How to Make a Rainstick Instrument

Here’s how to make a rainstick using a cardboard tube and some crafting materials. The kids will love making this homemade instrument and using it to explore sound!

Homemade rainsticks make a great craft for kids and a fun science activity too. The kids love the creative freedom of being able to decorate their rainsticks and especially love using them to make music and explore various sounds created by the different materials placed inside the tubes.

How to Make a Rainstick Instrument

Materials for Homemade Rainstick

  • Sturdy cardboard tube (We used the empty cardboard tube from an aluminum foil roll.)
  • Paint
  • Large, brown paper grocery bag
  • Yarn
  • Rubberbands
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners and/or craft wire
  • Beads, rice, beans, or other material for inside the rainstick

Directions for Homemade Rainstick

1. Start by painting your cardboard tube. We pained ours to resemble a piece of hollow wood. Let it dry.

2. Cut out two circles from a large, paper grocery bag. We crumpled the paper up to make it soft and look worn. We also cut some fringe around the outside of the circle.

3. Attach one circle to the end of your cardboard tube using a rubber band.

4. Experiment with different ways to fill your rainsticks.

In a separate rainstick we tried twisted craft wire with dried beans. 

5. Once you’re happy with the sound of your rainstick, rubberband the other paper circle to the opposite end.

6. Tie some different colored pieces to yarn to each end

Create music and explore sound with your homemade rainsticks!