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DIY Crafts: Toilet Paper Roll Shaker Instruments

DIY Crafts: Toilet Paper Roll Shaker Instruments

When I was a child, my parents brought me a set of maracas from a vacation, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. And although I don’t have coconut shells to work with, I do have a ton of empty toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. I have been saving my toilet paper tubes in my bathroom drawer for as long as I can remember. These days, everything can be an art supply, so why not make music shakers with them? This is a great way to add different sounds to your music, and you’re doing good for the environment by reusing the cardboard. Making toilet paper roll shakers is a lot of fun and one of the many easy crafts that are great for a rainy day.

They’re also great for a mixed-ability group with a high success rate and low frustration. I recently packed all of the supplies to make these with my classes, and the kids went nuts! Simple crafts are sometimes the best because they’re open, and kids have the best experience when they can be creative in their way.

What you’ll need to make toilet paper roll shakers:

you'll need to make toilet paper roll shakers
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Rubber band
  • Duct tape or masking tape
  • Foil (optional for better sound)
  • Beans or rice or beads or sand or pebbles or popcorn kernels

How are these musical instruments made?

1. Start with one end of the toilet paper roll and cover it with a piece of foil. Secure it with a rubber band. If for some reason you do not have foil on hand, you can totally use parchment paper, construction paper, plastic wrap, or wax paper. Anything that will make noise when the beans reach the ends of the roll or tube.

Toilet Paper Roll Shaker Instruments
Cover one end of the toilet paper roll

2. Add duck tape on top of the foil to protect it.

Toilet Paper Roll Shaker Instruments
Add duck tape on top

3. Add beans, rice, beads, or pebbles to the open end of the toilet paper roll.

Toilet Paper Roll Shaker Instruments
Add beans, rice, or pasta

4. Add foil to the other side and secure with a rubber band. Cover it with duct tape to secure it.

Toilet Paper Roll Shaker Instruments
Cover the other end of the toilet paper roll

5. Now that the beans/rice are trapped inside the tube, you can have fun and begin decorating the shaker.

Toilet Paper Roll Shaker
Decorate with washi tape

What else can I do with the Toilet Paper Roll Shaker?

There are so many fun ways to decorate these noisemakers. This is a great project for kids of all ages because of the possibilities. With younger kids, you’ll want to keep it easy and use tissue paper or stickers. I used duck tape and washi tape, but duck tape can be challenging to work with. I purchased so much washi tape in Japan and this was a great project to use the washi tape for decoration. I love washi tape because of the ability to rip it easily. When it comes to kids’ crafts, choosing supplies that can be used with kids who might not have the best fine motor skills is paramount.

What can I use to decorate my toilet paper shaker?

I think it’s a great idea to put out different bowls of supplies, including bottle caps, bells, stickers, gems, sequins, wrapping paper scraps, glue, fun shapes of paper and different shapes of foam and pom-poms. With little kids, using glue sticks might be a bit less messy. There’s a good chance they’ll use way too much glue. If you have enough space, simply take out some paper plates and make an art supply buffet! Kids get so excited about choices.

Some alternatives to the shakers include making them in different sizes. How? Simply tape two toilet paper towel rolls together or grab a roll of the toilet paper holder and cut it in half. No need to go and buy egg shakers, these will do the trick! You can also use small cereal boxes or crayon boxes to make square covers if you’d prefer a different shape. It is so much fun when you have fun crafts to do together and easy toilet paper roll crafts are always a hit with kids and teachers.

How long does it take to make paper towel maracas and shakers?

First, it takes months to collect the toilet paper rolls. You can also ask friends and family to start saving them for you. The next step is set up, and you’ll want enough space to work. I also put up a table covering to protect the tables from all that glue. For the duck tape, it might make sense to pre-cut them into small rectangles (enough to cover the opening). Kids have a very hard time ripping duck tape. And let’s be honest, adults do, too! Once everything is prepped, the kids can work on decorating these for 45 minutes to an hour. I like to have at least one extra TP roll on hand for early finishers or very fast workers. We’ve all got a few of those around, right?

Do you have any other 45-minute crafts you’d like for me to make? Send me a message, & let me know!

Looking for another easy craft for kids? Check out this post!

Happy Crafting!