How to Make a Pan Flute Out of Toilet Paper Rolls

by Jennifer Dermody
The pan flute is a simple wind instrument.

The pan flute is a simple wind instrument.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Explore the contents of your household recycling bin to find supplies for making creative play instruments. You can build a set of drums by lining up different sized plastic tubs, and hitting them with a wooden spoon. Or assemble a shaker instrument by filling a container with bottle tops and placing a lid on top. You can even create a pan flute, which is a wind instrument that has existed since ancient times. Its simple construction entails joining together a series of hollow tubes. Make a play pan flute out of empty toilet paper rolls.

Items you will need

  • Four empty toilet paper rolls
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Four rubber bands
  • Plastic wrap
  • Packaging tape
  • Marker
Step 1

Set one empty toilet paper roll aside.

Step 2

Cut 1/2-inch off of one of the three remaining empty toilet paper rolls. Cut 1-inch off of the second roll and 1 1/2-inches off of the third roll.

Step 3

Gather all four toilet paper rolls. Cover the end of each roll with a piece of plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band around the end of the roll.

Step 4

Stand each roll vertically on end covered in plastic wrap. Arrange the rolls in progression from shortest to longest.

Step 5

Wrap packaging tape around center of the whole line of tubes to join them together. Wrap tape around the tubes twice.

Step 6

Write the letter D on top of the longest tube just above the tape. Write C, B, and A on each of the other tubes, in order. The letters represent the notes on a real pan flute.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hold the pan flute correctly. Position the tubes so that air blows across them instead of directly into them.
  • The sound coming from the longest toilet paper roll is different from the sound coming from the shortest one.
  • A toilet paper roll pan flute will not produce the same sound as a real pan flute made out of wood or rigid plastic.

About the Author

Jennifer Dermody started writing in 1992. She has been published in "Running Wild Magazine," "The Green Book" environmental bid journal and local publications in the areas that she has lived all over the world. She is currently a licensed Florida real estate agent. Dermody earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Regis College in 1993.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images