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Chinese New Year Eve Drums

chinese drums

Chinese New Year Eve Drums

One of the activities mentioned for Chinese New Year’s Eve is making a lot of noise to drive away evil spirits. They use firecrackers, fireworks, and drums. I have crafted three versions of drums for your celebration.
 The first one is fashioned after a traditional Chinese drum.  The second drum is for the wee ones who may not have the motor skills or coordination need to work the traditional drum.  The third is especially for people of any age that may not be able to grasp a handle. It can be held in the hand.  You could even add a strap to the back so it could slide over the hand (or foot).  The list of materials is what I used.  The instructions are how I made mine.  The great thing about crafts is you can use the inspiration and mix and match to your heart’s content to make it your own!

 

DRUM VERSION 1:

This one is noisy!  I don’t know about driving away evil spirits, but it sure drove all my cats away!

MATERIALS:

2 plastic dishes (recycling my Café Steamers microwaved lunch dishes)

2 craft sticks

Red parachute cord (I know the picture shows bulky yarn but I changed to something sturdier)

2 large wooden beads

1 large jingle bell (optional)      Paint, glue, scraps of different materials for embellishment.

INSTRUCTIONS:

(1) Start by painting the bottom of the dishes. Red is considered a lucky color, so I used apple red glossy spray paint.

(2) Glue one of the craft sticks inside the plate to give extra support to the handle and a place to anchor the cord. Glue the top of the other craft stick to it.

(3) The length of parachute cord will depend on the size of dish. In the end, the large wooden ball needs to be positioned so they strikes the center of the bottom on the dish.  Tie the center of the parachute cord around the center of the craft stick. Lay the cord out straight and tack each side in place a spot of glue.

(4) Tie a knot on each side of the cord where the wooden bead will be added.  Thread the beads on.  Double check to make sure that the cord is the right size so the bead strikes the center of the plate. Tie another knot on each side to hold the beads in place.  Remember when playing the drum the cord will be moving quickly and you do not want a large wooden bead to go flying through the air.  Make sure the knots are solid. I put the tip of the glue gun down inside the hole and filled the area around the cord with glue.

(5) Next, glue on the second plate.  The plates will not fit perfectly together.  As you glue around the edge, place clamps on the  sections near the handle and cords so there is not a gap.

(6) Embellish as you like. It is the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rooster so I cut a gold rooster out of a gold paper cup.  The other decorations are made from scraps of gold foil and gold glitter duct tape. I painted the handle gold.

(7) Grasp the handle and flick your wrist back and forth.  First one and then the other ball will take turns striking the center of the plate.  It may take a little practice.

TIP: If the drum is too noisy, you might try smaller plates, smaller beads, and leaving out the jingle bell.  Of course, if you reduce the sound too much… some of those evil spirits are more likely to sneak in!!

 

DRUM VERSION 2:

MATERIALS:

2 small plastic dishes (I recycled two fruit cups)

2 large wooden beads

1 large jingle bell (optional)

2 wooden craft spoons

Paint, glue, scraps of different materials for embellishment.

INSTRUCTIONS:

(1) Start by painting the bottom of the dishes. I used apple red glossy spray paint.

(2) Drop the wooden balls in the bottom of one cup, the jingle bell in the bottom of the other.

(3) Glue one of the craft sticks inside the cup to give extra support to the handle. Glue the spoon end of the other craft stick to it.  (See the picture of the inside of the plate).

(4) Glue the two cups together, clamping near the craft sticks so there is no gap.


(5) Embellish as you like. I cut a circle out of the gold paper cup for the center. I used a single hole punch on the same cup to make the circles around the edge.  I painted the handle gold.

(6) No coordination skills or practice needed on this one… just grab the handle and shake away.

 

 

Drum Version 3:

MATERIALS:

2 red plastic plates

Small assorted beads

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

(1) The plates are already red, so no painting is needed.  Just toss the beads between the plates and glue.

(2) Embellish as you like.  I used the same materials as I did on version 1.

(3) Just pick up the plate and shake or use it like a tambourine.  If you are making it for someone

who cannot grasp the plate, add a strap to the back.

Kathryn

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