Building a Music Box

Music boxes were once one of the most popular ways to play songs for someone, right through the 18th and 19th centuries. However, by 1887, its days were numbered when the Gramophone was invented, allowing people to play a wide selection of songs on it, instead of just one. These days, the music box is relegated to being a nice gift for someone you care about, which can live on to play its music for many decades, without the need for electricity. These days, many people love to get musical gifts.

You can usually find a music box at any music shop, and many large department stores, but have you ever considered making a music box on your own?

In reality, they are not that hard to make when you have a basic understanding of the inner-workings of music boxes, and with some knowledge of music box movements, you will have no problem putting together a music box for someone you care about.

Don’t worry, it is actually not that hard and you may find it so easy and enjoyable, it could become a yearly hobby for you.

What You Need

First of all, you are going to need a small box, measuring about four inches by four inches by four inches. As well, make sure you have a music box mechanism that can be bought both online, and at a variety of stores, including some electronic shops.

The Music Box

The music box itself, is essentially the most important part of the device. Music boxes come in a variety of sizes, and are often square or rectangle, made from cardboard or wood. When you are making your music box, you can do so buy buying a small box that will work for what you want, ordering an empty music box, or even better, put one together yourself.

Don’t make it too large, only four by four by four, but make sure you can fit the music device in. Before you start thinking about making music boxes, buy the music device so you know it will fit in properly. If you are going to have a music box that plays when it opens, you will need to attach small hinges to the lid of the box.

The Music Device

When you have built one of the wide variety of music boxes that you can have, you will need to put in the music device. This can be mechanical or electronic and you also need to figure out what song you want to play when the person who plays it opens it.

You won’t have to program anything into it, and at most music supply stores you will be able to find the song that you want to play. For example, if it is for your wife or husband, why not have it play the first song you ever danced together, or choose the song you danced to at your wedding for the first dance.

No matter what you choose, you should be able to find it at a store or online.

Most of the music devices will have clear manufacturer instructions with them, and all you need to do is drill a hole in the bottom of your music box, which is where the stem will fit through, if you go for the method that you crank. If it is a push button or pin box, then you drill the hole in the side. If it is one that plays when it is opened, then the mechanisms will all be internal and you just need to follow the instructions of the manufacturer to make sure everything works together properly.

The Look

Naturally, you are going to want to camouflage some of the inner workings of the music box, and that means putting something over the music device in the box.

Generally, you can just put a piece of cardboard over the mechanism, or a thicker material. Perhaps on top put a picture of the two of you together, or maybe write in a special message that will remind them not only of the song, but of you.

As for the outside, you can repaint it if you want, or you can wrap it in a material or fabric that will give it a nice look.

Some home-craft shops sell small tiles that can be glued onto wood so that your music box has a nice, ceramic feel to it.


Music boxes are excellent gifts that many different people, especially those you care about, love to get. When you give them a gift of a music box, it serves as a reminder, for decades, of the special bond the two of you had.

In fact, the music of that box may last long into the future, centuries even.

When you put together a music box yourself, your are not only giving the recipient a special gift, you are giving them something that shows you care enough to take the time and energy to put it together.

Anyone can buy a music box, but it takes a special person to pick out the right song, build the box and put everything together for a person. That shows true love and friendship, and it is a gift the recipient will treasure for much of their lives.

It is easy to do, people love them and you can really shine with a well-made music box, so why are you not making music boxes yet? You may find that when you give a musical gift like music boxes, that you have developed a love for putting music boxes together and it could turn into something you do a lot more. It could end up being one of your favorite hobbies in fact.

Everyone loves music, everyone loves the gift of music and there isn’t a person on the planet who will not appreciate the gift you have given them when you take the time to put it together for them. Two centuries after they began to be mass produced, it is still a gift that warms the hearts of millions.

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Author Biography

Building a Music Box
By Mr Music Box
Mr Music Box as been involved in the music box industry for almost years.