Lincoln Log Xylophone

Lincoln Log Hack Xylophone

When I was a little kid I discovered the most amazing collection of Lincoln Logs in my grandparent’s attic. Did you know Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright’s grandson? I love that you can build very realistic miniature log houses. My discovery also cemented for me the idea that more is more with build sets! Which is why I bought the biggest all-wood set of Lincoln Logs I could find. I couldn’t find our exact set which has 300 pieces but here is an 86 piece all wood set  that comes in a collectible tin which you could add to. I also probably bought them for my kids when they were too young since we have had them for years and they are only starting to play with them now. This weekend they built the most amazing outpost on their bedroom play rug.

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I couldn’t help but notice the musical tones the logs and roof slat made as I was putting them away, the morning after I accidentally trampled the outpost while grabbing something from the kids’ dark room. I put them away since it was the least I could do after destroying it plus they both were sick with a stomach bug.

That and my daughter’s very cool, crafty rubber band guitar she recently made for a school project inspired me to make this easy DIY xylophone. Is it in tune? No, but who cares! Want to make one too?

What you’ll need… 

I used the two largest logs and the two different sized roof slats for a total of four tone bars (the larger pieces have the nicest tone). For the box I used a small USPS flat-rate box I happen to have laying around. You also need four rubber bands, two more logs for sticks, and something to decorate your instrument. I used Washy Tape which I can easily remove later when we are ready to return these logs to their canister.

Here’s how…

  1. Constructed your box then cut off the top with a craft knife leaving a small frame.
  2. Cover the cut edges with decorative tape.
  3. Wrap the 4 rubber bands around the box, 2 on each end.
  4. Twist the rubber bands on each end then insert the logs and slats in ascending tone order.
  5. Decorate 2 additional logs with the same decorative tape to use as sticks (because decorated instruments play more beautiful music, of course).

All done and time to tap, tap, tap away! Don’t have Lincoln Logs but still really want to make a xylophone? Check out this DIY Xylophone from wrapping paper tubes.

Do you have Lincoln Logs and do they get played with? Please share!



I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


    • The age recommendations usually have to do with safety vs actual age appropriateness anyways. If I bought things with choking hazards I just made sure to supervise then put them away when we were done.

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