Wednesday, 21 July 2010

How To: Wedding Drums

Our wedding is outdoors at a provincial park. We aren't having fancy crystal to bang pretty forks on, so we need a few noisemakers at the festivities.

So I came up with these drums.

Cool aren't they? Wanna make your own?

**** Disclaimer: these drums are the most frustrating craft I've ever had the opportunity to make. The plastic will melt, the ribbon will pucker and fold, the beads will get stuck to the glue and the post will break, tear and otherwise destroy the plastic. I advise you that if you follow this tutorial, it will be a good lesson in patience and perseverance. I am not responsible if you start to feel the need to strangle someone or cry uncontrollably. You were warned!****

Supplies needed:
- wooden dowels in the thickness you want for the drum handles (and a saw to cut them with)
- acrylic paint (and paintbrush)
- plastic beer cups
- paper plates
- beads of your choice
- embroidery floss (and a needle for threading the beads)
- ribbon of your choice
- hot glue and glue gun (if you have a low temp one, that would probably work better)
- scissors
- a stamp (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the Drum Handles
- Cut your wooden dowels into a desired length for the drum handle. My dowels were 30 inches. I cut 5 handles out of each, so they were 6 inches long.
- paint your dowels using your acrylic paint and paintbrush.
- put as many coats of paint as you desire on the handles. I put 2.
- I got my toddler to help. It was great fun!

Step 2: Prepare the plastic cups
- cut the plastic cups along the top or the bottom (or even the middle) to make a ring that is about 2 inches deep. For one drum, you will have to double up the cups to make it thick enough to be a sturdy drum.
- If you cut them out of the bottoms, you can leave the bottom piece attached (as shown in the pic below)

Step 3: Insert the Drum Handle
- Use scissors or a razor to cut a slit in the bottom of your cup. Insert the drum handle.
- Use hot glue to keep it in place at the inside bottom and inside top of your drum. The hot glue will melt the plastic cup if the gun comes in contact with the plastic. The glue will probably melt some of the plastic cup as well, but no worries. As long as it's secure in there and you don't burn your poor little digits, it'll be fine.

Step 4: Prepare the Beads
- Take 2 beads and tie a reasonable amount of embroidery floss around them. Remember that the embroidery floss needs to be long enough to allow the beads to hit the drum somewhere in the middle when you twist it. Extra length here can't hurt.
- Knot them so that they are secure. You don't want the beads to come loose and fly off while playing with your drum!

Step 5: Thread the Beads onto the Drum
- take your extra sharp needle and thread the non-beaded ends of the embroidery floss.
- then take the needle and push it through the side of the drum, pulling the embroidery floss through as well.
- make a knot in the floss to secure the beads in place.

Check out my assembly line of drums! I ended up making 30 of them for the wedding.

Step 6: Cut out Paper Plates
- I chose paper plates because I wanted these favours to be relatively inexpensive. You can use more expensive materials for them of course.
- lay your drum on a paper plate and trace around both sides.
- cut them out so that you have 2 circles. One will be slightly larger than the other because of the shape of the plastic cup.

Step 7: Stamp and Glue Drums Together
- This is the time when you can stamp the paper plates with a design of your choice. I used my wedding stamp!
- Then use your hot glue gun to attach the paper circles on each side of your drum. I recommend putting the glue on the paper and not on the plastic first. The plastic cup will curl and melt if you put the hot glue directly onto it.
You see why this craft is so frustrating. I actually tried using tacky glue for one of these drums. It works reasonably well, but the hot glue makes a much sturdier drum.

Step 8: Apply Ribbon
- take some decorative ribbon and with your glue gun, apply it around the edges. This not only covers your serious paper cutting mistakes, but it also hides the fact that you use plastic cups for your drum (at least a little). I used fun wedding ribbon for this. Again, put the glue on the ribbon and not directly onto the plastic!
- make sure to trim your circles to the proper size if they come out a little bigger than you had hoped.

And voila! You have a maddening drum that you can now throw at someone who says even the slightest thing against your beautiful creation hehehe

Step 9: Go make a bunch more! hahaha

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