Make your own Chinese rattle drum

You will need

  • Cardboard tube
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Beads OR Kitchen foil
  • Red OR gold paper
  • 2 balloons
  • Sticky tape
  • Push pin
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Decorations - coloured paper or ribbons


  • Take an empty tube and roughly measure a 5cm wide section using a ruler. With the help of a grown-up cut out that section using scissors.
  • With the help of an adult pierce one hole about halfway down on three sides of the tube as shown in the image below. Because the walls are sturdy, use a push pin to make a small hole, then push a pencil through to widen the hole until it's big enough for you to thread the string through.
  • Take some string and thread it through the hole on the left side. Tie a knot on the inside of the drum so that it can no longer be pulled out. Then repeat this on the right side.
  • Tie a bead or a small ball of kitchen foil onto the end of both pieces of string. These will beat the drum, so make sure the string is the right length for the bead to hit the centre of the drum.
  • For the handle, wrap a pencil tightly in red or gold paper and use sticky tape to secure.
  • Push the handle through the final hole, then use sticky tape to attach it in place.
  • To make the outside of the drum ask a grown-up to help you cut two balloons in half using scissors, then stretch each half over each end of the tube.
  • Decorate the drum with ribbon or by wrapping it in the paper. We have also added the Chinese characters for Good Luck and Ox! Get creative and let us know how you get on!

Show us your creation

If you've had a go at making a rattle drum, we'd LOVE to see it!

Upload a photo or video of you and your drum using the 'Send your stuff' link below

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