Introduction: Toy String Instrument
Making a string instrument toy was in my crafting wishlist for a long time. My little one has all other sorts of musical toys like keyboard, flute, mouth organ, and drum. So as soon I saw this rubber band contest, I decided to make a guitar or violin. While surfing, this one called Harp caught my attention. It has a simple yet the most beautiful and eye-catching appearance. I chose this classical one and so here is my harp-inspired String instrument.
Before starting the instructions, here are a few amazing facts about harps that I found:
1. Harp is one of the oldest instruments in the world. The earliest harps were developed from the hunting bow.
2. Harps are usually between 2' and 6' in height. It is the second-largest stringed instrument in an orchestra (the double bass is the largest).
3. Harps are made with a strong triangular frame that is capable of withstanding the pressure of the tight strings. It is primarily made of wood and wire.
4. Harp is the national symbol of Ireland.
5. Even beginners can play beautiful music in the first sitting and even practice sounds good. Isn't it amazing??
Watch the video tutorial here:
- Thick cardboard
- Rubber band
- 35 mm Screws and hammer
- Cutting board, cutter, Scissors,
- Cutting template (Simply draw or download my template)
- Acrylic paint and a fine marker pen (optional)
Step 1: Download the Template and Cut
I roughly sketched my harp design to cut the cardboard cutouts. For sharing it here, I have made a digital one of the same. This template( A4 size) is available in Pdf format for downloading. Print it and cut it out using scissors.
Step 2: Mark the Footprint and Cut the Cardboard
Place the template on a cardboard sheet and mark the outline with a pencil. Now, place the cardboard over a cutting board and cut it out with a cutter. Make 'n' number of pieces as required.
For example, I made 5 cardboard cutouts to reach a total thickness of 20mm whereas the depth of my screw is 32mm. Likewise, choose the number based on the thickness of the cardboard and the length of the screw.
Next, mark the Screw position on a cardboard cutout. (Punching holes in the template will be helpful to mark the position of screw on the cardboard cutout)
Step 3: Combine the Cardboard Cutouts
Glue all the cutouts one above the other with white glue. Make sure that they all are well-aligned. Also, ensure that the cardboard cutout which is marked for the screw position is on the top.
Now place a weight over them and let it dry for 10 to 20 minutes. Once it is dry, check for undulations on all the sides. If there is any, use sandpaper or cutter to scratch them out.
Step 4: Insert the Screws
Insert the screw one by one in the marked positions using a hammer. I preferred screw over nails because it cannot be pushed in or pulled off by my kid.
As my screw is 32 mm, 12mm was projecting on the top after inserting 20mm into the cardboard base. This projection can be used to hold the strings.
On the rear side of the cardboard, some screws might protrude a little. If it happens, cut another thick paper or cardboard and add a layer at the rear.
Step 5: Add the Strings
Finally, add the main element of the project - the strings/rubber bands. Add the right size rubber bands such that the strings are in full tension. The tighter, the better. The rubber bands can lose their elasticity after a point of time. This design allows you to change the string/ rubber band in an easy way.
Optionally, you can also paint with acrylic paint and add small intricate patterns as I did with a fine marker pen. The string instrument is ready!!!
Step 6: Time to Play
We totally loved the output. My child loved making music with it. It was also very handy for her. Now, I have put that as decor in out the showcase and it looked cute.
Participated in the
Rubber Band Speed Challenge