DIY Marching Drum

marching drum

Finding inspiration for craft projects is something I don’t find comes easy to me, and the more I try to come up with things to make, the fewer ideas I seem to have. Recently, I have been looking for inspiration around the house and seeing what interests Harper has, to see if there were any projects she might like if I made them for her. She is noisy and chaotic and enjoys being as loud as possible, so to upcycle an old cake tin into a drum seemed like the perfect project.

You will need:

  • A cake storage tin with lid (mine measured 20cm wide by 10cm high)
  • Spray paint in white, yellow and blue
  • Masking or Washi tape
  • Ribbon (1/2m)
  • 2 pop rivets
  • Dowel (2 x 25cm pieces (1/2cm wide) and 1 x 10cm piece (1cm wide))
  • Strong glue
  • Rice, lentils or pulses (a few handfuls) 


1. Begin by removing any labels or stickers from your tin and giving it a good clean so the paint can stick to it. Then remove the lid and spray the lid blue and the base white. Leave to dry. You may need several coats for an even coverage.


2. Measure the circumference of the tin and mark out equally spaced-out triangles. Mark them with a pencil and ruler.

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3. Then use Washi Tape or masking tape to tape off every other triangle. Put several strips of tape either side of the triangles so paint doesn’t accidentally spray onto the other triangles. Leave to dry and peel off the tape and repeat until the tin is full of alternating yellow and blue triangles.


4. Remove the lid and use a drill to make two holes on either side of the drum. Use a block of wood on the inside of the drum when drilling so the tin doesn’t get bent.

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5. To make the strap, fold over each end of the ribbon by roughly an inch and sew in place. Then use a pop rivet set to punch the ribbon into the holes made on each side of the drum. Make sure the strap isn’t twisted before adding the rivets. If you don’t have a rivet set, a nut and bolt would work just as well. 
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6. To make the drumsticks use two pieces of dowel. With the thicker one cut 5cm off the end. Then drill a hole down the middle of that piece the same size as your smaller piece of dowel. Cut this in half to make the two beater ends. Glue each one onto the end of your thinner dowel and leave to dry. When set, sand the ends so they are rounded.  To finish, spray them yellow.

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7. For a shuffle-drum sound you could add rice, lentils, beans or bells before popping the lid back onto the drum. Add a line of strong glue around the base of the lid to keep it shut.

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 I’m not sure it was an entirely wise move to make a really noisy toy for my Little Button but she seems to enjoy playing with it. The only problem with it is that it has proved quite popular when her friends come around for playdates, so it looks like I may need to make a few more to avoid sharing issues!

~ Laura xx ~

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