DIY Christmas Presents (Part One – A Music Maker)

Every year at Christmas-time I make my extended family a food gift basket for Christmas. It usually involves a few biscuits, some jam, some rumless rum balls (I definitely need a new name for those) and something chocolatey.

It started as a protest against my extended family’s move from having everyone give everyone else gifts to a Kris Kringle system. My main objection to this was that it didn’t solve the problem of people getting gifts they didn’t like – they just got (potentially) one expensive disliked gift rather than a few small disliked gifts.

I was on a mission to prove that you could give a number of small gifts that were, on the whole, appreciated, without spending a fortune.

In light of that, this year I’ve decided to see if I can make a series of Christmas gifts this year for Miss T.

First on the list was one of these cool jingly bell music makers that float around:


With this in mind, I purchased a length of dowel (I have a few other plans for that length of dowel, too, so stay tuned!).

Length of Dowel


It’s 1.2m in length, so it should last me for the other things I want to do, and set me back about $6.80.

I had originally planned on painting it – oddly enough in rainbow colours, though I hadn’t seen the picture that I posted before when I planned that. I decided against it, partly because buying that much paint was going to make this the most expensive music maker ever seen, and partly because I found this cool coloured foil sticky tape.

I sawed a length of the dowel off (rather randomly, there was no measuring) and was mildly distressed to realise that I’m no master sawer! If I had an electric saw I’d do other cuts with that, but I suspect I’m going to be left with a hacksaw for future projects also.

Nonetheless, after a quick go-over with some sandpaper, you could barely tell where I’d jagged edged it.

Then I wrapped the coloured foil tape around it. I just eyeballed this, randomly starting with the red in the middle. Turns out it was a pretty good guess as the colours go almost exactly to each end! It was probably only about 5mm out.

Then I screwed the eyescrews in by hand. Not as hard as it sounds!

Part Two Music Maker

Looks pretty snazzy, even if I do say so myself!

Lastly I had to unscrew each of the eyescrews, pull them apart slightly with pliers, and attach a jingly bell. I could have attached the jingly bell before screwing them in for the first time, but they’re a bit fiddly to screw with something else attached, so I’m glad I did it this way.

And voila!

Finished Music Maker

The finished product! It sounds just like a real music maker, too!

The sticky tape set me back another $2, as did the jingly bells to go on it, and another $1.80 for the screw eyes I used to attach the bells. All in all, the whole thing probably cost about $8, and although I have enough dowel, tape and bells to make at least one more, I would have to buy another packet of screw eyes.

I think Miss T is going to be a very lucky girl this Christmas. Now here’s hoping the other projects are as easy!

Do you make your own Christmas presents? Were there any that were flops? Or huge successes? I’d love to hear!


4 thoughts on “DIY Christmas Presents (Part One – A Music Maker)

  1. Pingback: DIY Christmas Present – (Part Three – DIY Christmas Sensory Box) | on the ning nang nong

  2. Pingback: {DIY} Christmas Gifts – Story Stones | on the ning nang nong

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