How to Make a Metal Tambourine

by Steven J. Miller
Use a clean pie pan to create a tambourine.

Use a clean pie pan to create a tambourine.

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Making a metal tambourine is accomplished easily by using a pie pan as the base. Tambourine's may be used to help accentuate the rhythm of a composition, provide a metallic rhythm sound and create effects within a musical composition. Complete this project with a minimal amount of materials available in most any household. Make sure to supervise any small children since the project requires the use of a sharp knife, coordination and careful cutting skills.

Items you will need

  • Pie pan
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Four bottle caps
  • Four paper clips
  • Knife
  • Nail
  • Tape
  • Hammer
  • Superglue
Step 1

Purchase a pie pan or use an old one lying around the house. When using an old pie pan clean it thoroughly using soap and water. Dry the pan with a cloth.

Step 2

With a knife, cut four slits about 1 inch wide and 4 cm tall into the side of the pie pan, spaced evenly around the pan. When completed you will have two pairs of slits on opposite sides. The slits should be horizontal and parallel with the rim of the pan.

Step 3

Puncture a hole in the center of the bottle caps using a hammer and a 1/8-inch nail. Using duct tape, tape the bottle cap to a piece of wood to hold it in place while you hold the nail with your non-dominant hand and hammer the nail with your dominant hand.

Step 4

Pry the bottom and top of the paper clips open so that you are left with a Z-shape.

Step 5

Thread each bottle cap through a paper clip so that each bottle cap falls in the center of the Z-shaped paper clip.

Step 6

Place each bottle cap on the inside of the pan so that each cap fits inside the slits you created in the sides of the pan. The paper clips were already threaded through the hole in Step 5. Position the paper clips so that they make contact with the inside of the pan. As long as the bottle caps fit inside of the slits, it doesn't matter where on the pan the paper clips touch.

Step 7

Use superglue to glue the ends of the Z-shaped paper clip in place along the inside of the pan. The Z-shaped paper clip lays flat against the side of the pan. Since the paper clip is straight you will only have to glue the paper clip to the inside of the pan. The paper clip will lie perpendicularly across the slits holding the bottle caps in place.

Step 8

Wait 15 to 20 minutes and use your new tambourine. You can hit the base of the pie pan to create vibrations and make music.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves to keep from cutting yourself on the pan or with the knife.
  • Do not let children cut holes in the pie pan. Do this for them and make them wear gloves and safety goggles while working with sharp objects.

About the Author

Steven Miller graduated with a master's degree in 2010. He writes for several companies including Lowe's and IBM. He also works with local schools to create community gardens and learn environmentally responsible gardening. An avid gardener for 15 years, his experience includes organic gardening, ornamental plants and do-it-yourself home projects.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images