Our team here at the Mobile Music School believe that the music-making process should be full of fun and creativity. We have found that making homemade instruments is not only an affordable alternative, but also a wonderful way for children to explore musical sounds and rhythms by using their imagination.

Homemade projects like these can benefit the whole family. What better way to recycle household materials than to craft them into your own shoebox violin! These instruments are as fun to make as they are to play, and offer endless entertainment for young musicians.


You will need:


-Packing tape

-Paint stir stickshoebox


-Elastic bands






Step 1:

With a knife, carefully cut a slit at the top of the short side of the shoebox, making sure it’s just about wide enough to fit the width of the paint stir stick.

Step 2:

Insert the stick into the box through the slit until it touches the bottom of the empty box. Use packing tape to secure the stick to the inside of the box so that it does not move.

Step 3:

Fill the box with newspaper before taping the lid tightly onto the box.

Step 4:

Paint and decorate the front, back, neck and body of the violin as you please.

Step 5:

Cut four elastic bands to make strings. One at a time, staple one end of the band to the neck of the violin and stretch the other end down to the body of the violin, securing it with a staple. To avoid any bands coming loose, add some extra staples to both ends.

Step 6:

To make the bow, cut out a piece of cardboard measuring approximately ½ inch x 1 ft. Draw some strings on your bow to complete your masterpiece.


Ta-da! You now have your very own homemade violin.



Crafting these instruments is a fun and inventive way to introduce children to the string family. Even without purchasing a real violin, children can learn all about its different parts and how to hold one. We have found that they act as a great demonstration tool when showing students how violinists move and pull the bow across the strings to make sound.


One of our popular music workshops, ‘String-Along’, focuses on integrating arts and crafts with music, from the NCCA curriculum, through the making of shoebox instruments. Each session involves an interactive demonstration, fun-based activities and musical games. These workshops are a great way to develop students’ understanding and knowledge of orchestra instruments, with a particular emphasis on the string family.


As well as music workshops and programmes, we also offer complementary lessons plans when you sign up to our website. To get a further insight into the structure and objectives of our lessons, as well as our child-centred approach, please submit your name and email address in the right side-bar to avail of these free plans.