These easy paper plate tambourines have a touch of glamour with a stained glass heart-cut out. An easy music-inspired kid’s craft that uses up materials you already have on hand!
Paper Plate Tambourine Craft
Have you ever made the mistake of buying your children actual tambourines?
I bought a bunch of them for my daughter’s second birthday party. We had a “Where the Wiggly Things Are” theme (complete with a visit from an Emma Wiggle impersonator) and I thought it would be cute to give each of the kids personalized tambourines to play with during the performance and then take home with them afterwards… and all I can say, is thank goodness most of the tambourines made their way to other peoples’ houses!
These paper plate tambourines do not have the clash-bang sound of a proper tambourine – they have the quiet patter of a chill maraca. Much more tolerable to listen to for long stretches of time!
The idea for these paper plate tambourines was easy enough – put some beads in between two paper plates and shake them!
Of course, we had to make our craft a little bit more special than that so I originally envisioned having a “peephole” made of recycled plastic where you could see the beads jumping about while the tambourine was in use so kids could “see” the music as it was being made. But my daughter took it one step further and suggested we use markers to make the “window” into the tambourine a stained glass window!
Whether you make a solid tambourine with no peephole, or one with a plain window, I think the most important thing is to have fun and make it your own.
It would be a fun craft for a Valentine’s Day party (if you stick with the heart theme) or swap out the shape for just about any holiday or theme – especially if you already have paper plates on hand, this is a simple craft with no need to run out for extra supplies.
Materials for a Paper Plate Tambourine
- Paper plates (2 per tambourine)
- Perler beads (1-2 Tablespoons per tambourine)
- Plastic from the recycling bin
Tip: I recommend using hot glue for adding the windows onto the tambourines and also for closing up the tambourine if you’re making these at a party where you will want them to be dry faster.
How to Make a Paper Plate Tambourine
To make your own paper plate tambourine with a window, trace the shape you want your window to be on your paper plate (preferably the inside).
Have a grown up poke a hole in the shape to start, and then cut out the shape.
Cut a small piece of recycled plastic (we used a soda pop jug) to fit over the window on the inside of the plate (as shown).
Glue down – preferably with hot glue. Let dry before moving onto the next step.
Decorate the “window” with permanent markers. We drew geometric lines all around and then filled them up with alternating colors.
Color the window on the inside so the markers don’t smudge with play.
Once the markers are dry (should happen pretty quickly) add a small handful of the perler beads into the center of one plate.
Glue the second plate to the first plate, rim-to-rim. You want the bottoms of the plates to be the outside.
Decorate the outside of the tambourine as desired – for now we just painted ours with sparkly pink paint, but you could add ribbons, confetti, etc.
Grab your free printable for our easy paper plate tambourine craft:
This easy tambourine craft was so much fun to make – and my daughter had a blast singing and playing music with it after we were done. (And I wasn’t tempted to hide it in a closet like with the other tambourines!)
Or, if you’re looking for Valentine’s Day crafts for kids, check out: