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How to Make a Tribal Rain Stick Part 1
That’s the sound of the rain forest. What we’re going to do now is create our own rain stick.
What you’re going to need for this project is some kind of a long tube that you have lying around the house; it can be a tube that a poster came in. This one I actually bought at the post office where you can pick up different kinds of containers to mail things. If you don’t have access to that, an old, you know, an empty paper towel roll, maybe two of them taped together will create the same kind of oval effect. I just want to be quite sturdy.
What I’m going to do first is they’re actually on here where there’s a line that forms a spiral that goes all the way around this tube and what I’m going to do is just take a pencil and draw a lien that goes round and round this tube, okay.
You’re also going to need a little container of rice, you’re going to need some nails, you’re going to need a hammer, some duct tape, some either postal wrapping paper that you used to wrap packages when you send them, you know, out of town or you can even use your brown paper bags from the grocery store. You’re also going to need some kind of a glue which could be, you could use your gloss medium or in this case, I’m going to use wallpaper paper paste that I’ve purchased at a hardware store and it’s already next in a container so all I have to do is pour it in to this little pan here.
Okay, now that I have the spiral drawn here; this is where I’m going to hammer all my nails, okay so. And you’re just going to start on you line here to go a little bit further down because the plastic top is thicker and you’re just going to push it through.
And you need to go about every quarter inch. What’s going to happen is that you’re going to have all these nails that are crisscrossing through this tube on the inside and then when you put the rice inside as the rice falls from end to the other, it hits all these nails and that’s what creates that, the sound of the rain forest, the rain stick.
What you want to make sure is that when you put the nails in, that, you know, they’re not going to be too long to be hidden to be flushed with the card board. But you also want it to go about ¾ of the way across the diameter of the tube because you want the rice to hit them, if they’re too short, the rice is going to, could possibly miss the nails.
And you really do want to keep them close to each other because it’s just intensifies the sound. You know, if you don’t put enough nails, you’re just not going to get that rain forest sound.
Okay, now you can see the spiral of nails that the rice has got to hit as it travels from one end of the tube to the other which is pretty neat.
So, the next thing we’re going to do is, I like to cover the nails a little bit because if you go ahead and you start putting the paper right over these little nail head, they tend to kind of tear the paper so I like to just take some duct tape or you can even use masking tape if you don’t have any duct tape.
And all I do is just cut some pieces and it just go over, my nails, like that. I’ve been told that the people who make these rain sticks often times use a cactus root and then they take the needles from the cactus and drive them through the, you know the stem of the cactus, very similar to what we’re trying to make here and then put little pebbles inside if they are to make the sound of the rain falling.
So you know, if you wanted to, you could put little tiny pieces of gravel in here but I think the rice works really well and I’m just taping over the ends here, oh wait, before I tape, I’ve got to make the rice in there, okay. This other rice won’t be able to get in there.
Now you don’t want to put a ton of rice in there; I usually put in maybe about a half cup and you just want to listen and see how long it lasts for and I’m going to go ahead and put in a little bit more.
Now we’re ready to put the brown paper on it. So what I’m going to do is, I told you I was going to use the wallpaper paste; people still use flour and water for paper mache work, I like wallpaper paste, some people have used liquid starch, let’s see what else. You can use water down glue, you can use your polymer medium, you know your gloss medium, there’s all different ways that you can do paper mache, the end result is basically the same. You’re putting little pieces of paper over something to give it some body and strength and the material you’re using is gluing all the pieces together and then creating an even finish.
So I’ve got some of the postal, the brown postal paper and I’m just going to tear pieces and I’m going to go ahead and dip it in here and I’ll use my hands. And as I dip the pieces in here, you’ll notice I’m kind of squeeging them along the edge of the container and then placing them down here. Eventually you’re going to get some of the wallpaper paste on your own hands and that’s what you’ll use to smooth over the top of each piece that you’ve placed on here and basically what you want to do is get a whole rain stick covered.
Now you want to make certain that your covering the ends also and the goal here is to make this look like that cactus root or cactus stem.
So, I’m going to take some raffia out and tie a little knot at the end so I have something to hot glue to the rain stick, okay.
I’m going to do my knot in the end again. And we could stop here or we could go ahead and maybe take a little bit more raffia and tie a real long one and maybe on this side and then hang some beads from it so we’ll have some extra sounds going on here so. Let’s see, we can just thread this through and tie some knots and I’m just going to put a little bit of glue on here so that it will hold the bead in place.
I saw in here that I had some bells and you can even put, you know if you had some little jingle bells left over from some holiday project, you could certainly use bells then you’d have the kind of raining sound and bells going on.
And then I’m going to go ahead and glue this right in there and there we have our rain stick. It probably needs a little hair cut, okay.