My husband made play ouds as part of our Ramadan crafts, out of recycled cardboard because I was only able to bring one oud for our 3 girls from Morocco.
The oud (Arabic: عود) is a short-neck pear-shaped stringed instrument with 11 or 13 strings grouped in 5 or 6 courses. It is used predominantly in Western Asia/North Africa and very similar to modern lutes.
I walked by an oud stand at the Rabat souk, every day on my way to teach art and English at a local school. Honestly, I wanted to buy a large oud, but had no way to bring it on the airplane.
I settled on a smaller decorative oud, but when I got home, I could only give it to one of my daughters to hang in her room.
My husband went online and found instructions one how to make a cardboard play guitar and adjusted them for the oud. He made two of them, with different colored “strings” or rubber bands. He then presented them to our other daughters as Eid gifts today. My youngest daughter, who had received the decorative oud, helped him with the hot glue gun since he had never used one before.
Below are the steps he took to make these cardboard play ouds, in case you’d like to try your own.
- Large rubber bands
- Drill & bit that is the same size as the rubber bands
- Two small dowels
- Two paper clips
- Hot glue gun
- Recycled cardboard
- Glass (or other small round object for center hole)
- Decorative oud to trace
To make his cardboard oud, my husband started by tracing out the miniature oud on the cardboard and cutting out three shapes. Also make sure to cut out the circles in the center. My husband used a drinking glass from the kitchen to trace out small circle hole.
To make the back of the oud round, he also cut out four more shapes, without the neck, in descending sizes.
My daughter used the hot glue gun to attach two of the larger pieces together and then she set them aside to cool.
So that the bridge is not too high on the cardboard, my husband used the Xacto to cut out a notch the length of the red dowel. Directly below that cut, he made markings for the “stings” to go through.
He made sure to do the same thing to hold the bridge at the neck of the cardboard oud.
Next my daughter used the hot glue gun to attach the two red dowels. She pushed them each gently into the cut out notches, but not too far. Her father then used the drill to make four small holes that are big enough to fit the rubber bands.
Since the rubber bands will be pulling on the oud neck, my husband used the xacto to create four notches for them to fit into. This will help the “strings” stay in place.
Next we used the tip of the pencil to push the end of the rubber bands into the holes.
Once the rubber bands were through, we used a paper clip to secure them to the back side.
We used the hot glue on to hold down the paper clip, trying to be careful not to get any on the rubber bands since they could melt. We also added the other larger cardobard layers of the oud to hide the paper clips.
Make sure to hold down the cardboard while gluing to help give the oud more durablity while being handled by children.
Once the glue had dried, my husband turned the oud over to hot glue the smaller pieces to give the back a domed look.
Our play oud was done and ready to be enjoyed. Maybe we’ll make a few more and paint them this time.
Be sure to check out these other fun toys we have made in the past.
Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials