How to Make a Tambourine From Cardboard

by Ainsley Patterson
Homemade tambourines sound almost as good as traditional versions.

Homemade tambourines sound almost as good as traditional versions.

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Encourage your child's interest in music and his creativity by helping him construct a cardboard tambourine. Starting with a recycled cereal or appliance box, after this project your child will have a homemade instrument to play along to his favorite songs or to create his own pleasant melodies. Make a whole batch of cardboard tambourines to keep little hands and minds busy at birthday parties or family gatherings.

Items you will need

  • 10-inch or larger square of cardboard
  • Compass
  • Pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Embroidery floss
  • 8 jingle bells 1 inch across
Step 1

Draw an 8-inch circle on the cardboard with the compass and cut it out with scissors.

Step 2

Punch eight evenly spaced holes around the perimeter of the circle with a hammer and nail. Make the holes 1/4 inch in from the edge. Eyeball the spacing of the holes instead of measuring their placement.

Step 3

Tie a 1-inch jingle bell at each hole by threading a 3-inch piece of embroidery floss through the loop on the bell and through the hole in the cardboard circle. Tie the jingle bells on slightly loose so they have room to move, allowing them to make more sound.

Tips & Warnings

  • Decorate the tambourine with markers, crayons, paint or stickers,.
  • An adult should cut out the circle and punch the holes. Cutting cardboard is more difficult than cutting paper because of its thickness and the required extra pressure involved.

About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images