Chinese New Year Spin Drum

Make a Spin Drum - Image Collection

Ring in the new year (on December 31 or on the Chinese New Year) with this homemade noisemaker, a hand drum based on a traditional Asian design.

  • serrated knife (an adult’s job)
  • empty oatmeal canister
  • acrylic paint
  • tacky glue
  • glitter (optional)
  • hole punch
  • 1/2-inch-wide dowel, 1 foot long
  • 16-inch length of string
  • tape
  • two 3/4-inch wooden beads
  • 2 plastic lids that fit the oatmeal canister
  • paper
  • ribbons


  1. null Use a serrated knife as a saw to cut a 1 3/4-inch ring from the top of the oatmeal canister (an adult’s job). Neaten the cut edge with scissors. Paint the outside of the ring, then add glue and glitter if desired. Let the paint and glue dry.

    2.  Punch a hole in the center of the ring’s width. Punch additional, overlapping holes to gradually widen the hole just enough to fit the dowel. Slide in the dowel so that it touches the inside of the ring. Secure the dowel to the ring with glue.

    3.  Punch two side holes in the ring directly opposite each other.


    3.  Wrap the ends of the string with small pieces of tape to make them easier to thread. Tie the center of the string to the dowel inside the ring.

    4.  Thread the ends through the holes and thread a bead on each end. Measure the string against the ring so that the beads will hit the center of the drumhead. Knot the end of the string and snip off the excess.


    5.  Place the two plastic lids onto the sides of the ring. Cut paper circles to fit the tops of the lids, decorate them, and glue them in place. Tie ribbons to the dowel at the drum’s base.

    6.  Play the drum by holding the dowel upright between your palms and rolling it quickly back and forth so that the beads hit the lids.


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