Door Harps

What is a door harp?

Door harps were originally Scandinavian. But most of those I've seen have nothing to do with N. Europe.

Door harps are based on a 300 year old traditional Scandinavian instrument. It was (and is) used to welcome friends and family into your home with a soft melody. Hung on the inside of your entrance door, the harp chimes from the motion of the door opening and closing.

The above door harp was made with a pink mirror in front of the back. It doesn't show up much in the photo, but is very apparent in many lighting situations. None:  the leaf shape, the scrolled flower in the center, nor the mirror are part of traditional door harp design. This is one I designed. 

Door harps are perfect housewarming, wedding or anniversary gifts.
The 7-string harp on the left was done for my grandson's wedding, which was on 7-7-07.
I'll make a door harp for you using your design ideas. If you wish, I'll send the specs that would be used. If you like the idea of a door harp email me at:

Or by writing to: Bob Betting, 5 S. Allison St., Lakewood, CO 80226

The following 2 harps were made for a client as 1st and 2nd place prizes for a dog show. They featured portraits of her prized pets, which I drew from a photo. The outline of a harp may be almost any shape, but she specified that these be aspen leaves.  
Clapper balls can be hung in many ways depending on which strings are chosen for each ball to strike. It can be a challenge to create an attractive clapper pattern that doesn't interfere with the face design of the harp.


The above door harp was done using pyrography (wood burning) for my design.
I created this door harp for an article for Creative Woodworks & Crafts magazine for their Nov. 2007 issue. They specified a fall theme and suggested using various leaves etc. I wasn't happy with the result as a pattern for a door harp, but they wanted to publish it anyway.
Some people like to tune the strings, but most do not. Either way, they have an attractive (and welcoming) sound. Your harp must be hung so the music strings are horizontal.
There are dozens of 'traditional' designs, several of which I have made. The following pictures show 3, but these aren't photos of my harps. They are shown to give you some inspiration for your own designs. 
Each door harp will be unique. Each can be personalized. The number of strings can vary from 3 to 9, depending on the size and shape of the harp. Each face design will be individualized for you and can include appliqés or overlays, such as in the last above picture. Your harp can be finished in several ways. It can be stained or a special wood veneer can be used on the face. The variation possibilities for you just don't end.
Therefore there's no way for me to be able to quote a fixed price. It can be $35 for a standard design with few strings. We do accept PayPal or a personal check. Unfortunately I can't predict a guaranteed finishing date until after we've agreed on the complete design either, because you may want some special wood veneer or overlay, which I'd have to order.
But I'm confident that you'll be very satisfied when your American door harp is all done for you. Please feel free to contact me so we can discuss your ideas or questions.
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