Make a Paper Noisemaker for Purim – free printable PDF

Purim is a fun holiday filled with yummy food, spiels and noise – lots of noise! A *very* brief overview of Purim for those who are new to learning about the holiday: the story of Purim starts thousands of years ago in Persia when a man named Haman wanted his king to murder all of the Jews. A brave young woman named Queen Esther stood up for her Jewish people and ultimately saved the day. In modern times, we remember this event with the retelling of the Story of Esther once a year – typically in a form of a comedic play. During the play, whenever Haman’s name is said aloud, everyone in the audience is instructed to make noise to drown out the name, either by yelling or with groggers (noisemakers). In this tutorial, Cleo will show you how to make a beautiful noisemaker out of paper which is sure to become a favorite Purim activity. Happy Purim!

Erin – Creativebug Marketing Manager

DIY instructions for a noisemaker in the style of a grogger aren’t easy to find. The reason is that the mechanism is hard to make unless you are a woodcarver or metalworker. After tinkering with various things that I found around the house, I came up with this combo that is open to your own customization and artistic touch. Embellish the dove with your favorite craft: beads, collage, paint, or embroidery. Add some streamers or decorate the handle. I’m always a bit skeptical of instructions that call for “common household items” because not everyone has the same things in the house, so I’ll try to offer alternatives. But I encourage you to tinker. The Mod Podge can strengthen many weaknesses.


a flat lay of materials to make a noisemaker or grogger for Purim including a free paper template, freezer paper, cardstock, mod podge, clothespins, wire cutters, pliers, chopsticks, wire, and a hole punch
  • Printout the PDF bird art at 100% size (I used Epson Matte Brochure and Flyer paper to get crisp details)
  • File folder or similar weight cardstock
  • Wooden clothespins (if you are very handy with wire and you don’t have this kind of clothespin you might try two popsicle sticks wired together)
  • Scissors for cutting details in cardstock (you can use an X-acto knife if you prefer)
  • Heavy-duty holepunch for cardstock sized to fit the chopstick (can use X-acto or punch style)
  • 20 gauge wire
  • Tape
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Glue brush
  • Mod Podge
  • Round chopsticks or a wooden dowel sized to fit your holepunch (square chopsticks won’t work as well)
  • Plastic bread ties, playing cards, gift cards (something flexible and strong for the flapper that makes the noise – experiment with different sounds)
  • Freezer paper (Optional. I just like to tape it to the table for a non-stick surface.)

How to Make a Paper Noisemaker

a hand holding a paper Purim noisemaker shaped like a flying dove attached to a wooden dowel

1. Tape a piece of freezer paper to the table shiny-side-up. You don’t need to do this but it helps to avoid glue sticking everywhere.

2. Rough-cut around the birds and gears and glue them to the cardboard with the Mod Podge. Paint a layer on top of the printout if your ink is waterproof. Let dry.

2 paper cut-outs of a colorful dove and a strip of paper gears glued to the surface of a paper file folder with mod podge

3. Cut or punch the holes in the center of the gears BEFORE you cut out the notches. This way you can align your punch with the registration marks.

painted paper gears for a Purim noisemaker in blue and green on a white background

4. Cut out the gears on the black zigzag line. (If you are making several noisemakers you may want to use thicker cardboard for the gears, so you only have to cut out two) Stack all four gears and make sure the chopstick is going to fit through the holes. Sandwich and glue the gears together in a stack, lining up the notches. Make sure you have a flower on the outsides and don’t get glue on the print.  Pinch the stack together with the clothespins to let dry.

a close-up of two wooden clothespins clamping several layers of paper gears glued with Mod Podge to make a noisemaker for Purim

5. Slide the gear over the chopstick about one inch from the end. Thoroughly coat the gear all over with Mod Podge. Make sure it is not at an angle and let dry. It helps to set it on the edge of something so the gear isn’t touching anything.

close-up of a stack of paper glues being glued to a round wooden dowel or chopstick

6. Meanwhile, cut out the birds.

two colorful cut-outs that look like flying birds on a white background

7. Cut a piece of wire about 10 inches long. Wrap the wire around the chopstick on one side of the gear three times keeping it loose enough so the chopstick still spins. Thread the wire through the hole in the middle of the spring on the clothespin, then out the other side and back up to the chopstick. There should be just a tiny bit of clearance between the clothespin and the gear. Wrap the wire around the chopstick on the other side of the gear three times making sure it still spins.

two photos showing how to assemble a noisemaker mechanism with a wooden chopstick, wire, clothespin, and DIY paper gears

8. Secure the wires to the sides of the clothespin with more wire wrapped through the mouth of the clothespin.

close-up of a noisemaker mechanism with a wooden chopstick, wire, clothespin, and DIY paper gears

9. Insert the bread tie or a piece of playing card into the clothespin’s mouth. Make sure it is in the notches of the gear. It will likely spin one direction. Make adjustments, try different materials for different noises.

close-up of a noisemaker mechanism with a wooden chopstick, wire, clothespin, bread toe and DIY paper gears

10. Apply glue liberally to the top of the clothespin. Flip it over and press it onto the inside of a bird, making sure the head doesn’t interfere with the mechanism. Glue the other side of the clothespin and stack the next bird face-up. Put a weight on top until it dries.

a photo showing the backside of a paper bird and how to glue a DIY noisemaker mechanism to it
a small, flat leather weight on top of a bird-shaped paper noisemaker to weigh down the project while the glue dries

Now you can take your noisemaker out for a spin.

For more project ideas from Cleo, check out her Creativebug daily practice classes: Painting Repeat Patterns By Hand: A Daily Practice and Learn to Paint with Gouache: A Daily Practice in Questions and Answers. Cleo is a painter, author, and educator and you can see more of her art and art painting demos on her website and Patreon scarf club.