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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Korean Drum Craft

Korean Drum for Children's Day/ incultureparent

My kids love their sogo drums and love watching groups of Korean preschoolers perform onstage for their families using these user-friendly “lollipop” drums.

When we decided to run a sogo workshop for kids at the community cultural exchange on South street in Philadelphia, our first challenge was: how can we MAKE a sogo with kids that they can then play right away? One that is not dripping with paint?

We also wanted a low price point for materials. Oh, and we wanted the drums…to not be very loud. Loud enough to give the kids using them some immediate feedback, but not “UGH”-level loud. We thought everyone would appreciate that.

I think we came up with quite an excellent solution. When I made my exemplar drum, I began literally not knowing if I would finish or not. An hour later, I had made an entire drum, without leaving my kitchen for materials. It’s not gorgeous or elegant…but it gets the job done!

Oatmeal canister (42 oz!)
Clear packing tape
Masking tape
Colored “duck” tape
Drawing or construction paper
Marker to decorate drum head
A short length of drinking straw or organic stick
Disposable bamboo chopsticks
A little bit of yarn or tinsel for making a tassel


Take your 42 oz oatmeal canister and cut rounds about an inch wide. you can get a lot of drum frames out of one oatmeal container!

Take clear packing tape and encircle the entire drum “frame” with it. This first layer is the most difficult and the most important–you must maintain the round shape of the frame and not let the tape squeeze it out of shape. Loose is better than tight. You can make tighter layers later.

Next layer: masking tape. Cover it all–both “heads” and the edge.

After another layer of clear packing tape, you’ll want to make a small slit in what will be the “bottom” of the vertical drum head. Your handle will go here and it’s easier to make that little hole now.

Cut two four-inch rounds of paper–wrapping paper, coloring paper, construction paper. Your child can decorate these as they see fit. Affix them with a bit of tape on the backs of them, to each side of the drum. Take your colored duck tape and wrap it around the edge of the drum, leaving the slit opening for your handle.

To make your handle, wrap a set of disposable bamboo chopsticks in colored duck tape.

Insert handle. A little glue would not hurt.

Use smaller strips of your duck tape to further attach your handle to your drum head.

Now make a small hole directly opposite your handle, at the top of the drum. Insert a short length of drinking straw or even a little piece of stick, if you want a more organic look. Again, a little glue is fine.

Attach some tinsel or yarn to the straw/stick at the top of the drum for a tassel. Use another set of chopsticks wrapped in duck tape to make a stick for hitting your sogo.

And there you go–fast, cheap and out of control!

If you are looking for more Korean crafts, be sure to check out these:
Make some cool Lotus Lanterns

Make a traditional Sam Taeguk Fan

© 2012 – 2013, Amber Dorko Stopper. All rights reserved.

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Amber Dorko Stopper is a writer, knitter and mother in Philadelphia. She blogs at

Leave us a comment!

  1. CommentsLotus Lanterns for Wesak (Buddha Day) | InCultureParent   |  Thursday, 03 May 2012 at 2:23 pm

    […] Happy birthday, Buddha! If you are looking for another Asian-themed craft, here is a tutorial for how to make a sogo–a “lollipop”-shaped drum often used by children in Korea. Suggested links Wesak in Sri Lanka Korean Character Paper Luminaries (not only do you get […]

  2. Commentsthe holidaymaker | voluptuous stoicism   |  Thursday, 13 September 2012 at 3:51 pm

    […] KOREAN CHILDRENS’ DAY (may 5) […]

  3. CommentsInCultureParent | Korean Craft: Make a Traditional Sam Taeguk Fan   |  Sunday, 17 February 2013 at 5:04 pm

    […] Summer Olympics. To make your own Sam Taeguk Fan, you can follow these directions below. For more Korean crafts for kids, check out the end of this article! Materials: Paint (blue, yellow and red) Paintbrushes Popsicle […]

  4. CommentsInCultureParent | Korean Children’s Day: May 5   |  Sunday, 17 February 2013 at 6:05 pm

    […] but on varying dates. If you are looking for some Korean-themed crafts, check out these: Make a sogo drum–a “lollipop”-shaped drum often used by children in Korea Make a Lotus Lantern […]

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