Create A Musical Instrument: Kissar

Create A Musical Instrument: Kissar

Posted by DecoArt on Apr 2nd 2020

Turn recycled materials and Americana® Multi-Surface Acrylics into a lyre from Africa.


    • scissors
    • hot glue gun
    • cardboard
    • X-Acto® knife
    • masking tape
    • napkin ring
    • branches
    • plastic bowls
    • string or yarn



    Let dry completely between painting and glueing steps.

    1. The Kissar is a lyre that has been used throughout Africa from ancient times through today. Traditionally, the Kissar would be made from all natural materials. It is played standing up in one's lap or turned on its side facing outward. I found an inspirational Kissar from the northern Africa for our decorative piece. (See attached photo.)
    2. Instruction #1
    3. Gather the materials. (For the body of the Kissar, I upcycled a take-out food container. For the arms and crossbar, I used branches.) Heat up the glue gun.
    4. Instruction #2
    5. With an X-Acto knife, cut a hole in the bowl shape to place the branches.
    6. Instruction #3
    7. Place the branches in a slight Y shape inside the bowl and glue in place. Glue another branch as the crossbar near the top. Trim the branches if needed.
    8. Instruction #4
    9. To create the decorative panel at the top of the Kissar, measure the distance between the sticks at the top and cut out a slightly curved piece of cardboard with or without a hole in the center. Add strips of masking tape for decoration.
    10. Instruction #5
    11. Glue the cardboard to the back of the sticks at the top. Cut out a circle of cardboard with two holes to fit the front of the bowl and glue to the front. Glue a piece of stick and a plastic ring to the front. (These are for the strings later.)
    12. Instruction #6
    13. Paint the surface design with Cotton Ball, Pumpkin Patch, Goldenrod, and Turf Green. Use bands of color around the branches and chevrons/diamond shapes on the front panel.
    14. Instruction #7
    15. Keep adding colors: Navy, Dark Scarlet, Turf Green, and a mix of Apple Green and Canary. Use painterly brush-strokes of Coffee Bean and Cotton Ball to give a wood look to the front panel. Allow the paint to dry and apply a second coat where needed.
    16. Instruction #8
    17. After paint is completely dry, measure, cut, and tie five to eight pieces of string or yarn to fit from the ring to the crossbar.
    18. Instruction #9


    Kissar Inspiration