Make Your Own Rainstick

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By General Crafts Contributor Erin from the blog Lovesome.

Learn how to make your own rainstick over at

My son’s music box was in need of some new instruments recently, so I decided it would be fun to make him a rainstick. My sister had one growing up and I have fond memories of curling up with it and listening to the sound of rain as I turned it over and over. It was surprisingly easy to make and uses supplies that you might already have on-hand.

Here’s the scoop:

You need:

  • a cardboard tube (stronger than a paper towel roll, I used a wrapping paper tube, but a shipping tube would be even better)
  • finishing nails
  • duct tape
  • uncooked beans or rice

Here’s what to do:

1. Find a cardboard tube that is heavy-duty enough to hold up to the nails, beans, and little hands that will be touching it. I used one that came in a wrapping paper roll and cut it down with a utility knife. A shipping tube would be awesome, but I wanted to use what I had on-hand. My tube is about 2 inches in diameter and 15 inches long, and is thick enough that it was tricky for me to bend it.

Wrapping Paper Tube

2. Push your nails through the tube, either with a hammer or with your finger (mine didn’t need a hammer). I spaced mine about every inch or so, tested it out, and then added a few more. The more nails you have the longer it will take the beans and rice to travel down the tube, and the better the sound will be.

Finishing Nails

Make sure your nails don’t go all the way through the tube. You want to leave some space for the beans and rice to fall through. It should look like the picture above.

Duct Tape Collage

3. Following the length of the tube, cover one end with duct tape. Make sure there are no holes, and then add some more duct tape around the edge of the tube to secure it at the ends.

4. Next, cover the tube in duct tape. This not only keeps the nails in place but gives you a nice base for decorating. I wasn’t too careful with smoothing out wrinkles because I actually like the faux bois look they give the rainstick.

5. Add the beans and rice to the tube. I didn’t measure, but I would say I added about a half-cup of each. Test it out a few times to make sure you like the sound, and add more if you feel it needs it.

6. Using the same technique as step 3, cover the other end of the tube. Now the whole tube should be covered in duct tape.


7. Now is the fun part, decorate the tube! I used more duct tape and cut it on a rotary mat with an x-acto knife, but you could include your kids and have them paint, color, use stickers, etc. to finish it off.

DIY your own rainstick from a recycled material. Tutorial at

Now you’re done and can enjoy the cool sounds of your rainstick!

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One thought on “Make Your Own Rainstick

  1. Pingback: Kids Crafts: Duct Tape - Think Crafts by CreateForLess

  2. Mary Gugler

    I was looking for a craft for my music students ( various ages). I have lots of tubes from orders of heat press vinyl. This craft looks perfect for my party! Thank you.

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