How to Make a Monolin at Home

 How to make a Monolin (single-stringed instrument) at home.

Items needed:   


  1. Measure your construction paper to fit around your milk carton.  Then take the paper and decorate it.  You could practice making steady beats on it with do-a-dot markers while listening to your favorite music. 
  1. Prep yard stick.  Take a saw and cut a small slit on both ends of the stick (about 1 ½ inches from each end) to make a notch that will hold the fishing line in step 4. 
  1. Cut your fishing line to the length of the yardstick plus 4 inches more. 
  1. Tie the fishing line around one end of the yardstick using the notch to secure the knot.  Wrap the line around several times before making the knot to ensure it will not slip off. 
  1. Grab your carton and box cutter.  Cut a vertical slit about 1 ½ inches on each side of the carton (opposite the spout) to slide the yardstick thru the body of the carton.  
  1. Once the yardstick is through both slits on your carton, pull the fishing line around the side of the carton and tie on the opposite end of the yardstick using the other notch to secure from step 2.   
  1. Take the fishing line and gently pull it to the top of the carton over the closed carton top. 
  1. You can now pluck the fishing line to make music on your monolin! ***HINT: The tighter you have tied the fishing line, the better the sound will be. 

Here are the parts you can find to your monolin…compare them to a string instrument you’ve looked at this semester! 

  1. The carton is the body. 
  1. The fishing line is the string.  “Mono” means one! 
  1. The closed carton top is the bridge. 
  1. Take off the screw top and you have a sound hole!  If your carton doesn’t have one, you can simply cut a small hole yourself with the box cutter. 
  1. The yardstick is the fingerboard. 
  1. The measurement markings on the yardstick can be your frets! 
  1. Pluck the fishing line on one side of the “bridge” and move a finger up and down the other side of the bridge to find different pitches! 
Published on Date: Oct 14, 2021
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