How to make a straw pan flute

Written by tatyana ivanov | 13/05/2017
How to make a straw pan flute
Traditional pan flutes can be made at home using drinking straws. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Pan flutes, or pan pipes, are ancient musical instruments that use a series of closed tubes to generate different musical pitches. Pan flutes are played by blowing across the open end of the tubes. The different pitch is determined by the length of the tube. Pan flutes can be made at home using thick straws and craft sticks. They can also be decorated with feathers to make a personalised and fun flute toy.

Measure and cut one straw to each of the following lengths: 17.5cm, 15.5cm, 13.5cm, 12.5cm, 11cm, 10cm, 9cm and 8.5cm. Cutting the straws to this length will allow you to play the correct pitch on each straw.

Place a small amount of modelling clay in the bottom of each of the straws so that air can't escape from the bottom.

Place the straws in a line, beginning with the longest straw and ending with the shortest straw. Line up the open ends of the straws so that they are in a straight line.

Coat a craft stick with glue, then press it to the line of straws just below the top of the straws. Allow this to dry, then attach another craft stick to the other side of the straw line in the same place as the stick you just attached. This will keep the straws in place while you play.

Attach another craft stick to the front and back of the flute using the same method, slightly below the first craft sticks you attached.

Things you need

  • Thick straws
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Modelling clay
  • 4 craft sticks
  • Glue

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