How to build a drum?

Drums are really great instruments! Everybody can play drums – you don’t need any special knowledge to do that and I think they’re among the easiest musical instruments to play… at least if we’re talking about simple drums for kids or a single bongo, since full drum sets with plates and everything may require a bit more practice and coordination.

Percussion instruments in general and drums in particular are incredible tools to let a child grow, they allow even very young kids to experience making sounds and creating music in a very simple and natural way. Percussion instruments were probably one of the first discovered by human race – and they are still very easy to play even for smallest children.

All you have to do to play drums is to feel the rhythm. And it’s so much fun! Plus – toy drums for kids are usually so nice and colourful. Playing with them is pure joy!

Easy drums for kids

So, we’ve established that drums are really great…


…unfortunately they’re also quite expensive. Especially when it comes to those beautiful, colourful toy drums designed for children.

That’s why today I’m going to share with you some quick and easy ideas on how to build a drum by yourself – with close to no money spent and mostly out of things everyone usually has at home. That’s the beauty of this DIY drum project! Try making the instrument together with your child, it may be a good lesson on how percussion instruments work.

Instead of spending a lot of money on a toy instrument, build one yourself. I think making your own drum is a much better solution. Not only because it’s way cheaper, but also way more fun. Not mentioning how proud you and your child would feel after building a musical instrument by yourselves! As you’ll see in a moment, it’s not very complicated – in fact drums are one of the easiest instruments to build on your own. You’ll need only a few everyday objects to do that.

Before we jump into details of how to build a drum, first let’s try to understand how exactly drums work and how they create sounds. Here are some basic facts. All drums are part of a group of musical instruments called membranophones. This means they have a membrane stretched over their “body” – or what we call a sound box. When you hit a drum, its membrane starts to vibrate. And it’s the vibration of that membrane what creates air waves and therefore sounds. This all means that for our little DIY drum project we’re going to need a homemade sound box and something that can be used as a membrane.

That was a bit of theory. Now it’s time for practice. Let’s get to work!

DIY drum

To prepare your homemade drum you will need:

– an empty cylindrical cardboard box (e.g. coffee or biscuits can, a documents storage tube) or some plastic yogurt cup

– a balloon

– scissors

– duct tape

– coloured sticky tapes or some paint to decorate the drum

– a pencil

Step 1: prepare the box

If your cardboard box or tube is a bit too long for a drum and would not be very comfortable to hold, carefully cut off the top of it with a knife. Remember to smooth the edges. Plastic cups (e.g. yogurt cups) are usually good for building small drums, but if you have a bigger cup and decide to cut off a part of it, remember to carefully even and secure the edges, so that no one gets hurt – plastic can be really sharp!

Step 2: the membrane

We’re going to use a balloon as our membrane. Cut off the bottom part of the balloon, leaving only the stretchy part. Here, that’s our membrane.

Step 3: stretching the membrane

Carefully pull the balloon – or as you wish: the membrane – on the top of the sound box and hold it in place.

Use some duct tape to carefully secure the membrane in place.

Step 4: decorate your drum

And that’s it – your homemade drum is almost done! All you need to do now is to decorate your instrument with coloured tapes or paint – and it’s ready to make some noise! You can ask older children to decorate the drum by themselves. When you’re satisfied with the visual effect, simply start playing! You can use your hands or take a pencil and use it as a drumstick.

Let me know in the comments if you try to build your own instrument at home – as you see, it’s quite quick and easy! I’m pretty sure your little musicians will love the homemade drum, so prepare for some serious drumming as they discover the rhythm and start to experiment with different beats (you may want to prepare the neighbors too, let them know that your kids might raise the roof in the nearest future). Have a barrel of fun with your little ones!