Bottles O' Buttons

by Annie F.

In this paper I will tell you about my instrument, the Bottles O' Buttons. I pretty much got the idea from a plastic bottle I found. Then my dad had some nails so I got some other materials and put them together to make my instrument. When the teacher told me to decorate my instrument I decided to finger paint the bottles to make them look more colorful. In some ways they sound like mini rainsticks when you flip them. Sometimes they sound like maracas when you shake them. But the sound is always loud!

The materials I used were two plastic bottles, buttons, nails, rice, tape and bottle caps. At first, I found one plastic bottle in my kitchen, so I searched for another one. When I found it I got nails and tape from my dad and I got some buttons from our button collection. I thought the rice would make a good sound for a shaker so I got some of that. I found the bottle caps in our back yard. I used the buttons because they are colorful and help decorate the instrument. The nails help make a rain stick sound on the inside. All of the materials used on the inside helped make the sound of my instrument louder. One of the bottles had fewer materials in it, so it had a different pitch.

The first thing I did was poke holes through the plastic. Then I stuck the buttons on the nails and put the nails in the holes. Next, I put the rice bottle caps, nails, and buttons inside the bottles. To finish, I put tape over the top to keep it all in. The only thing my dad helped me with is poking holes. I didn't need much help otherwise. The only problem I had was having one button on the nails. I solved this problem by putting two on to make more sound.

I usually play my instrument by shaking it up and down or from side to side to make a shaking noise. You can change the volume by shaking hard or not so hard. You can change the pitch by having more or fewer materials in the bottle. There is another way to play my instrument: you can bang it on the floor or on a table.

I thought this project was a fun thing to do. I liked gathering materials, putting it together and decorating. I learned what the best materials are and different things you can use or do to change volume and pitch.