Recycled Rain Stick Craft

Here’s a neat project that uses toothpicks and cardboard tubes to make a Recycled Rain Stick Craft! Just turn it upside down slowly to hear the ‘rain’ falling inside! This project can be used to stimulate interest in the rain forest and the culture of the people who live there.


A rainstick is an instrument that mimics the sound of rain. They are traditionally made from dead cactus tubes with cactus spines hammered to the inside and filled with tiny pebbles. Source: Climate Kids – Rainsticks and Folklore

  • Paper towel roll
  • Colored pencils, markers, or crayons
  • Tape
  • Construction paper scraps
  • Push pin or large guage needle **
  • Glue
  • Toothpicks (50+)
  • Scissors
  • Cutting pliers
  • 1-2 tablespoons dry rice

** Using pins or needles can be dangerous. Please have an adult do this step!**

  1. Use colored pencils, markers, crayons, etc. to color the paper towel roll.
  2.  Using the push pin or sewing needle, poke many holes throughout the tube. You may want to wiggle the pin out of each hole to make it large enough for a toothpick.
  3.  Push toothpicks through one hole and out another on the opposite side. Vary the angle and position of the toothpicks. When finished, you should not be able to see clearly through the tube. (Requires many toothpicks, we estimate 40-50 or more per tube).
  4.  Put a dab of glue on each toothpick end. Allow to dry.
  5.  Using the cutting pliers, snip the sharp ends from the toothpicks.
  6.  When the glue is dry, trace the ends of the tube onto scraps of paper.
  7.  Draw 4 ‘tabs’ coming out from the traced circle. Cut out circle with tabs.
  8.  Tape one circle to the bottom of the tube. Make sure to seal the end with tape. (Clear tape works best for us.)
  9.  Pour 1 tablespoon of rice into the tube.
  10.  Covering one end with your hand, slowly turn the tube over to hear the sound it will make.
  11.  Add more rice for more sound, or take some out – amount of rice depends on how you want it to sound!
  12. Cover the open end of the tube with the remaining paper circle, making sure to seal the end so the rice doesn’t come out.
  13.  Turn your ‘Rain Stick’ over gently to hear the sound of falling rain and enjoy!


4 thoughts on “Recycled Rain Stick Craft”

  1. Belly button says:

    Not great if you don’t have the right things!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hate websites like these!!!

    • Betty Bose says:

      Sorry you found these materials difficult to find. Every crafter has their own stock of materials on hand and we try to have enough variety to meet most needs. Many crafters will have these materials in their recycled materials craft box. What item did you have difficulty finding?

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