How To Make A Bodhran

Apr 26, 2016



What you will need (Buy bodhran making kit here)

16” Plain Bodhran Rim.

20” Goat Skin.

2 Dowels for cross bars.

14 Upholstery Studs.

1 Length of Webbing.

4 3.0x20 screws for securing cross bars.

1 Circle of 20mm elastic.

1 Beater.

You will also need;

Wood Glue. (Blue Bostik)

Masking tape


1. Sand rim to a smooth finish.

2. Cut dowels to length to fit middle of rim in X shape. This is to keep the integrity of the bodhran shape.

3. Fit dowels & secure with screws.

4. Before varnishing allow 20mm at front of rim to allow skin to be glued to raw timber, (as skin will not glue to varnish), this can be done by taping 20mm masking tape around outer top of rim

5. Varnish rim & cross bars and allow to dry & remove masking tape. It can be varnished with a natural finish or stained finish if required.

6. Soak skin for 30 minutes in cold water until soft and pliable and allow excess water to drain off.

7. Apply glue to bare timber at top of rim and smoothly draw skin over front. Secure with elastic. Make sure skin is taut over rim.

8. Cut off excise skin below elastic with scissors. Allow to dry overnight.

9. When dry remove elastic and fit webbing supplied with upholstery pins. These pins have to be cut shorter, approx. ¼” shorter, with pliers, so as not to protrude through the rim.

Your bodhran is now ready to play.

We hope you have many years of enjoyment with your new instrument!