Monday, 10 October 2011

Monday Makery - Making Music: A Percussion Posse

Its seems that the girls have makery's in the molecules of their being. They now see an empty can, a cardboard box, toilet roll tubes and scraps of this and that as objects with new potential. The recent cans washed ready for the recycling sat tempting their imagination. I like their new found resourcefulness but it does mean that things take a while to make it to the recycling bin as instead they pile up to become robots, mouse houses, science experiments, collages and here they become musical instruments.
Sometimes it the simplest of crafts that bring the most joy and you can see from Oona's face how much she loved the transformation of what held boring kidney beans and lentils into far more exciting bongo's, shakers and guiro's.

Here's what you'll need:

  • empty clean tin cans - be sure they do not have sharp edges. The tins with the ring-pull were perfect.
  • balloons
  • scissors
  • dried pasta or lentils or rice
  • a chopstick for playing

Here's how:

  1. Once you have your clean and dried topless tins you are ready to create your first instrument.
  2. First we made a shaker as this is the first idea Sophia had for a percussion instrument. We filled the tin halfway up with the shells of pistachios, though dried pasta, rice or lentils would make a great noise too. You can have fun creating different sounds with different things inside.
  3. Then we chose our balloon colour, snipped the neck of the balloon off and stretched the larger rounded part over the top of the can. If the balloons don't fit snugly around the tin and you think they might slide up and off, you can put an elastic band around the edge and that will stop it sliding...........That's it! That Simple! 
We followed up with another two tins both empty. One was used as a small bongo as the taut balloon over the can made a great drum noise, and the other as a guiro;  a percussion instrument like a 'washboard' (which I had to look up the word for) where you create a sound by sliding a stick or bottle cap up and down the ridges of the instrument. It was fun to think of ways to create sounds and like the chicken and the egg question I learned the half-full/half empty dilemma. When I asked Sophia (it's always interesting to see what side people fall into) whether the tin was half full or half empty she said it was half full because we were putting the shells in. Apparently if we had been taking them out then it would have been half empty! Love it! 

Having a stack of toilet roll tubes we wanted to see what we could make and so hunted some little bells and fabric and created our 'tube-o-bells'. 

Here's what we used:

  • 2 cardboard toilet tissue rolls.
  • a scrap of fabric, though tissue paper, wrapping paper and even newspaper would work just fine.
  • needle and thread
  • scissors
  • miniature bells
  • PVA glue

Here's how:
  1. Cover your tube with PVA glue.
  2. Roll it over your decorative covering and fix any extra length with further glue, tucking in the ends with a dib dab of glue.
  3. Double thread your needle and stitch each of the bells around the top edge of the tube. Its worth a few extra stitches for each bell to make sure they don't come flying off mid music session!
  4. Once you're happy you have enough bells secured take your second cardboard tube and cut down one side to open it up.
  5. Then, roll the cut tube up to fit it into your decorated 'tube-o-bells' to create a stronger structure. If you feel it needs it use sticky tape to keep the new join of the internal tube in place.
  6. Get shaking! 
These instruments were such fun to make and the girls are getting so much fun musical play with them. They call themselves the 'lentil girls'!
The bongo/tom-tom, shaker and guiro can also be made using plastic containers such as large yoghurt or soup pots, or large cardboard tubes. It will all depend on the size of the balloons you can find. These were made using your standard supermarket balloons, but some jumbo ones would be great on a biscuit tin!! 

the 'lentil girls' first performance!
Have fun!

This is part of our Monday Makery series, where each week we bring craft and recipe ideas and inspiration.

Each week we bring new ideas to our blog through different blog series; Tuesday has previously brought the 'story behind our collections' and now brings 'tell us its tuesday' a fun interview with our favourite creators, designers, bloggers and imaginative extraordinaire's. Wednesday we woo you with new treats in the collection of our boutique. Thursday will leave you inspired through the 'art of living' and Friday we finish with 'once upon a week' where you can see what's happening in the lives of the sisters of Sisters Guild.
For more behind the scenes photos of Sisters Guild we have the gallery of the A-Z of Sisters Guild here.

If you would like to share some ideas as a guest blogger on the Monday Makery we would be very excited to hear from you. Use the contact form on our main website here.

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