15 Unique Homemade Musical Instruments + DIY Tutorials

15 Awesome Musical Instruments You Can Make at HomeWant to make your own homemade instruments? In this article, we’ll show you how to make 15 fantastic homemade musical instruments, including a guitar, flute, and xylophone.

Instruments can cost a pretty penny. But you most likely have enough materials at home to make any of the instruments on this list, and many of them sound very similar to their real-life counterparts.

Are you ready to get started? Let’s take a look at 15 unique homemade instruments!

15 Unique Homemade Instruments

1) Shaker

Easy Homemade Instrument - DIY ShakerThis is a simple shaker made out of seeds, rice, beans, or beads placed in a film canister, pill bottle, or small tin box. The shaker can be used alone or with other DIY instruments to create the perfect percussion ensemble!

Materials Needed:

  • 1 canister
  • 1 handful of filler material (seeds, rice, beans, or beads)

How To:

  1. Place a handful of the filler material into the canister, cap it, and then shake it!

2) Rainmaker

Easy Homemade Instrument - DIY RainmakerThis is one of the easiest homemade instruments to make and only requires a few materials. It really does sound like rain! This particular rainmaker has two settings – tin roof and tropical rain forest.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 Pringles cans (or other tube-like canisters)
  • 1 handful of filler material (seeds, rice, beans, or beads)
  • 12 or more small nails
  • Duct tape

How To:

  1. Put a handful of filler material into the bottom of a Pringles can.
  2. Take the second Pringles can, place it open mouth to open mouth with the other, and tape them together.
  3. Take about twelve million nails (or maybe a dozen) and poke them in one at a time all over the Pringles cans until all of the nails are sticking into the can. The more nails you can poke into the can, the better, as this is what makes the sound.
  4. Lastly, you’ll need to cover the entire rainmaker with duct tape.

3) Glass Xylophone

Easy Homemade Instrument - DIY Glass XylophoneXylophones are always fun to make, and this is one of two xylophones you’ll see on our list. The other one is made of wrenches, which you’ll see in #14. The glass xylophone has a beautiful ring to it. As an added bonus – you can drink from it if you’re thirsty!

Materials Needed:

  • 4-8 Glasses
  • 1 spoon
  • Water

How To:

  1. Arrange several glasses (preferably of the same shape and size) in a row.
  2. Fill the glasses up with differing degrees of water. Start with maybe half an inch, then an inch, then two inches, etc.
  3. When you get the water in the glasses, start dinging them by tapping the glasses with a spoon, butter knife, or some other solid object.
  4. Bonus step: If you want to get really technical, get a chromatic tuner and actually measure the amount of water you need for each glass, and tune it up! (Free tuner apps: iPhone | Android)

4) Castanets

Easy Homemade Instrument - DIY CastanetsThis is really the fancy version of what most people know as “spoons.” But you could also use just about anything in your utensil drawer. Castanets are a classic Spanish percussion instrument, and you can come pretty close to mimicking them with spoons.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 spoons

How To:

  1. Hold the spoons back to back.
  2. Put your finger in between the handles of the spoons and grip the two handles with the rest of your fingers and thumb.
  3. All you need to do now is clack the two spoons together to produce a rhythm.

5) Thumb Piano (or Kalimba)

Easy Homemade Instrument - DIY Thumb PianoThe kalimba is an African instrument that’s best made with pieces of spring steel and a wooden box. But you can substitute these materials with something easier – a match box and some bobby pins. This substitution does not resonate as well as the wooden box, so we recommend getting one of those if you can.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 small box (wooden or metal)
  • 6-8 Bobby pins or other springy material (like paper clips)
  • Tape
  • [Optional] 1 wooden craft stick

How To:

  1. Cut a circle in the top of the box.
  2. Straighten out several bobby pins and then tape them to the top of the box, leaving the ends of the pins hanging over the hole.
  3. [Optional] You can use a craft stick to help hold the pins in place. Tape the craft stick over top of the pins and then tape that to the box.
  4. After all the tape is in place, start flicking the pins with your thumbs!

6) Box Harp

Easy Homemade Instrument - DIY Box HarpA box harp is a pretty cool little invention. It can be made a number of different ways, but the way we did it was as easy as looking around the kitchen for parts. The box allows the rubber bands to have a deep resonance in their sound.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 box
  • 6-10 rubber bands

How To:

  1. Remove the lid from the box.
  2. Stretch rubber bands around the open part of the box (or even around the lid itself).
  3. Pluck the rubber bands and have fun!

7) Box Guitar

Unique Musical Instrument: How to make a box guitar at homeThe box guitar is a large and powerful homemade instrument. Because of its size, you can get some nice resonance out of it. You can even make a more advanced version if you have the extra material.

Materials needed:

  • 1 shoe box
  • 6 rubber bands
  • Tape
  • 3-4 wooden craft sticks
  • [Optional] 2-4 pieces of wood

How To:

  1. Stretch big rubber bands around a shoe box that has a hole cut in the front for sound. Note: If your rubber bands are not long enough, cut them and then tie them to two different craft sticks.
  2. Stretch the rubber bands with craft sticks (you’ll need a friend to help you with this part) and then tape the sticks to either end of the box. Note: You might want to shove a craft stick under each side of the rubber bands to simulate a bridge and a nut.
  3. Strum away! If you want to do a more advanced version, glue some wood inside the box to frame it up and make it more stable.

8) Coca-Cola Trumpet

Unique Musical Instrument: How to make a coca-cola trumpet at homeThis one is a little tricky. When done right, it can sound pretty close to a real trumpet! The video below shows a man playing his own Coca-Cola trumpet. Although the video has sub-par quality, you can clearly hear the trumpet playing in action. In order to create the correct trumpet sound, you’ll need to learn how to shape your lips to create a buzzing noise.

Materials needed:

  • 1 Coke bottle
  • 1 box cutter
  • Tape

How To:

  1. Cut the bottom of the Coke bottle off.
  2. Flip the end around and tape it back onto the trumpet. Note: You have to tape it loosely so that air can emit from around the edges.
  3. Drill or cut three holes in the top of the trumpet near the mouth piece (the opening of the bottle). Put your fingers over the holes and then blow (tightly-lipped) with all your might!

9) Simple Drum

Unique Musical Instrument: How to make a simple drum at homeEvery DIY instrument list has to include some kind of drum. This is a very easy, yet super effective homemade instrument. If you don’t have drum sticks lying around, feel free to use wooden spoons, or your hands!

Materials needed:

  • 2-4 rubber bands
  • 1 container (bowl or jar)
  • 1 plastic bag

How To:

  1. Stretch a plastic bag across the mouth of a large container.
  2. While holding the bag in place, put rubber bands on until the bag is firmly held.

10) Straw Flute

DIY Musical Instrument - Straw FluteIt’s a flute in your pocket! This one is great because it’s incredibly portable. Not to mention, the low amount of materials needed means you can make a ton of these!

Materials Needed:

  • 1 drinking straw
  • Scissors

How To:

  1. Cut the drinking straw near the tip at a slight angle; you’re going to be making a reed, like a bagpipe or oboe reed.
  2. Cut the other side; simply cut two angles that meet at a point, and then cut the point off leaving a flat spot.
  3. Put the reed in your mouth and start blowing. Move the straw in and out until you find the sweet spot where it starts to vibrate and produce a sound.
  4. Bonus: If you want to be really creative, you can poke little holes every inch or so and use them as finger holes to create little melodies!

11) Hand Whistle

DIY Musical Instrument - Hand WhistleThis is a great little instrument that you can take with you anywhere. If you get really good at it, you can actually play a lot of interesting melodies. Enough practice will eventually lead you to being able to play entire songs!

Materials Needed:

  • 2 hands (preferably a left and a right!)

How To:

  1. Cup your hands together leaving a bit of space in the middle.
  2. Cup one hand over the other, not interlocking the fingers. All of the fingers of one hand go in between the thumb and first finger of the other, and vice versa.
  3. Press your thumbs together to make a small mouthpiece. You’ll want to have a small gap between the thumbs; you can make this gap by simply bending the thumbs a tiny bit.
  4. Put your upper lip on the knuckles of your thumbs and blow down over the hole that is created with both thumbs. Work at it a bit, until a sound is formed. Note: You can change the pitch by changing the size of the hole between your hands.

12) Cocoboe

Homemade Cocoboe InstructionsIt’s essentially a Coke bottle with a straw flute acting as the mouthpiece. This one can provide hours of entertainment. It takes some time to learn the technique, but once you get it down, you’ll be making sweet cocoboe music in no time!

Materials Needed:

How To:

  1. Drill several holes in the bottom of a Coke bottle. While you’re at it, go ahead and drill a hole the size of your straw flute in the top. If the hole is a little too big, put some tape around your straw flute until it fits in the hole.
  2. Start playing your straw flute! You now have a Coke bottle oboe.
  3. [Optional] If you want to get fancy, you can drill some holes in the Coke bottle and it’ll allow you to change pitches. Smaller Coke bottles work better than the larger 2 liter bottles.

13) Comb Harmonica

How to make a comb harmonica at homeThis is another simple and portable option. The comb harmonica is one of the most fun homemade musical instruments you can make!

Materials Needed:

  • 1 comb
  • 1 piece of thin paper

How To:

  1. Wrap a piece of paper around a comb.
  2. Put your lips against the paper and make a buzzing noise with your lips. You can hum as well, which changes the sound. A kazoo works pretty much the same way, but with a piece of paper or other material over a pipe.

14) Wrench Xylophone

How to make a wrench xylophone at homeThe wrench xylophone is a bit of magic. The entire thing is made out of wrenches that you can scrounge from an old tool box. Since you’re using high quality metals, it’ll sound really nice!


  • 6-10 wrenches of assorted sizes
  • 2 books or boards of equal size

How To:

  1. Arrange wrenches in order of size from the smallest to the largest on the books. Note: You might need to angle the books (or boards) slightly to accommodate the shorter wrenches.
  2. Start hitting the wrenches with another wrench or piece of metal.

15) Wall Guitar

How to make a wall guitar at homeThis one has popped up in many books about the history of blues music. It requires you to hammer two nails in your wall. If you can’t do that, consider using a very strong adhesive instead.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 long piece of wire or piano string
  • 1 empty glass bottle
  • 2 nails
  • Pliers

How To:

  1. Nail two nails on a wall – one high and the other about three to six feet lower.
  2. Wind a good amount of wire onto the top nail, then stretch the wire as tight as you can while winding it around the bottom nail.
  3. Once the wire is tightly bound (or multiple wires if you want to make several of these), you can pluck the wire to make sound. The building that you mount the wire to will actually act as a sound chamber.
  4. Take the glass bottle and slide it up and down the wire to play a melody. Note: If you have a guitar tuner, you can make markings on the wall where different pitches of the major or minor scale occur.

Have Any More Unique Homemade Musical Instruments?

That’s our list of 15 homemade musical instruments! If you really love playing your homemade instruments and want to eventually play the real thing, check out the private music instructors in your area.

Have you created any other homemade musical instruments? Comment below!

Willy MPost Author: Willy M.
Willy M. teaches guitar, ukulele, and mandolin lessons in Winston Salem, NC. He’s been teaching for 20 years, and his students range in age from young children to folks in their 80s. Learn more about Willy here!

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”74612″]

Tags: ,
2 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *