African drum

What kid doesn’t love to bang a drum? Have fun making this traditional African instrument.

You'll Need

  • Large piece of construction paper
  • Coffee can with plastic lid
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Colorful yarn
  • Fabric, ideally animal print


45 minutes

By Susie McKee

Susie McKee is a mom, an artist and an art teacher. She has been teaching for 14 years and loves her current position as the K–5 Art Teacher at Nea Community Learning Center, a public charter school in Alameda, California. Susie is inspired by the art all around us and is always on the look out for new ideas to use in her projects at home and at school.

You and your child will have fun making this African drum craft. Put on some world music and let your little drummer bang away!


  1. Cut the paper to fit around your coffee can.
  2. Use your markers to decorate the paper with African patterns and animals. (You can find many examples of African drum art by doing an image search for 'African drums'.)

Assemble & decorate your African drum

  1. Glue or tape the paper around the coffee can.
  2. Place the lid of the coffee can on the fabric and cut a piece of fabric about 2 inches larger than the lid so it will hang down over the sides.
  3. Attach the lid to the can and rubber band the fabric over the lid.
  4. Wrap yarn around the fabric a few times to hide the rubber band and secure the fabric.
  5. As soon as the glue has dried, your African drum is ready to play! Use different sticks, pencils, even your hands to change the sound your drum makes.

Extension activities

Make coffee can drums of different sizes to hear their different sounds. Do larger drums sound lower or higher?

Research the endangered animals of Africa and include drawings of them on your drum.