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How to Make Castanets

How to Make Castanets. Castanets, wooden clappers held in both hands that produce a rapid series of clicks, are percussion instruments used in traditional Spanish music. They may be round, square, triangular, pear-shaped or oval-shaped. Today, they are used by actors, dancers and performers. Making your own castanets is a fun, fairly easy project.

Make Castanets From Buttons

Stack two large buttons on top of one other. Make sure that the buttons are identical and that the raised edges are together.

Cut approximately 1/2 to 1-1/2 inch of craft foam. Wrap the foam around one edge of the buttons. Use a hot glue gun, one with a low temperature, to glue the foam in place.

Take the elastic and cut a 6" inch piece for each button. Thread the elastic through two holes and then tie it off so that it can fit your finger. Make a double knot and trim the extra elastic.

Use this instrument by sliding your index finger in the top elastic and then placing your thumb in the bottom button elastic and clack together.

Make Pop-Top Castanets

Get all of your supplies together, which includes two bottle tops, some yarn or string and a narrow, 6-inch strip of heavy cardboard.

Make a hole through the center of each bottle top by using a drill or punching a hole in it. Create similar holes (approximately 1 inch) from each end of the heavy cardboard.

Lay both of the bottle tops face down, each one covering a cardboard hole.

Insert a string through each hole, using a needle if necessary. Pull the strings together by the ends and make knots in order to secure the bottle tops.

Color the sides with paints or markers, or glue pieces of construction paper or small pieces of aluminum foil onto the cardboard.

Place the cardboard in your palm and hold one finger and thumb on the bottle caps. Bring your fingers together to make a clicking noise.

Make Castanets With Jar Lids

Grab your supplies: thick cardboard, small jar lids and glue.

Cut a small piece of cardboard into a rectangular shape.

Glue a jar lid onto each of the ends and fold the cardboard in half.

Play the instrument by pressing together both ends of the folded cardboard.

Make Castanets With Walnuts

Gather some walnuts, a nail and strong thread for this project.

Open the walnuts and empty out the insides.

Take a small nail and tap a hole in the upper part of the walnuts.

Use thread to connect the shells together.


Be sure to assist small children with items such as glue guns, scissors or nails.

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