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Craft Ideas For Kids - Bamboo Panpipes

One of our Conscious Craft colleagues is a musician at heart and was so thrilled when we finally launched our music range. She came over one afternoon to help us make our own real, working bamboo panpipes. It was amazingly simple and actually works. We've been making music ever since.

You will need - Thick bamboo (we got ours from the local garden shop), string, masking tape, sanding paper and a saw.

For this project, we needed 5 pipes. First, we calculated the lengths of the pipes from this site: http://www.panflutejedi.com/tube-lengths.html (you can convert the numbers to cm or mm for more precise measurements) or just use the number we've used.

Note A - 19.6cm, note B - 16.9cm, note C#- 14.5cm, note D - 13.6cm, note E-12cm, note F#10.6cm, note G#-9.2cm, note A'-8.67cm

1 - Measure from the blocked/covered bamboo nodes up and mark with pencil. The bottom of the panpipe should be closed, bamboo is perfect for this as it naturally has closed sections.

Bamboo panpipes - measure

2 - Cover your pencil mark with masking tape; this helps prevent the bamboo from splitting when cutting. Then cut using a saw.

Bamboo panpipes - masking tape

Bamboo panpipes - saw

3 - You will end up with 5 different length pieces - a blocked bottom on each.

Bamboo panpipes - cut pieces

4 - Using sanding paper, smooth down both ends of the pipes. We made sure the open ends are super smooth as we will blow this end of the flute.

Bamboo Panpipes - sanding

Bamboo Panpipes - smooth ends

5 - Connect the pipes together. We arranged them based on their size, making sure the open ends were in line. Hold between your legs to make it easy to weave the string. We cut a piece of string about 1-1.2 metres long, folded in half and twisted twice around one pipe, then made a knot next to the following bamboo stick, making sure it was tight. Then we repeated this step with all 4 remaining bamboo sticks.

Bamboo Panpipe - holding

Bamboo pipes - connecting

Bamboo Panpipes - putting together

Bamboo panpipes -

Bamboo Panpipes

bamboo panpipes - tie

Bamboo Panpipes

Bamboo panpipes stage 1 done

6 - Tie your last knot tightly and cut any extra string. Straighten the pipes.

Bamboo Panpipes

Craft ideas - bamboo panpipes

7 - Turn pipes upside down and repeat the process at the bottom.

Bamboo Panpipes - Bottom sectionPanpipes made from Bamboo

Sting and bamboo

8 - Make sure you push down the string so it's level with the node on smallest pipe. Carry on stringing the pipes until the last one.

Measuring Bamboo pipes

Final bamboo panpipes

9 - Cut excess string and you are ready to make music by blowing across the open holes.

Finished Pipes

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