Little Drummer Boy

This weekend was definitely peak foliage in Lancaster.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  We did another bike ride to George Hill Orchards again to get some lunch, cider, cider donuts and sugar pumpkins.  The views from their hilly farm were spectacular.  I don’t know what we’re going to do when the picking season ends.  It’s one of the few places that we feel fairly comfortable “in public”.

At this point in time we have acquired a large quantity of squash, gourds, pumpkins and apples between our CSA and our weekly farm trips.  It’s like fall has exploded inside the house.  I can’t show you a picture or you’d be embarrassed for me.  For perspective I’m sitting at the kitchen island and there are 14 pumpkins/squash sitting next to me.  And trust me that is just the tip of the iceberg, there are more on the other counters and in the other rooms and outside as decorations.  It makes me so happy.  (I might be a pumpkin hoarder?  Is that a thing?)

Well speaking of pumpkins and fall… I don’t think I need to remind you that my favorite holiday is coming up!!  I don’t want to ruin any surprises about our family costume this year… but let’s just say it involves a drum.  I had actually completely forgotten it involved a drum until Julius asked me “but where is my drum” when trying on his costume.  All will be revealed next week, but now I’m going to show you how to make a drum for a toddler.  This was completely free for me to make as I had everything on hand, but it was actually a bit time consuming.  If you can guess who’s drum it is (and I haven’t already told you) I’ll send you a prize.

Also I have to tell you one more cute thing.  Upon presenting Julius the drum after his naptime with the words “I made you this” (and probably by making him lots of other things) I may have accidentally convinced him that I am capable of making all his toys.  He started looking at the Amazon wish catalog the other day and pointing to things saying “I want you to make this for me”.  One of the things was a robotic hand, and he asked me “could you make this one?”  I skirted the question by telling him that I went to school for robotics and sometimes worked on things like the robot hand.  He surely knows I didn’t make all his toys, right?  I’m not sure I did a good job convincing him, but do I really want to destroy the image that mama can make anything…?

Toddler Drum

What you’ll need:

  • 2 sheets of red paper
  • 1 26 oz coffee can (my mom always has the chock full o’ nuts cans)
  • 3/8″ yellow ribbon
  • brown cord or yarn
  • yarn needle or very large embroidery needle
  • 2 small clasps (I used these swivel clasps that I had leftover from past projects)
  • 2 small eye hooks and 2 small cubes of wood
  • 1-1.5 yards of tan ribbon 1″ wide (mine was saved from old Williams-Sonoma gift packaging)
  • chop sticks
  • hot glue gun
  1. Holding the paper horizontally, mark the height of your coffee can on the paper, so the paper will be between the top and bottom metal lips of the can.

    Mark the height of the coffee can

  2. Cut both pieces of paper to this height.

    Cut paper to marked height.

  3. With a drill bit slightly smaller than your eye hook screw, drill 2 holes in the can, about .5″ below the top of the can, 5″ apart.

    Drill holes in can for eye hooks.

  4. Hot glue paper to the can.

    Hot glue paper to can.

  5. Poke screw eyes through paper and screw through the holes you just made in the can.  Screw into tiny bits of wood on the inside of the can to secure.

    Screw through paper and holes you drilled into bits of wood on the inside of the can.

  6. Measure the circumference of your coffee cylinder.  Mine was 19″, so to make it easy I chose to divide this into 6ths for the drum threading, leaving a slight gap at the back of the drum where no one would see it.
  7. Cut one strip of ribbon 1″ longer than the circumference of your cylinder.
  8. For the bottom of the drum you want to create small triangles, so I marked out dots along my strip of ribbon in the following pattern:  1″, 2″, 1″, 2″ until I had 6 2″ long markings

    Mark pattern for drum cording.

  9. Using the yarn needle, poke through the holes, going out at the 1″ markings, and back in at the 2″ markings.  Adjust the yarn or cord so it is about 3″ long at the 2″ markings.

    Leave 3″ loops on ribbon over the 2″ markings, and pull 1″ segments taunt on the backside.

  10. Hot glue the ribbon along the bottom perimeter of the can, covering the bottom metal rim. The brown yard/cord along the 1″ segments should be hidden, and the 3″ segments should be loose towards the top of the can.

    Hot glue ribbon to the bottom of the can.

  11. For the top of the drum, if your top is already yellow (like the choc full of nuts cans) you do not need to use another piece of ribbon, otherwise mark along the ribbon as in step 8.  Mark 6 points,  3″ apart from each other.
  12. Using the yarn needle, poke through the holes, going out at a mark, down to the 3″ yarn/cord segments from the bottom of the can, then back through the same marking.  Repeat for other 5 markings, and other 5 3″ segments.

    Poke through the lib, loop down to catch the bottom triangle, and back up through the hole you exited from.

  13. When you are finished, put the top on the can, making sure to center your top lines in between the bottom 3″ segments.  Pull up the slack so everything is taunt and the top yarn/cord pulls the bottom segments into triangles.
  14. Push one end of your ribbon strap through the loop on one clasp.  Fold 1.5″ up, and then 1/2″ under and stitch down to hold clasp on.  Repeat for second clasp and other end of ribbon.  (You’ll want to see how far down this should come on your child.)

    Fold under ribbon 1/2 and stitch just below fold.

  15. Attach claps to eye hooks.
  16. Present drum and chopsticks (drum sticks) to child and let them parade around the house. 

Ignore the kitchen chaos and just focus on the happy toddler with the drum.

The empty coffee can actually makes a pretty good sound.

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2 Responses to Little Drummer Boy

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