Make Your Own Rainstick

The gentle, soothing rain-like sound of beans falling through a rainstick is a wonderful meditation device, helping to calm us and bring us to a place of deep peace. And did you know that you can make your own rainstick for a fraction of the cost of a purchased one? You can, and the process is so much fun.

If youíre looking for an easy project that will help you to unwind, try this. You can make rainsticks with your children, too–and the results are beneficial for the whole family. (When Caitís son was small, his grade school class spent an afternoon making and using their own rainsticks. Everybody had a blast!) Here are the easy directions:

For each rainstick, you will need:

A heavy cardboard mailing tube with two end pieces
One pound of nails, the same length as the diameter of the tube.
1 to 2 cups of different-sized dried beans and/or raw rice
A hammer
Glue or tape
Duct tape, contact paper, or other craft paper
paints and brushes (optional)

1. Hammer the nails all over the tube, as far as they will go. This is a great way to release pent-up end-of-winter frustration–and the cardboard tube should be sturdy enough to withstand it!) You can make an even pattern or do this in a random way, as you choose.

2. Glue or tape one of the ends in place. Pour beans into the open end.

3. Glue or tape the other end in place.

4. Cover the rainstick with duct tape or contact paper, or glue craft paper on it, to help keep the nails in place. You may want to paint or decorate your rainstick to personalize it.

5. To use your rainstick, simply hold it upright and allow the beans and rice to fall through the nails. Then turn the other end up and allow them to fall through the other way.

Inspired by Celebrating the Great Mother, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw (Inner Traditions, 1995).


Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago


Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

There's always something handy in life we can utilise

Kay M.
Kay M4 years ago

nut shells work nicely too.

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ
Sonia M4 years ago

Good idea.Thanks for sharing

Cameron Mclellan MBCS CIT
Cameron M9 years ago

Great Idea :)

Darlene Kolanowski

What a wonderful project to promote..I am working on mine right now...Many Thanks to you

shara c.
shara c9 years ago

wondeful idea, i had forgot about this rainstick we had made as kids,I love it will be my project as the rain is such a peaceful cleansing sound to hear...thanks

Aurelia G.
Aurelia G9 years ago

I will certainly be making a lot of these, not only to give as gifts, but also to decorate with during holidays - using paper towel rolls, and toilet tissue rolls, once they are empty :-) I will decorate them with the small remnants of wrapping paper, small scraps of fabric, ribbon, etc.! For the ones I make for Christmas I will use lots of Red, Green and Gold on them and string them on a line to hang along with my lights, or just hook an ornament hook to a small piece of thread that I sew through one end of the tube, or glue to one end, so I can hang them on the light strand so the wind/breeze can create the sound of rain. I may even cut the toilet tissue rolls in half so they are smaller and make tree ornaments as well, just because they will look very nice, not because of the sound.

Thanks for such a wonderful idea!

Marcella A.
Marcella A9 years ago

ive done that before

melissa O.
melissa O9 years ago

could you do the same with a paper towel tube? not only are you making something awesome but recycling as well.