Create A Musical Instrument: Djembe

Create A Musical Instrument: Djembe

Posted by DecoArt on Apr 2nd 2020

Plastic containers and Americana® Multi-Surface Acrylics are the basis for this colorful djembe.


    • sandpaper
    • scissors
    • hot glue gun
    • any type of plastic containers, varying sizes and shapes
    • paintbrushes
    • string or yarn


    1. This project is based on a percussion instrument, called a Djembe, originally from West Africa. The Djembe is a goblet drum that typically has a hide-covered top and rope stretched along its sides. Djembe music is played whenever people gather during times of love, peace, mourning, and working.
    2. Instruction #1
    3. Gather materials including several plastic containers with lids in a variety of sizes and shapes.
    4. Instruction #2
    5. Using a hot glue gun, glue the smaller container to the bottom of the larger one to achieve a goblet shape. (See photo.)
    6. Instruction #3
    7. Lightly sand the surfaces of the plastic containers to ensure adhesion of paint.
    8. Instruction #4
    9. Paint the bottom container with a mix of Coffee Bean and Cotton Ball; paint loose to cover the surface with a light color brown. Let dry. Using African-painted homes as an inspiration, paint on a pattern with a small brush and Black Tie.
    10. Instruction #5
    11. Using as inspiration the Djembe in the provided example, draw on a design on the top larger container, using a pencil and circling the surface.
    12. Instruction #6
    13. Paint the lid of the container with a mix of Cotton Ball and Pumpkin Patch. Paint the pattern with Purple Sunset. Let dry and apply additional coats, as needed. (Let each coat dry in between so the paint will not pull up, resulting in smoother coverage.)
    14. Instruction #7
    15. Fill in more of the pattern with Dark Scarlet. Paint the outer andd inner areas of the design with a mixture of Apple Green, Canary, and Cotton Ball. (See photo for color placement.) Let dry completely and add second coats of each color.
    16. Instruction #8
    17. Outline the color blocked areas with Cotton Ball, Black Tie, and Blue Bird. Let lines dry and add a second coat of each color. Add Pumpkin Patch to the lid to make it more vibrant. Let all dry.
    18. Instruction #9
    19. After all paint is dry, unscrew the lid and tie string or yarn around the top of the drum. Tie a piece of string to the ring and wrap underneath the bottom for to the other side and tie off. Keep adding string until you get your desired look. (I added less than the inspiration drum to see the pattern better. We don't need as many on our drum because the string or yarn will not affect function.)
    20. Instruction #10


    Djembe Inspiration
    Pattern Inspiration