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How to Make a Music Box with a Moving Ballerina

A dancing ballerina inside a musical box will likely fascinate any little girl.
music box image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com

For years, little girls have grown up with musical boxes that have a dancing doll inside. They often watch with fascination as the tiny figure pirouettes when the box is opened. Originally made from cardboard, these boxes can be made in wood or ceramic and decorated using paints or fabric. They also make gifts that are easy to personalize.

Sand a wooden box with sandpaper and apply a coat of wood sealer. Allow the sealer to dry completely.

Mark a point on the outside of the box to drill a hole where the musical mechanism will be inserted. Mark a similar point inside the box where the turntable will be fixed. Drill these holes and glue the musical mechanism inside the box.

Attach the figurine to the turntable using a glue gun. Check the manufacturer's suggestions for drying time because you might have to hold the two items together for a few minutes. Wind the turntable onto the key extender. Wind the key extender onto the key shaft.

Conceal the mechanism with fabric or colored plastic, making sure that it is free from obstruction. Use clear plastic if you want the mechanism to be seen. Center the key around the hole on the outside of the box and center the turntable around the hole inside the box.

Things You'll Need:

  • Box with hinged lid and thick walls
  • Small doll
  • Mechanical or electronic music-playing device
  • Electric drill
  • Decorating supplies
  • Glue gun
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Wood sealer (optional)


Line the inside of the box with satin or velvet to make it look more luxurious.

Glue a small oval mirror behind the figurine to make the dancing doll look more magical.

Reflect the user's personality when decorating the box. Fabric, paint and glitter are some of the popular materials to use. Use rhinestones for embellishment.


  • Use such protective gear as gloves and eye wear when using the drill or glue gun. Children attempting this project must always do so under adult supervision.
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