Introduction: PVC Pipe Rain Stick

About: Recently I read that there are over 60 million American households that participate in some form of crafting in a given year. Well, I am one of them . . . . . I love crafting !!! So please enjoy some of my c…

Some time ago I saw an Instructable on how to make PVC pipe look like real wood. I wanted to try out the technique so I decided to make this beautiful rain stick

Definition of a Rain Stick: a percussion instrument made from a dried cactus branch that is hollowed out, filled with small pebbles, and capped at both ends. When slightly tilted, it makes the sound of falling rain.

BUT I made one out of PVC pipe!

I have entered this in the PCV Pipe Contest so your vote would be appreciated

Step 1: What You Will Need

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5: Drill Holes Through the PVC Pipe

  • Cut your PVC pipe to approximately 36 inches length (or however long you want yours)
  • Begin drilling holes, making sure to drill completely through the PVC pipe
  • Drill holes beginning at one end of the pipe
  • Drill in a random pattern as you progress through the pipe

You can drill all of the holes (around 300) at once, but it gets a little confusing trying to find each holes exact match when there are so many holes. I found it easier to drill, insert skewer sticks, cut and glue 10 or so at a time without getting confused.

Step 6: Inserting Skewer Sticks and Gluing

  • Insert skewer sticks completely through each of the drilled holes
  • Using a jewelry cutter tool, cut the sticks off at the PVC pipe surface
  • Place a dab of wood glue on both skewer stick ends
  • Rub the glue it in and around the exposed skewer stick with you finger, but leave a bit of a glob

Step 7: Half Way Through

This is what the rain stick looks like half way through the process. Make sure to drill the holes randomly without trying to make a pattern. This will help create a more natural rain sound.

Step 8: Sanding

After drilling, inserting, cutting and gluing about 300 holes and skewer sticks, lightly sand the entire PVC pipe with sand paper until smooth.

I used an electric sander with a 100 grit sander paper, but you can hand sand it if you prefer

Step 9: Faux Wood Texture

  • Begin scraping the PVC pipe with a metal file and brush
  • Pull and push the file and brush in all directions, creating long and short grooves and gouges
  • Use sand paper to smooth off any shavings or sharp edges

Step 10: Add the Color

  • Find an oil color that matches the type of wood your trying to emulate
  • Wipe it on with a rag, making sure to work it into all of the grooves and gouges
  • Let it dry completely

Since I used oil-based paint, it took several days to dry completely

Step 11: Finish Off the Ends

  • Cap one end of the pipe with a cork that is approximately 1-1/2 inches wide at the center and approximately 1-3/4 inches at the largest end

I bought mine at a local hobby store

  • Push cork all the way in and rub in some of the same oil paint that you used to paint the PVC pipe

Step 12: Fill the Rain Stick

  • Fill your rain stick with anything that makes a beautiful rain sound

I used approximately 2 cups of combined beans, peas, lentils and rice. But feel free to try other items

  • Since one end of the PCV pipe has already been corked, put your hand over the other end and tilt the pipe back and forth, listening to the sound
  • Keep adding or subtracting beans and such until you achieve the sound you like

If you like the sound, cap off the remaining end with a cork and paint it

Step 13: Voila

This picture does not do it justice, but I couldn't find a way to portray it's beauty. It truly is amazing considering it is made from a PVC pipe, bamboo skewer sticks and some beans.

I hope you can see it's beauty and I hope you give this Instructable a try

PVC Contest 2017

First Prize in the
PVC Contest 2017