Following along in the Legend of Zelda themed crafts, I have what I dare say is my favorite Zelda creation yet – the Spirit Flute from Spirit Tracks.
As you may be starting to notice from previous posts, our most recent Christmas was heavy on the Zelda gifts. My son actually wanted Santa to bring him an ocarina, the Spirit Flute, and a Toon Link plush or toy in a Zelda treasure chest and hide it somewhere in the house – like an Easter Basket. And because I don’t back away from a challenge (read: I’m insane) – I started researching everything to make this ridiculous idea a reality. I quickly discovered the Spirit Flute would need to be made and, thankfully, found this AMAZING tutorial.
Now the first thing I think should be mentioned is the 1/2 inch PVC pipe you’ll need to get from the hardware store. I know from previous home projects, PVC pipe comes in white and an off-white/almond color. I knew the almond colored pipe would give the perfect look for the Spirit Flute, but imagine my surprise when I’m standing in the hardware store and see the 1/2 inch white PVC is actually a different size than the 1/2 inch almond PVC. This is apparently because of their water temperature uses, but for my crafting purposes, this size difference mucked up the whole plan. I had to go with the white pipe like in the tutorial because this thing needed to make music, not just be a pretty prop.
The next issue with the PVC pipe is the printed information running down the length of it. Obviously, if you’re just throwing together a pan flute for funsies, it’s no big deal. But for this, I wanted it to look as nice as possible. What I came up with was a 2-step process. First, clean the pipe with a magic eraser damp with rubbing alcohol. Then, whatever print/markings left behind are sanded off with super fine (800 or 1000 grit) sandpaper. I gave it a final wipe down and got to the cutting. After the pieces were cut, I did a lot of power sanding to get everything down to the right size, level, and as smooth as possible.
Now for the paint. I literally sat down in the paint aisle at the craft store and compared and debated paints for a good 10-15 minutes. I ended up going with Martha Stewart paints – they seemed to match the picture I was using for comparison best. The easy part was painting the ends of the pipes before the end caps were glued on. The more complicated bit was figuring out how to secure the pipes together, but have separate colors for each pipe. What I came up with was securing the pipes together using embroidery floss, like in the tutorial, but I only used white. After I felt the thread sections were tall enough, I tied them off and then carefully painted the thread on each pipe the appropriate color. It worked quite well.
Now that I’ve covered the main assembly of the pan flute, we can talk about the decorative parts that turn the pan flute into the Spirit Flute. I made the wood piece from balsa wood. For me it was the easiest thing to cut/work with. I ended up being able to carve the design into the wood too, so it came out really nice. The hanging parts are easily made with embroidery floss and some wooden beads from the craft store. Add a large jump ring to them and you can easily attach them onto small screw eyes that can then be easily screwed into the balsa wood. I dabbed all knots and screws with a little bit of superglue to make them extra secure.
That’s it! It might seem like a lot, but it’s actually pretty easy. And! It really works, too! I think that might be why it’s my favorite… I’m super happy with how good it looks, but it’s even cooler because it’s actually a working musical instrument.