Make some merry noise with castanets made out of cardboard or paper plate.
Castanets craft


  • Small paper plate or thick cardboard
  • Colored permanent markers or any water-based paint
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hole punch or pencil
  • Buttons, coins or metal washers
  • Elastic band or ribbon

Safety Tips

  • Keep the glue gun out of young children's reach.
  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help.. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.


Step 1 Castanets craft 1. The castanets can either be made from a paper plate or from thick cardboard.  If you are using cardboard, cut it to a size that more or less fits in your hand when folded. Mine is about 4 x 8 inches.
Step 2 Castanets craft 2. Fold the paper plate or cardboard in the middle. Crease lightly along the fold but do not crease too much. The castanet should maintain a certain spring when opening and closing it.

*if you're using a paper plate, proceed to Step 5.
Step 3 Castanets craft 3. Think of what shape, object or character that you want your castanet to look like. Try to think of something that is somewhat roundish or squarish in shape. You may perhaps want to make flower or seashell-shaped castanets or go with a favorite cartoon character. Draw an outline on the front panel of the cardboard. 
Step 4 Castanets craft Ask for an adult's help.4. While keeping the cardboard folded, cut along the outline. If the cardboard is too thick, you may (a) cut out the design on the front panel first; (b) keep the cardboard folded and trace the outline onto the back panel of the cardboard; (c.) then cut out the back panel.
Step 5 Castanets craft Ask for an adult's help.5. If you're using a paper plate or if your cardboard castanet is a lot larger than your palm, it is best to attach a pair of straps for an easy grip.  While keeping the paper plate or cardboard folded, punch 2 pairs of holes about an inch from the folded edge. If the cardboard is too thick for a hole punch, you may use the point of a pencil to carefully poke holes.
Step 6a Castanets craft 6. Draw any design that you like using a black permanent marker or a black crayon. You can go with more spontaneous or abstract patterns or draw something that goes with your current lesson or theme. You may also draw with the paper plate folded or spread open, whichever you prefer. 
Step 6b Castanets craft If you chose to make an image or character, draw the details with a permanent marker.
Step 7 Castanets craft 7. Color the entire castanet using permanent markers or any water-based paint.
Step 8 Castanets craft 8. As an option, you can paint the flip side of the castanet as well. Allow the paint to dry.
Step 9 Castanets craft 9. If you want to attach straps, cut a pair of approximately 8-inch long elastic bands or ribbons. Take one elastic band or ribbon and insert the ends into the pair of holes in one side of the castanet.  Knot the ends from the inside making sure that the knot is bigger than the hole.  When using a ribbon, you can tie the ends of the ribbon together instead of knotting each end.
Step 10 Castanets craft 10. Attach the second elastic band or ribbon.
Step 11 Castanets craft 11. Try holding the castanets with your thumb in one strap and the four other fingers in the opposite strap. Open and close the castanets and see how well the straps fit. Adjust the length of the straps to achieve a comfortable fit.
Step 12 Castanets craft Ask for an adult's help.12. Use hot glue gun to attach 2 or more pairs of buttons, coins or metal washers along the inner edges of the castanets. The coins or buttons should be opposite each other so that when the two sides of the castanet are clapped together, they produce a nice clicking sound.
Step 13 Castanets craft 13. To use the castanet, simply hold it with your hand and clap the two sides of the castanet together to make some merry noise.
Step 13 Castanets craft Small castanets do not necessarily need straps. Make a pair of them to play and perform like a real Spanish dancer!