How to Make a Bobby Pin Thumb Piano

Making one of these hand held musical instruments is a great project to work on with your children. This is a page about how to make a bobby pin thumb piano.


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My 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!


  • scrap wood (approx. 3.5 x 5 in)
  • 5 bobby pins
  • staple gun
  • hammer
  • sand paper
  • markers


  1. Cut a piece of wood to the correct size. Then sand it to smooth out the surface and edges.
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  3. Straighten out the bobby pins, as shown below.
  4. Staple each of the bobby pins to the wood, near the edge of the wood.
  5. Use a hammer to tap the staples tightly over the bobby pins.
  6. 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.
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  8. Then bend up the ends of each bobby pin at the staple.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. :)
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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.

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Crafts Crafts For Kids Science ProjectsMay 3, 2017
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