My instrument is called the coffee can
maraca. It is a percussion instrument. I got the
idea for making it from a magazine. My instrument
looks like a coffee can with colored stripes, a
handle from the bottom, and beads coming out from
four places n the sides. The pitch is between high
and low. The volume is loud. The tone is
To make my instrument I used a tin coffee
can, some yellow string, different colored fabric
paints, different sized and shaped beads, a wooden
stick, black sculpy, and wood glue. I got the
coffee can in the recycling bin. The string I found
in the garage. Everything else was left over from a
I made my instrument by drilling a hole in
the bottom for the stick. Then I drilled four holes
in the sides for string with beads. Next I made
sculpy beads to hold the stick in place. My Mom
baked them. While they were baking I decided which
beads to put on the string. When the sculpy beads
were done, I put one on the inside of the can, on
the stick, and one on the outside. I glued them
with wood glue. Then I put four short pieces of
string into the holes in the sides of the coffee
can. I tied knots on the inside of the coffee can.
Then I put beads on the outside. I tied knots at
the bottoms. Then I made fabric paint stripes in
the bottom ridges. I had to wait overnight to paint
the top ridges because the glue on the handle was
still wet. Next I painted the top ridges. My Mom
helped me by drilling the holes, baking the sculpy
beads, and spinning the coffee can while I painted
the stripes. I tied the string, put on the beads
and glued the handle by myself.
A problem I had when I was making my
instrument was thinking of an idea. The solution
was that I found an idea I liked in a magazine.
Another problem was painting the stripes on the top
because the beads would get in the fabric paint. I
solved it by having my Mom hold down the
You can play my instrument by twirling the
stick, shaking it, or rubbing the beads on the
ridges. When you shake it, it makes rattling sound.
When you twirl it, it makes a "ching-ching" noise.
When you scrape the beads on the ridges it makes a
scratching noise. The pitch doesn't change. To
change the volume you just shake, twirl, or rub
harder or faster.
I think this project was fun and interesting.
It was challenging, but it was fun. I learned that
sometimes you have great ideas, but you can't get
the right materials to make it.