Little Things :: Making Maracas

By Carrie Ryan
Making Maracas | Carrie Ryan for Camille Styles

Making Maracas | Carrie Ryan for Camille StylesMaking Maracas | Carrie Ryan for Camille Styles

Springtime in Austin always means sitting outside listening to live music. SXSW comes and goes like a whirlwind, but really, this city is always about those things and in the Spring we just get to enjoy them more often. In the spirit of our musical town and the upcoming Cinco de Mayo festivities, I thought I’d share a simple way to bring music to your house with your littles — and not just any music — the ever soothing soft shake of a maraca.

Making Maracas | Carrie Ryan for Camille Styles

I made these little shakers three ways. The first was with my style in mind; the second was with the addition of some little hands that wanted to help; and the third is just a crazy simple hack if you haven’t the faintest desire to make your own maraca.

Making Maracas | Carrie Ryan for Camille Styles

You’ll need:

  • balloons
  • a funnel
  • 6-8 inch dowel rods (or pre made handles)
  • hot glue
  • newsprint
  • paper mache (the ol’ flour and water always works best)
  • washi tape (note: not all washi tapes are created equal…buying a good quality tape will really help)
  • yarn
  • paint and easter eggs (optional)

How to make Maracas (my way):

  1. Fill balloons using funnel with rice, dried lentils or dried beans (or any combination of the sort!)
  2. Blow up balloon to desired size and tie in a knot.
  3. Hot glue dowel rod as handle to the end of the balloon.
  4. Begin the process of dipping newsprint into paper mache and smoothing over the balloon. Be careful to cover the balloon’s knot and handle fully.
  5. Wait until paper mache is dry and apply one or 2 more coats depending (this may take a day between each coat).
  6. Wrap handle and portion of maraca with washi tape — don’t worry about it being straight, as pattern will make it interesting.
  7. Use glue to mark lines on the part of the maraca that has no washi tape, and lay yarn directly on glue line (make one line of glue, lay one line of yarn, repeat…).
  8. Wait to dry and then, SHAKE.

When adding little hands, all the same steps apply…but you may just want to cover completely in washi tape OR let the kids paint at their will!

Final steps: 

  1. Fill an Easter egg with dried beans or rice
  2. Washi tape over the whole egg.
  3. SHAKE.

Making Maracas | Carrie Ryan for Camille StylesCarrie