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How to Make a Bobby Pin Thumb Piano


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April 17, 2017

Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - finished pianoMy daughter needed to make a musical instrument for her 7th grade science class that had at least 4 notes. I remembered that she had made a neat little thumb piano years ago at a craft fair. She made a new one and it is perfect!

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Supplies:

  • scrap wood (approx. 3.5 x 5 in)
  • 5 bobby pins
  • staple gun
  • hammer
  • sand paper
  • markers
Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - supplies
 

Steps:

  1. Cut a piece of wood to the correct size. Then sand it to smooth out the surface and edges.
  2. Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - cut a piece of wood to the appropriate size
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - sand surface and edges
     
  3. Straighten out the bobby pins, as shown below.
  4. Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - straighten out the bobby pins
     
  5. Staple each of the bobby pins to the wood, near the edge of the wood.
  6. Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - bobby pin stapled to edge of wood
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - two pins
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - adding a third
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - fourth
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - all bobby pins stapled down
     
  7. Use a hammer to tap the staples tightly over the bobby pins.
  8. Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - tap staples down with a hammer
     
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  9. Then staple each bobby pin down a second time, with the first one being pretty close to the other end and the last one being farthest from the end, as shown below. Again, hammer the staples down.
  10. Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - begin stapling each pin down beginning close to the end of the first bobby pin and moving further away on each successive one
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano
     
  11. Then bend up the ends of each bobby pin at the staple.
  12. Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - bend pins up at the staple
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - view the longer end pin
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - view from the edge and up
     
  13. Now test out each note. She found the shortest one to be too twangy, so we added a few staples in the middle to hold the bobby pin down better.
  14. Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - add additional staples if sound not quite right
     
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  15. Use markers to decorate and enjoy your new instrument. Note: Here is a photo of the one she made when she was 5 and the one she made today. :)
  16. Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - decorate with markers
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - finished piano
     
    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - original and new one
     
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 5

Videos

June 21, 2017

A piece of wood, a handful of bobby pins and a stapler is all you need to create a DIY thumb piano. Learn how to make it in this short video.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2
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Crafts Crafts For Kids Science ProjectsMay 3, 2017
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