Are you a fan of the kalimba, the African musical instrument with metal keys on a wooden soundboard? If yes? Then this is your chance to make a kalimba for yourself. Some people thought it was impossible to make a kalimba at home, with this DIY guide, you will learn through several methods how you can make a kalimba for your entertainment.
In this article, you will find 25 different ways to make a DIY kalimba. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
1. How To Make A Simple Kalimba
Welcome to the first DIy guide on how to make a kalimba. All you need for this project are a few supplies like a wooden box, some aluminum extrusion, popsicle sticks, nuts, and a few other tools. It’s simple and easy to build, and it’s quite durable.
2. DIY Kalimba
This is the guide you have been waiting for. Today, you’ll be making two kinds of kalimba, one from epoxy resin, and one from wood. Most of the guides on this DIY list are made from wood, so this epoxy resin build is a good start, don’t you think? Check the video guide link to learn more.
3. How To Make A Kalimba With Coconut
Ever tried out a coconut shell for a kalimba? Here is a guide with the how-to preparation. Although, you’ll need a wooden board for the base. Check the video guide for more info on that.
4. How To Make A Kalimba With Wooded Springs
It’s safe to make a kalimba with wooden springs, and the creator of this video guide is going to show you in a few easy steps how it’s made. This is an average woodworking project that requires essential woodworking tools and materials.
5. How To Make A Kalimba Thumb Piano
This is a kalimba thumb piano that you can make with ease. It’s small, portable, and also has a fantastic sound production. The materials you’ll need for this project are; some thin plywood, brass rod stock, wooden board, spring steel strip, screws, threaded inserts, walnut hardboard, and a few more materials. For the tools, you’ll need a lathe, paintbrush, and other woodworking tools.
6. The Minty Kalimba
Here is another exciting kalimba, which is made out of steel. Firstly, you’ll need an Altoids tin, steel bar, brass tubes, a broken rake, and the rest. This project takes six easy-going steps, and it’s also super cheap and effective. It’s also super portable.
7. DIY Krazy Kalimba
With eight comprehensive steps, you’ll be able to beat your chest and say that you made a fantastic Krazy kalimba with your hands and a few woodworking tools. For the making process, you’ll need an empty cigar box of about 6.5cm high, 18cm long, and 15cm wide, pliers, pencils, utility knife, popsicle sticks, clamps, and a few woodworking tools and materials.
8. DIY Recycled Kalimba
Why don’t you try out this recycled kalimba guide? It’s small, portable, and easy to make from scratch. If you have a small cigar box, some pieces of wood, and skewers, you’re ready to go. The rest of the materials and tools are pretty easy to come by.
9. How To Make A Thumb Piano
In making a kalimba, the instrument’s body is one of the essential parts and should be taken seriously. How it’s designed can affect the sound of the entire kalimba. You also need to focus on the materials used for the keys. Check the video guide to learn more. This project is pretty easy to follow.
10. DIY Coconut Kalimba
I know this looks weird, but it’s going to be fun making a kalimba with some coconuts. First, you’ll need coconut shells, a brass grounding bar, sheets of plywood, the spring steel from car windshield wipers, brass threaded knurled inserts nuts, 2mm rods, and mahogany.
11.; Homemade Kalimba
This is a sizeable homemade kalimba for professional kalimba players. An experienced woodworker made this kalimba. The making process and materials used are quite complex unless you skip some designs and go straight to the body and keys built.
12. DIY Electric Kalimba
Here is another electric kalimba that you can make at a cheap rate, which is still as effective as the average traditional kalimba you know and love. This video guide is simple; just follow the creator’s building steps as the video progresses.
13. DIY Popsicle Stick Kalimba
This is a kalimba that you can make with just three simple materials: some popsicles, sticks, lots of screws, and a wooden board. The setup process is quick and easy to follow. This is the cheapest and one of the coolest kalimbas on this DIY guide.
14. DIY Trash Kalimba
The creator of this guide made over seven kalimbas with trash and waste materials that should have been thrown out and neglected. He used those materials to produce well-organized kalimbas for you to have a pick of which kalimba you would love to remodel. He used wood, some pieces of metals, bottle tops, and lots more for some kalimbas.
15. Electric Cigar Box Kalimba
This is an electric cigar box, and it’s the perfect fit for this project and what the creator was looking for. Before you proceed into the nine easy steps in this guide, you’ll first have to gather a few materials. You’ll need a cigar box, a metal clothes hanger, metal tubing, spring steel stips, piezo pickup, and a few more.
16. DIY Pocket Kalimba With Bobby Pins
This is the smallest kalimba on this guide so far. This is by far more portable than any other portable kalimba on this guide. This can fit into your pocket, and you carry it wherever you want. The creator used jumbo bobby pins, screws, nuts, a thick neodymium magnet, and lots more.
17. DIY 34 Key Double Layer Kalimba
Take a closer look at this video guide; you might want to consider hitting that link to check it out; you should. This is a 34-key double-layer kalimba. You don’t see this kind of kalimba with these many keys around often. So it’s essential to make one yourself.
18. How To Make An Electric Kalimba
Have you ever tried out an electric kalimba before? Here’s your chance. With this guide, you’ll give your first shot at an electric kalimba and see how that goes. Here are the tools and materials you’ll need; a metal electrical casting, solder, grounding bar, jack socket, hairpins, double-sided tape, soldering iron, a sharpie, a drill, and lots more.
19. DIY Kalimba
This is a small kalimba; it’s beautiful and easy to play. You’ll be using your thumbs to play it; it has two tiny holes at the back of the body and one large hole at the front where the keys are. You’ll need some cardboard, a large box, glue, tape, hair puns, and a few other supplies.
20. DIY Chromatic Kalimba
Have you tried out a kalimba with 17 keys? Here today, in this guide, you’ll be giving that a try. It’s pretty easy to make if you follow the creator’s making process carefully. This is a chromatic kalimba with a difference.
21. DIY Magnetic Kalimba
Are you ready for this magnetic kalimba instrument? It’s pretty easy to make with the suitable materials and tools at your disposal. This kalimba is way bigger than most of the ones on this DIY guide, but you’ll complete the making process in just three simple steps. First, you’ll start by tuning the times; next. Building your soundbox, and finally the bridges and magnet.
22. How To Make A Thumb Piano
This is a thumb kalimba made from wood and a few metal pieces. The tools needed for this project are simple woodworking tools and a few other materials. This is called thumb kalimba because the keys are easily played and reached with your thumb finger due to how small the instrument is.
23. DIY Kalimba
Here is an incredible new idea in making a kalimba; this idea has not even been tried out yet. All you need is an empty 5L beer drum and a sharp tool to make cuts and designs with. The walls of this drum are pretty thin, so it’s super easy for whichever device you’ll be using to quickly penetrate and cut the drum walls into the desired shape or design.
24. Homemade Kalimba
It might shock you to know that this particular kalimba instrument was made by a 14-year-old, which shows how super easy it is to snake by anyone else. The materials are cheap and easy to come by. The keys are made from the blades of a recycled band saw, while the base and body are made from solid oak wood.
25. DIY Popsicle Stick Kalimba
This should be the most remarkable and most straightforward kalimba ever made. All you need for this project are flat popsicle sticks, a hot glue gun, a cutter, and you’re good to go. The creator started by arranging the popsicles to make the base for the kalimba keys, then used the knife to trim the other sticks into smaller bits for the keys and glue them all together with a hot glue gun. This kalimba is small, made of wood, cheap, and easy to build.
All the materials and tools you have seen in the DIY kalimba guides above are all that you can use to make a kalimba instrument with ease. If, from one of these guides, you have a better and more preferable method and mode of materials to use, feel free to implement and make yourself an outstanding kalimba now. Thanks for viewing this post.