Homemade Musical Instruments – Colorful Plastic Shovel Shakers

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Closeup square feature image holding four musical bell shove shakers.

Make fun and adorable homemade musical instruments out of colorful plastic beach shovels.

I picked up a few plastic shovels at Dollar Tree and the supplies noted below to make these fun shakers with my kids.

They’re easy to make but require a little drilling and knotting by an adult but there’s plenty kids can do. My kids loved stringing the bells on and gluing down pom-poms and beads.

Please Note: This craft is made with small beads and bells and may be a choking hazard for little ones under six. 

Shovel Animals with Bells completed


  • Drill
  • Plastic shovels
  • Pom-poms
  • Bells
  • Craft glue (that adheres to plastic)
  • Colorful craft string
  • Plastic lacing cord
  • Beads
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie (black, fine tip)

How To Make Homemade Musical Instruments Using Beach Shovels

Musical Bell Shovel Shakers instructions photo
  1. All: Cut the top of the shovel with scissors to resemble the cat, frog, bear, or the cut-out for the dream catcher. The shovels we used came from the dollar store and were easily cut with sharp scissors. I recommend an adult do the cutting and use curved cuts, especially for the cat ears and the top of the dream catcher to blunt. If you are concerned that your cut-out is still too pointy, you can round more or add electrical tape (example: cat ears)
  2. Frog & Cat: Drill holes for the eyes.
  3. Frog & Cat: Loosely string 2 bells on for eyes using a plastic lacing cord.
  4. Frog: Use craft glue and glue 2 pom-poms where the eyes will be. Let the glue set a minute then secure the bells over the pom-poms by tying in the back.
  5. Frog: Draw a mouth and nose with a black, fine-tip Sharpie.
  6. Bear: Drill a hole in each ear.
  7. Bear: Tie a bell onto each ear using a plastic lacing cord.
  8. Bear: Glue 2 beads on for the eyes and 2 pom-poms for the nose.
  9. Dream Catcher: Drill 8 holes as shown.
  10. Dream Catcher: Weave plastic lacing cord with 4-5 bells and beads through the holes in a random pattern tying in the back.
  11. All: Finish by wrapping the handle with colorful craft string and tying 4-5 bells onto the handle (optional).
Shovel Shakers PIN1- Pinterest Pin to share.



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