Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Make Your Own Violin or Fiddle- A Craft Tutorial

What you will need: some cardboard, a wooden slat that is 18 inch x2 inches x 1 inch (you can also use a 18 x 1 x1/4 slat instead), brown paint, black marker or paint, 8-214 1/2 screw eyes, 4-14 screw eyes and fishing line (50, 30, 12 and 8 test) (you could also use 10 and 5 instead of 12 and 8).
Step 1: Cut a violin-shape out of a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 cardboard.
and out of a 3 x 5 inch piece of cardboard cut out a scroll pattern. Cut a notch the the center of the side it attaches to the violin the width of the slat you are using.
Step 2: Paint the cardboard pieces and the wooden slat brown.

Step 3: When the paint is dry, glue the slat to the body about one inch from the end of the end of the widest end of the body.

Step 4: Glue the scroll at the end of the slat with the scroll pointing up when the slat is down on the table.
Step 5: We put the screw eyes in next, but it would have been better if you used the marker to "paint" on the black first. The black areas are shown below if you are not sure.
Step 6: With the front of the body face-up, use 4 of the smaller screw along the edge of where you painted it black, piercing both the cardboard and into the wood. Screw the other 4 small screw eyes deep into the top of the neck. Place them in two rows with the 2 inner screw as the top of the neck and the 2 outer screws below them. Screw 2 large screw eyes into each side of the neck at the top, leaving about 1/4 of each screw out of the wood.
Step 7: Starting with the violin's neck pointing away from you, tie the thickest piece of fishing line to the screw eye at the far left of the tailpiece. Tie the other 3 pieces of fishing line, from thickest to thinnest, around the other 3 screw eyes of the tailpiece. Step 8: Pull the free end of each line, (called a string on the instrument) tightly around the base of the small screw eye in the neck and then wrap it around the nearest large screw several times. Thread it through the large eye and then tie it using several knots to hold it.

Step 9: Make a bridge by cutting an 1-inch x 1/2 inch rectangular piece out of cardboard.
Step 10: Slide the bridge under the strings near the f-holes (the s shaped scroll work on the body). Stand the bridge on end so that its 1/2 inch height tightens the strings.
Step 11: Gently tighten the large screw eyes to "tune" the strings. Now it is finished!
To play, hold the neck of the violin in your left hand and put the other end on your left shoulder with your chin resting on it. Use the fingers of your left hand to press the strings against the fingerboard, while plucking the strings pizzicato with your right hand.
before it.

Another simple instrument you can make is a set of pan pipes made from straws.


  1. Cool! My son loves anything to do with music. Maybe we will make one of these next week. He would love painting everything! What a great idea!

  2. Lovely craft to do with the kids. TFS

  3. Very creative. Would be cool to see/hear an action shot after you have the bow made - looks like it would be a lot of fun.

  4. What a great way to try out a new instrument for cheap. Stopping by from Craft School Sunday party - we're a homeschooling family too:)

  5. Just visiting from the Creative Jewish Mom link party .This is beautiful. I saw something similar in Kazakhstan at my daughter's orphanage. They made dombras the same way and I had forgotten. Now I will have to make one in March for my blog and the big Kazakh Nauryz party we are having.

    making toys from recycled items to save my sanity and the planet

  6. Lesley,
    Neat! If you make one, please link back and let me know. I would LOVE to see it!

  7. Hi Phyllis, thanks for another great project, I'll be featuring you again this week, hope to see you at the party! All the best, Sara

  8. What???? This is amazing! Does it really work? It never occurred to me to make my own fiddle! love, Beth

  9. Yes, it really does work, but keep in mind it is a toy. It does play different notes, it can be tuned, etc. My boys have played with it so much that I have had to remake the bridge. For kids it might be better to glue on the bridge, but it was made without glue-just the pressure of the strings to hold it because that is the way real fiddles are made. Otherwise it has held up fine.
    The boys learned a lot about how instruments, especially the violin/fiddle are made by watching this be done. They asked a lot of questions along the way.


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