How to: Make a Musical Maraca at Home

On June 6 and 7, almost 6,000 visitors attended Jazz n’ Families Fun Days, the Phillips’s annual family festival in partnership with DC Jazz Festival. Families decorated maracas, listened to live jazz music, played instruments, and joined gallery tours. In preparation for this big event, Phillips Education staff spent the last couple months collecting thousands of water bottles and toilet-paper rolls for the Family Fun art project – musical maracas! Check out these before and after photographs showing the innovative and creative ways visitors transformed recyclable materials into instruments that were as artistic as they were musical.

Before:

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View from above the mass of recycled water bottles during preparation for Jazz n’ Families Fun Days. Photo: Hayley Prihoda

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The expansive assortment of recyclable goods collected by the staff. Photo: Hayley Prihoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After:

Young visitors showing off their wonderful creations! Photo credit: Joshua Navarro

Young visitors showing off their wonderful creations. Photo: Joshua Navarro

Visitors of all ages enjoyed creating their musical maracas in our art studio. Photo credit: Joshua Navarro

Visitors of all ages enjoyed creating their musical maracas in our art studio. Photo: Joshua Navarro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can make a musical maraca at home with your family! This project is fun, engaging, and accessible for all ages.

Select your favorite color beads for your maraca! Photo: Joshua Navarro

Select your favorite color beads for your maraca. Photo: Joshua Navarro

 

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Toilet paper rolls or water bottles (you can use both, or one or the other)
  • Beads or any dried food in your kitchen pantry, such as beans, pasta, or rice.
  • Decorative materials (colorful duct tape, tissue paper, scrapbook paper, pipe-cleaners, etc.)

SUGGESTED AGE:

  • 4 and up (possible for younger ages with adult supervision)

TIME FRAME: 

  • 30 minutes – 1 hour

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO BUILD A MARACA:

There are two easy ways to construct your musical maraca.

Option 1

Step 1: Clean, rinse and dry plastic water bottle. Any size bottle will work!

Step 2: Select beads or dried food for the inside (beads/food may be visible so think about the colors you want to choose)

Step 3: Pour beads/dried food into the water bottle

  • Tip: Use a piece of paper as a funnel to make this process easier and cleaner
  • Tip: Fill up halfway to allow room for beads to shake

Step 4: Close water bottle cap

Step 5: Decorate the outside of your maraca!

To further extend your project, create two maracas and attach a toilet paper roll in between to form a handle. Duct tape is recommended.

(Option 1 examples) Two decorative water bottle maracas. Photo: Hayley Prihoda

(Option 1 examples) Photo: Hayley Prihoda

A large maraca with a toilet paper handle. Photo: Hayley Prihoda

(Option 1 extended example) Photo: Hayley Prihoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Option 2 examples) A triangular maraca made out of a toilet paper roll (on left) and a rain stick made out of a paper towel roll (on right). Photo: Hayley Prihoda

(Option 2 examples) A triangular maraca made out of a toilet paper roll (on left) and a rain stick made out of a paper towel roll (on right). Photo: Hayley Prihoda

Option 2

Step 1: Select a toilet paper roll or paper towel roll

  • Tip: A toilet paper roll will create a hand-held maraca; a paper towel roll will create a rain stick

Step 2: Pinch one end together and seal by stapling

Step 3:  Pour beads/dried food into the tube

Step 4: Close other end with staples

  • Tip: You can either pinch the edges together in the same direction as the other end or in the opposite direction to create a triangle shape (see photograph below)

Step 5: Decorate the outside of your maraca!

 

 

Re-purposing materials is a great way to save money, think creatively and reduce waste! Here are a few more ideas for reusing your recyclable goods this summer:

Check back soon as we begin our Phillips-at-Home Summer Series, bringing our collection to you through art-making activities inspired by our artworks!

Hayley Prihoda, K12 Education Intern 

 

  

Strictly Painting Is Anything But

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Guests enjoy the opening of Strictly Painting. Photo by Catherine Day

This year I was invited to jury the Strictly Painting 10 biannual that McLean Project for the Arts initiated 10 years ago, showcasing selected works by artists from a broader Washington Metropolitan area. The exhibition, on view through August 1, is anyhting but “strictly painting,” diverse in media, subject matters, and aesthetic approaches.

There is a lot going on in the DC-area art scene and this especially lively opening only confirmed it.

Vesela Sretenovic, Phillips Senior Curator

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Phillips Contemporaries members Todd Galaida, Laura Deming, and Carl Bedell attend the opening with Phillips Curator and Strictly Painting 10 exhibition juror Vesela Sretenovic.

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Winning artists Shante Bullock (left) and Lilianne Milgrom (right) with exhibition juror Vesela Sretenovic. Photos by Catherine Day

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Guests enjoy the opening of Strictly Painting. Photo by Catherine Day