Wind chimes have long been used as a holistic method of natural mind and body healing. The gentle music they create as the breeze flows through them can provide a feeling of tranquility in your patio, garden or balcony.
Making your own wind chimes is a fun DIY project that’s great to share with children. Best of all, you don’t need to shop for expensive items for your wind chimes; you can use items already in your house!
Basic Design: Wind Chimes
The most common style of wind chime has a center-mounted wind catcher surrounded by various sound-producing items (such as metal pipes). The wind catcher will also feature a “banger”, which is an object hanging in the center, banging into the surrounding items as the wind catcher moves in the breeze.
This is what causes the chime effect.
Finding Items for DIY Wind Chimes
Since most wind chimes are circular, find a colorful plastic lid you can use as the top of the wind chime. If you don’t have a colorful lid, you can paint any lid the color of your choice.
The best thing about a homemade wind chime is you can use practically anything to make it: old silverware, bells, old keys, small decorative rocks, marbles, seashells, or even sticks. Collect an assortment of items and choose the ones that work best together.
Preparing the Lid
Find the center of the lid and punch or drill a tiny hole through it. Slide a piece of string or nylon thread through the hole and tie it in a knot on the top side of the lid. Measure out the string to your desired length and cut it.
Make additional holes along the outside edges of the lid, one for each chime. Keep the distance between the chimes as even as possible, so the chime will be balanced.
Hanging the Center Banger
Attach your chosen banger at the center point on the center string. The banger needs to be hard and large enough to make a noise when it bangs into the surrounding chimes—but not so heavy the wind catcher below it is unable to move with the breeze. If you choose something circular—like a small rock—wrap the nylon thread or string around it and tie it in a knot. Now apply a layer of non-toxic glue over the string to hold it in place.
At the base of the center string, attach your wind catcher. This can be anything with a large, flat or curved surface to catch the wind, like a smaller plastic lid or a large spoon.
Hanging Your Homemade Wind Chimes
Drill or punch holes through the tops of the chimes and the wind catcher before you attach them to the string so they will hang evenly when the job is complete.
When you hang the chimes, make sure the string is the right length for the banger to hit them all. You can make some strings longer than others in order to give your wind chime a unique look, but remember it must be balanced in order to work properly. If you make one chime short, make the chime directly across from it short as well.
Finishing the Wind Chime
Punch two more holes in the lid, evenly spaced apart. Slide thread through one side and tie it in a knot on the bottom side of the lid. Measure out how much thread you want for your hanging loop and cut the thread. Slide the other end of the thread through the second hole and tie it in a knot on the bottom side of the lid as well.
Find a low tree branch or hanging eave where you can hang your homemade wind chime.
Now, sit back and listen to its soothing music.
This story was rewritten from an earlier version by Dave Donovan. It was published on realtor.com. See it here.