Rainstick Craft

Here is a fun and easy rainstick craft to make using supplies found in your home.

Ages: 8+

Although this is a craft project for kids, for younger children Please use alternate gluing method.

Rating: Easy

Time : 4 out of 5 Allowing for paper mache drying time.

Rainstick-craft-with-paper-towel-tube

Supplies:

  • Paper towel or wrapping paper cardboard tube
  • round toothpicks or skewer sticks
  • scissors
  • long nail
  • felt pen
  • newspaper strips
  • Paper mache glue
  • cereal box cardboard
  • masking tape
  • craft paint
  • Waterbased sealer
  • Rice, beans or popcorn
  • jute string or raffia
  • feathers or beads

Rainstick Craft Instructions

Real rainsticks were made with dried cactus, the needles and rocks. For this rainstick craft, I used a paper towel tube, skewer sticks and rice.
Instead of rice you can try filling yours with beans or popcorn, to see what sound you like the best.

The paper towel tube should be trimmed to desired length, from eight inches long to full length. Keep in mind that a longer tube may make this too big of craft project for kids. In this case, it could become a not so easy project. The reason for this is, it requires making holes and putting in toothpicks/skewer sticks. The longer the length, the more holes, and the longer time it is going to take to make. For younger children that have a shorter attention span, this rainstick craft, could take too long.

My biggest piece of advice would be for a younger child, the paper tube should be a maximum of eight inches long. The shorter the length though, the less rain effect sound you will get. These are things to keep in mind when starting this. The whole point of doing a kids arts and crafts project is for them to be happy with the process and end result.

There is also the alternative method of twisting up tin foil into long rolls and putting that inside the tube, instead of using the toothpick/skewer sticks. Using the toothpick or skewer stick method for the rainstick craft, I think, will make it more durable.

Trace around the paper towel tube end on to cereal box board. Make two circles. Cut out and tape or glue one circle to one end of the roll and save the other circle for later.

A work glove on one hand, is probably a good idea for making this rainstick craft. Placing a piece of heavy cardboard on the work surface will allow the child to hold the tube down on this, instead of in their hand.


Mark a spiral shape around the tube with a felt pen from the top to the bottom. On this line every half an inch put a dot, staggering the holes.

With the gloved hand poke a hole through one side of the tube and out the other, with a fairly large nail.

Now remove the nail and put in either a toothpick or a skewer stick, all the way through to the hole on the other side.

Cut the toothpick/skewer stick flush with tube. Don't worry if it isn't completely flat against the tube. It will get covered up later with the paper mache.

Make-holes-in-cardboard-tube
insert-skewer-sticks-through-holes
Paper-mache-over-cardboard
Rainstick-instructions

Sticks can be precut to the proper length first, but this makes it harder to put them through the holes. Hot glue in place. For an alternative, if your child is too young to use a glue gun, have them use white glue and then tape over each end of the toothpick, with a small piece of masking tape. This will keep it in place while the glue dries.

With this rainstick craft and all craft projects for kids, it is important to know your own child and their abilities. There are ways to adapt and still allow for them to express their creativity. Resist the temptation to help too much, but do provide assistance where necessary, so they don't become frustrated.

Continue poking holes and putting in toothpicks/skewer sticks all the way down, in a crisscross pattern, inside the tube. The more toothpicks or skewer sticks that you have, the better the rain stick will sound. It takes a lot!

When this part of the rainstick craft is complete, put one layer of masking tape over the tube. Paper mache three layers over the whole roll leaving the one end open. When dry, pour a heaping tablespoon of uncooked rice inside the paper roll tube. You may need more for a longer rain stick.

Now test it by putting your hand over the open end and tipping it back and forth. Always make sure that you have tested it before you seal it up. If it doesn't make a nice sound, it needs to have more sticks put in it and possibly more rice. If it sounds good, then tape the other cereal box circle on to the open end and paper mache with a couple more layers.

Make sure to use a small amount of paper mache paste on the newspaper strips, so that the moisture doesn't soak through and ruin the rice inside. Don't get it too soggy!

When this is completely dry, paint with craft paint. After the paint is dry on the rainstick craft, it can be sealed using a waterbased non toxic paint on sealer.

Wrap jute around, three times, about two inches down from the top of one end. Tie and add glue to the knot. Leave the string about three inches long and glue either beads or feathers to the end.

Now slowly tip back and forth and it will make a noise, like the rain. Want to make more noise? Just give it a shake.

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