güiro All in One

This fun little instrument is really three in one! Kids will enjoy shaking it or playing it as a drum and it's super easy to make. Get the tutorial over at Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Jingle Ring

This adorable nature-themed tambourine-like instrument is the perfect addition to a May Day celebration or even just a day outside. Easy to make, you can find the tutorial from Buggy and Buddy by clicking here. 

"Do-Re-Mi" Xylophone

If you've got a serious hankering for DIY projects, this adorable xylophone that kids can play along to "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music, fits the bill. From Lovely Indeed, you'll need to make a trek to the home-improvement store for all the materials, but the chic design and good sound quality means you'll want to keep it out instead of stashing it away somewhere. Get the tutorial here, and be sure to check out all the other adorable projects over at the Sound of Music Crafting Corner

CD Cymbals

The ever-creative Jackie from Happy Hooligans makes good use out of CDs. We love especially love these "cymbals" due to the fact that they don't actually sound like real cymbals. Get more details here.  

Sensory Bin Shakers

We love these sensory bin shakers because it'll extend sensory play time. It's also easy for your kids to make on their own. Head over to Fun-a-Day to see how to make your own. 

Rainbow Xylophone

This super cute and colorful instrument is as much fun to make as it is to play. Get the scoop on how to do it yourself over at And Next Comes L

Singing Straws

Not only does this DIY pan flute actually make music, they are as bright and colorful as can be. We love Handmade Charlotte's take on this homemade instrument. Get the how-to for her singing straws (and several other adorable handmade instruments!) by clicking here

photo: Gabby Cullen

Paper Plate Tambourine

This little instrument really packs a jingle and it's a great use for paper plates leftover from a birthday party. If you have the plain white ones, even better, though because then your little maestro gets to decorate her own. Get the complete step-by-step here


It's one of the world's oldest instruments, and your kids can make their own colorful version in an afternoon. The secret to making it look real? Earth-toned paint colors. You can find the entire tutorial over at KiwiCo

Chicken in a Cup

For an outside-the-box take on a musical instrument, you’ve got to try this “chicken in a cup” from All for the Boys. It’s super easy to put together using household items, and kids will get a kick out of the squeaky sound it makes. Click here to get the instructions (including a video, so you can hear what it sounds like).

Cereal Box Guitar

If you've got a cereal box and a couple of rubber bands lying around, you've got a guitar! Made by Joel has the super simple how-to. Older babies and toddlers can help you decorate the cereal box with stickers or washi tape, then get to strumming. No cereal box? Rubber bands stretched around a loaf pan will produce a similar effect.

Tin Can Drums

Keep it simple (but still super fun) with this sweet idea from Red Ted Art. Kids can paint the “drums” however they want, then they’ll have a blast discovering the different sounds they can make with kitchen utensils. To get all the details, click here.

Backyard Concerts

Banging on a pot with a wooden spoon is practically a rite of passage in babyhood. Why not take it a step further and construct an outdoor music wall for your kids like this one from PreK + K Sharing? Scour your house for any seldom-used odds and ends that make a fun sound (or hit up your favorite thrift store), then use a hammer and nails to secure to a section of fencing. Click here for the details.

photo: iStock

Easter Egg Maracas

Shake to the sound of rice with these easy-peasy maracas. All you need is rice, plastic spoons, easter eggs, and tape! Best part? These shakers have been tried and tested by lifestyle blogger and mom of three, Katelyn Fagan of What’s Up Fagans, and they are certified to play at a decent volume without being too annoying. Get the tutorial here.

PVC Pipe Flutes

This whistling instrument isn’t a project for the kids but if mom or dad is up for some more intense DIY action (or stopping by Home Depot for their drilling services), the results are just as amazing as the real thing. Your musician will be able to play a musical scale. Download the instructions here.


Explore sound and science with creative kids blog Buggy and Buddy’s homemade kazoo. With simple materials that you’re bound to have at home (cardboard tube, wax paper, rubber band, etc), this kazoo is perfect for vocal tots who love to spend their days humming and singing. See how to re-create this activity by heading over to Buggy and Buddy.

Shoebox Guitar

Did you know empty containers hold a secret melody? All you need are some rubber bands, a shoebox and split pins; then your quick-fingered tot can get their twang on. For the key to perfect, magical sound, check out Kate’s tutorial over at craft blog Minieco.

Mini Mandolin

With a little more time and effort, your wooden mandolin is set to last much longer than your musician’s first gig. The community blog for moms and moms-to-be Hello Bee has an awesome tutorial on making a mandolin that’s worthy of being part of a kid-sized Philharmonic. Visit Hello Bee for instructions, and get ready to make a trip to the craft store after.

Pin Strummers

Strum up a tune with bobby pins. This experiment and discovery project by kids app makers Pi'ikea Street explores how different sounds can become just by changing one object. See how simple household products can be turned into musical instruments over at Pi'ikea Street.

Easy Harmonica

This paper harmonica from family blog Housing a Forest requires a little finesse from your lil' performer’s mouth (don’t bite down) and a little extra practice, but the whole process is ridiculously and musically fun. To get the instructions, click here.

Bell Shakers

Ring in a merry afternoon with these bell shakers. This tutorial from craft blog Hello Bee requires some drilling, but the modern look and long-lasting build are worth it. Now your littlest can join the family band with just a wriggle of the wrist! Check out the how-to here.

Jingle Ankle Bracelet

Get those flighty feet ready for any dance with a pair of beautiful jingle ankle bracelets from craft and design blog Minieco. Now any dancer who wants to move to their own tune can! Head over to Minieco and get ringing with the tutorial.

— Christal Yuen, Gabby Cullen & Amber Guetebier

Featured image: iStock 



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