Introduction: Lickety Split Cheap Drum Kit
Everyone likes pounding a drum once in a while. It’s fun. This method of DIY drums is an easy project for kids or grownups. They’re great just for kicks or as cheap customized practice drums.
You can use just about anything with an open top for the body of your drum. The bottom can be open or closed. Different materials will make different sounds. Thick plastic, the weight of trash cans and big flower pots, is decent and fairly easy to come by. You could use a big bowl, a bucket, or a tub. Heavy cardboard like a double-thick box or a construction tube is a good choice. Metal also works. A one-gallon vegetable can, an old grill or a waste basket are all possibilities. And no one said it has to be round... Be creative. The possibilities are limitless.
Materials you will need:
A big pot, trash can or other item for the drum body
Thick dowels or sticks to make drumsticks
A second color of tape to better see layers.
Small rubber balls to make mallets.
Tools you will need:
Sander and/or heavy sand paper
Step 1: Prepare the Drum Body
If you’re upcycling an item for the body, make sure it’s clean and dry before you begin. I chose an old flower pot from my roof deck. It was dirty, of course, and needed a wash. If you pick something with handles, you may want to carefully cut them off to creat a smoother rim.
Step 2: Start Taping.
Begin by applying strips of duct tape across the diameter of the base. Cross them as close to center as possible. Stretch them tight, but not so tight it pulls the rim out of shape -unless that’s what you want. Make certain to fasten the strips securely over the rim and onto the sides by a few inches. You can tear or cut the tape. The perfection of the ends doesn’t matter much during this stage. Concentrate on laying down the tape as smoothly as possible.
Step 3: The First Layer
Continue working your way around the drum. Go completely around taking care not to leave any gaps. It doesn’t matter if the sides are even. You can tidy that up later.
Step 4: Additional Layers
When the first layer is complete, start a new layer. This layer should lay straight across the diameter instead of around in a pinwheel. This is where a second color of tape would be helpful. It would make it easier to see if you have covered evenly. You can do it with one color, just pay close attention to the direction you’re moving in and keep the tape smooth and taut.
Add at least three more layers ending with a pinwheel layer. The criss-cross pinwheel technique is less likely to curl at the edges and creates a thicker center to better withstand the force of sticks hitting the surface.
Step 5: Bind the Edge of the Rim
Wrap a length of tape around the rim of your drum and cut it into tabs. Smooth each tab down flat. Once the tabs are down, add another strip over the tabs for strength. Carefully trim the uneven edge straight with the utility knife. You can decorate the drum with paint, by wrapping other materials around it, adding stickers or shapes using more tape.
Step 6: Make Your Drumsticks
Cut a 1/2” or 5/8” dowel into two 15”-16” lengths. If you don’t have dowels or want to go in a more primitive direction, you can use carefully cut branches from a tree that are approximately the same size. Use a sander and/or heavy sandpaper to round off one end of each stick. This is important because a sharp edge will damage the duct tape head pretty fast. You can decorate the sticks with paint, wrap them with fabric, string or wire or just leave them natural.
Step 7: Time to Play!
Make one and done or, make several of various sizes to get different sounds. Start a drum line. Whatever you do, have a great time!