Spin into Spring! Arty Smarty: Spin Drum

With my eldest in P1 this year, I decided to join the school’s Parent Support Group (PSG) to help out in little ways. Recently I was invited to lead a group of parents for a parent-child bonding session. All of us had fun making this retro toy, and saving the earth at the same time!

Spin into Spring with this Bloom DIY (pictures and instructions courtesy of NSPS PSG)! And then read on for some spin drum facts.

Arty Smarty: Spin Drum

Potato chips container


1 wooden chopstick

Thread (about 40cm)

2 beads

I sheet of coloured paper

White glue

Poster colours or Decorative items (eg. washi tape, ribbons, glitter etc.)



Pen knife



1. Wipe the potato chips container clean. Remove the rims. Make 4 cm markings across the tube, and carefully cut around the tube.

2. Using the pin, make 4 holes in the position of North-South-East-West, in the middle of the tube. Make the top and bottom holes big enough for the chopstick.

3. Push the chopstick through the bottom to the top hole. Tie the thread to the chopstick (centralise it). Push the ends of the threads through the side holes. Trace the potato chips container onto the coloured paper. Draw a second circle with a 1 cm allowance outside the first circle. Cut the outer circle. Make two pieces.

4. Make a knot close to the container. Measure about 5 cm from the first knot to make another knot. Thread a bead, and secure with two knots. The beads should at least reach the middle of the drum. Do the same with the other end.

5. Trace the outer diameter of the potato chips container onto the cardboard. Cut the cardboard. Make two pieces. Paste the cardboard onto the side of the potato chips container. Let dry. Take this time to decorate your drum.

6. Decorate your paper. It would be fun to draw similar pictures on both sides, so that it looks like your pictures are moving when you spin the drum. Snip around the inner circle with a 0.5 cm interval, so that it folds down nicely around the edge of the drum.

7. Paste the paper right side up onto the cardboard. Apply glue around the side of the potato chips container, and fold the paper over neatly.

9. Paint or decorate the side of the potato chips container. And you are done!

Has this DIY tickled your inner rhythm? From just $170 per month, you could be realising your drumming dreams! Check out Bloom School of Music & Arts for individual or group drum classes. Drop us an enquiry here to find out more.

The spin drum goes by many names including pellet drum, rattle drum, den-den daiko (でんでん太鼓)–used as a children’s toy in Japan–, taogu (鼗鼓) or bolanggu (拨浪鼓)–used in Chinese ritual music and as a children’s toy or noisemaker used by street vendors. The spin drum is a class of membranophone (any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by way of a vibrating stretched membrane), and is characterised by the construction and the manner of playing (the beads on the strings act as the drumsticks to generate a perfect drum roll with a constant spin of the drum by rolling the stick between your palms). Spin drums are not native to Asia; it has universal appeal, and because of the simplicity of its use, it easily appears at boisterous celebrations throughout the world.

Music: Flower Drum Song 花鼓迎春 (凤阳花鼓)

I hope you have enjoyed making your very own spin drum. If you have made your own musical instruments, and would like to share it, please email me (denise-yong@outlook.sg) your pictures, or tag us on Instagram #BloomSchoolDIY.