With Chinese New Year around the corner, we decided to make this Chinese Rattle Drum from an old Pringles cardboard tube and a wooden spoon.
This simple tutorial not only shows you exactly how to make one, but also gives you the option of downloading a template to decorate your drum.
I enjoy looking at festivities that take place in other countries and cultures for inspiration for our craft projects, and it also gives the children (and often myself) the opportunity to learn about them.
This week we have been talking a lot about Chinese New Year. We have been looking at what animals represent the years we were born in, what each one means, and how Chinese New Year is celebrated.
We have made some Chinese Paper Lanterns, and together with this simple to make instrument, both are great ways to celebrate and introduce the festival to little ones.
A Chinese Rattle Drum or Pellet Drum is traditionally a musical instrument. A small double sided drum with a handle and wooden beads or balls attached by string that hit the drum as it is twisted. The rattle drum has now evolved into a popular children’s toy not just in China but world wide.
This craft project is based on a traditional Chinese rattle drum, but is super simple to put together utilising an old cardboard tube and a wooden spoon.
I have also created a template of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals to cut out and decorate your drum. It is available in my subscribers area, ‘The Secret Garden‘, and if you would like access to it, just pop your details in at the end of the post.
So, if you would like to see how we created our Chinese Rattle drum then read on or pin it for later!
Pin ‘How To Make A Chinese Rattle Drum’ for later!
What You Will Need
- Cardboard tube- I found that an old Pringles tube was the perfect size
- Craft knife or similar to cut the tube
- Two plastic lids that fit the tube
- A4 sheet of thin red card
- Glue- I tend to use my trusty hot glue gun, however you can use PVA but would just need to allow drying times between steps.
- Small wooden spoon- make sure the head of the spoon will fit inside the tube
- Red and black Washi taoe
- Hole punch
- Red twine, string or thin ribbon
- Wooden beads
- Template of Chinese zodiac animals- available in the Secret Garden, or you could make your own!
How You Make Your Chinese Rattle Drum
1.First cut a 5cm section from the end of the cardboard tube. This bit is for adults only. I found the easiest way to cut the tube nice and straight was actually with a bread knife, however if you have a steady hand you could use a craft knife or similar.
2. Cut a 5cm wide strip from the long side of an A4 piece of red card. Cover the cardboard tube piece with the card and use glue to secure it into place. Alternatively you may prefer to paint your cardboard tube rather than covering it.
3. Cover the handle and a small part of the base of the wooden spoon with red washi tape. Again you could paint your wooden spoon rather than using tape, and you don’t have to stick to red. Gold and black or a mixture work equally as well.
4. Make 3 holes in the side of your cardboard tube. This is the main body of the drum and using a hole punch make a hole at the base, and one on either side.
Using scissors or a craft knife, cut a cross at the bottom hole and push the edges into the drum.
6. Cut two lengths of red twine, ribbon or string approximately 15 cm long. Knot each piece at one end and thread through the holes at the side of the tube. On the other end thread one or two wooden beads and knot the other end as well to secure. For added security you can add a little bit of glue on the knot inside the tube.
7. Then push your wooden spoon through the hole at the base and secure it in place with glue inside the tube.
8. Now it’s time to decorate the lids which will finish off the drum. You can print off the template I have created and choose two of your favourite Chinese animals. The template is available in my ‘Secret Garden‘. If you’d like to gain access just pop your details in at the end of the post. Alternatively you could create your own designs, or decorate the lids as you wish. If using the template, glue your chosen designs to the lids and allow to dry.
9. Glue both lids to your drum using a hot glue gun. We finished off our drum with some black washi tape around the rims of the lids. You could also use other embellishments if you wish. Gold sequins and small red pom poms also work really well on the sides of the drum.
That’s it, our finished Chinese rattle drum. Not only does it look effective, it actually works! Oliver in particular really loved playing the rattle drum.
If you would like to use the template I created and gain access to the Secret Garden, then pop your details in below.
If you need more inspiration for Chinese New Year’s crafts then don’t forget to check out and follow our Pinterest board.
So what do you think of our Chinese rattle drum? Have you anything similar before? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.