Recycled Instruments: A Fun and Sustainable Craft

Did you know that you can make instruments out of recycled materials? Items as wasteful as plastics can be transformed into playful instruments for one’s enjoyment.

Instruments ranging from guitars to drums can be made from materials that most consumers wouldn’t even think twice about. The reasoning behind making these creative instruments is to reuse harmful waste that would otherwise end up in the natural environment. For instance, many aquatic organisms find themselves trapped in plastic that humans use for their own convenience. Species such as turtles have been seen consuming a diet consisting of plastic bags, which can seriously damage their internal organs and ultimately result in death.

Turtles aren’t the only victims of plastic pollution. More and more species of animals have been adding plastics to their menu, including penguins and fish. With all of this in mind, instruments made out of recycled materials can divert harmful plastics and other pollutants from the natural environment towards an easy and fun craft! Two instruments that can be made from the comfort of your own home include drums and maracas.


Materials that you will need:

  • Plastic ice cream container with lid
  • Hole punch
  • Wide ribbon


  1. Use the hole punch to punch a hole on each side of the ice cream container (below the lid)
  2. Punch a hole on each side of the lid
  3. Position the lid close to the top of the ice cream container
  4. Thread the wide ribbon through the holes
  5. Shut the lid on the ice cream container
  6. Knot the ends of the wide ribbon


Materials that you will need:

  • Plastic water bottle with cap
  • A filler of your choosing (ex: beads, rice, etc…)


  1. Remove the cap from the plastic bottle
  2. Add filler
  3. Close and tighten the cap on top of the water bottle
  4. SHAKE!!!

It really is that simple! In a matter of minutes, you can create an instrument out of recycled materials. By doing so, you are actively protecting the environment while even enjoying some music. These instruments are beneficial to the environment as they mitigate plastic pollution and prevent some of the most vulnerable species from ingesting harmful materials.

There are countless other instruments that can be made out of recyclables including guitars, tambourines, xylophones, kazoos, and many more. Besides instruments, you can make many other do-it-yourself crafts in the comfort of your own home such as bird feeders, toys, and wind chimes to name a few. The opportunities are truly endless!

501(c)4 youth movement bridging the gap between non-climate groups & intersectional climate action.