Just One More Homemade Wind Chime

I am in “getting things done” mode lately… in anticipation of spending much time and energy in a few months on my double knee replacement surgery and recovery. As difficult as some things are for me physically now, I anticipate them being much more difficult in the eight to ten weeks following the surgeries. So, I’d like as many projects that I have planned and/or have the supplies to be completed before that time.

I love wind chimes. Of all types and styles, but mostly those that are unique, and those made of unique and/or recycled materials. I am always on the lookout for possible materials for chimes and have a large plastic tub in the garage filled with possibilities. Every once in a while, I find a combination of all supplies needed and I put one together.

Sometime ago, I picked up a box lid filled with chandelier prisms. I knew it would make a beautiful wind chime, in fact, there are so many, I expect to make several. But last night, while being bored, I actually made the base for one chime to use these prisms.

I then drilled holes to match the pattern below:Placement Holes ChimesThere isn’t really instructions, per se, but rather its a hit or miss process. I threaded a strong red crochet yarn in and out of each hole, threading through a single prism, and then used a small bead to secure it. All the way around the base, 12 prisms in all. Then, I returned to the same holes and threaded a small plastic teardrop in between each prism.

At this point, I turned to the hanging portion of the chime. I threaded the same crochet thread through the four inner holes (san the center one) and then ran it up together and tied a knot around a round ring. Then, using more of the plastic crystals, I fashioned a length of of these to make the “clanger” (I have never figured out what that is actually called!) and secured it through the middle hole and up to the same ring, tying several knots at the top.


Its tough trying to photograph this one handed when its dark!

If all of that sounds like a whole ‘lot of confusion, it sort of is! Like I said, this is a process of trial and error and after having created more than a few dozen, I have the process sort of down pat. But each one is always a little different from the last one, and on purpose. I love having each chime have its own personality!

There are several more to be made, and with the next one I will try to do a tutorial. If you have specific questions, please ask them in the comments and I will do my best to incorporate the answers into the tutorial.


Edit: Here is another photo of the chime taken during daylight hours with the help of my son. It almost isn’t better! It’s tough to take good photos of this for some reason:

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Wind Chimes Weather

I’ve been having some issues with keeping all of my computers and various storage devices in sync. Because I use my own computer for work and my work computer for home stuff, I have difficulty remember what is where.

So, this post is to fill in a gap now that I have found the photos of the remainder of my wind chime photos. I don’t know what it is about chimes, but I have always loved the sound, and even more so when they make a low ‘bonggg’ noise rather than tinkling sound. Although I love them too, I just love the larger ones more.

On the backside of my house, I have eves on the deck off the kitchen and then again above the deck off the master bedroom. They have – and always have and always will – be lined with chimes. I am fond of retrieving broken chimes – when the thread breaks and the pieces end up on the ground and make them into new ones. That’s the story behind this one (and you can read about the process here):


This past weekend, the daytime temperatures were perfect for having the backdoor open and the wind gently making its way through this vast amount of tubes. It was awesome!

So, here are some that I created with found and purchased pieces that also hang out there.

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This was was made as a result of finding those cute little bowling pins at a thrift store. I used a trackball ball as the “bowling ball”, I even drew on the little finger holes. The top is actually a coin bank found on eBay. It came together pretty well, but due to the close proximity of the pins to the ball, there isn’t much “twinkling”. But I love the look, since the bank is just like one that was my mothers when she was an avid bowler. The one I inherited is actually ceramic whereas the one used in the chimes is plastic.

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This one was based off one that my Dad had hanging off my parent’s front porch. Again, this one doesn’t make a lot of noise via wind, but where it ended up on the porch, it gets hit with the screen door each time is opened and makes a wonderful jingling! And even after hanging out there for months, it still startles me when I go out on the deck! Ha! But that is more than alright, it always makes me think of my Dad!

Colander Chime

I think that I had the pieces of this chimes back when I posted about them a few months ago, but didn’t have it put together. Not sure if I had the colanders either, and let me tell you, I LOVE the way this turned out. In case you can’t tell, those are egg beater blades, and a heavy duty beater from a KitchenAid mixer and the a red ceramic spoon rest (although someone told me that is a measuring spoon also). Again, this is all stuff stumbled onto during a thrifting session. This couldn’t have cost me $5 and just love this as well. The red ball should have been lower in order to have the hanging pieces strike it, but again, oh well! Looks good, don’t it?!

That gets me a little caught up. I have heard that it is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) but I missed the first day, but am going to try and be a little more responsive in getting posts written.

I hope you enjoy visiting! (Comments are nice too!)


Never Enough Time

Recently, I went back to work. Full time. With a commute. I lost, effectively, about 50 hours a week that I used to spend hunting down pieces to work on and actually working on them. And writing this blog. And once I’ve been off and used to sleeping enough and tailoring my days as I wanted. Weekends are now a blur of intent, planning and trying to have some sort of life.

I was able to finish a couple of things, and am madly trying to get this post done so that I can still have part of a weekend to relax. I am sure that my blogs will be, for a while anyway, a little more sparse. I will have The Kid help with a lot more this time around, but in the end it will be my inspiration and plan and execution, he will just help with the ‘heavy lifting’.

Beginning last summer, I have been collecting these little toy glockenspiels, ostensibly for the metal bars. I have seen them in a couple of places, keep your eyes peeled in the toy section of your favorite thrift stores.

il_fullxfull.315937278 Side note: While writing this piece, I kept referring to the toys as xylophones, but now know that they are called glockenspiels. Xylophones have wood bars to strike, while a glockenspiel has metal.

So, I had two that are in the shapes of alligators and one more traditional shaped. But I really just wanted them for the metal bars. I finally got around last week to making the chimes. It was pretty pretty easy to just brute force these apart, as it wasn’t really intended to come apart. I also kept the things you use to hit the bars with, they would become the clangers in the chimes.

The biggest hurdle I faced was what to use as the base of the chime. In one of our recent thrifting experiences, I ran across this thing, and to tell you the truth, I don’t know what it is or what it was used for. But one look at the pattern of holes and I knew it would work perfect for me.

Chime BaseFrom there is was just a matter of looping the string through. I used a nylon coated cord, I have found with other chimes, this seems to last the longest. I’ve been repairing chimes for as long as I can remember, lots of the ones that I have hanging along the eves were pricey, I mean upwards and over the hundred dollar mark. I love the long, wide tubes, as they ‘bong’ instead of ‘clink’… much like church organ pipes. So, when one breaks, I fix it. Recently, I used the tubes from about 6 or 7 chimes making one big one, and it is wonderful. If you want to see that post, go here.

Because I had a fair amount of the metal bars, I opted for a two tiered chime. The clangers are the actual clangers (what else would you call them?) just by drilling a hole in the top ball. It all came together very nicely.

Then I repaired these two chimes and rehung them. I am back to almost full eves on both sides, one by the master bedroom and the other by the kitchen. We’ve had our share of windy days lately and I love the music that plays.


DSCN2512I’ve been working on a toy box, in my signature ombré color style and had The Kid move it into the living room so that I could paint the circles while watching television. Close to being done, but here is a sneak peak.

DSCN2511Okay, I need to actually get some more projects finished, but I am seriously wanting to just kick back and put my feet up! Wonder if I can do both?


A Quick Chime Report

So, in closing yesterday’s post, I showed you the pieces I had ready for the next chime. I simply cannot be that close to a conclusion and not finish the project. So first thing this morning, I set up threading the chime.

Collander ChimesUsing an old colander as the base, I had also purchased a much smaller one. This originally was meant to be used in the American Girl dollhouse (you can see the post about it here), but the scale was a bit too large. And it was blue (the dollhouse kitchen was turquoise). So it was appropriated this morning for the wind chime (after being spray painted silver). Since most of the utensils that I was planning on using were silver or red (or both!), I thought that the two colanders being the same color workable.

As a side note, I just wanted to discuss painting. Painting in all forms is one of the easiest, quickest and least permanent ways of changing the look of just about anything and everything. A room or piece of furniture or frame or just about anything can be easily and usually inexpensive changed. And if you don’t like the new color or you’ve changed the decor of the room, it can be easily changed again. That said, use caution when applying paint: be sure to read instructions, follow cautions and use proper preparations. And always paint with with proper ventilation. End of lecture!

Using a larger red ball that was left from the disintegration of wind chimes past, I threaded into the silver colander. Then the larger red colander was threaded atop the small silver one. I was lucky with the length of string that I used and only had to discard but a few inches while allowing the threading to rise from the top colander and onto an “S” hook (also from the pieces box).

Then it was just a matter of again threading through the existing holes of the colander (so easy!) to hang the utensils. I only used one red spoon to provide an even number which worked perfectly with the design of the colander.

Colander ChimeSo there it is! I really like how it came out and now proudly hangs from the eves on the kitchen deck. Which is a bit poetic, since these were kitchen utensils and colanders. And is my favorite kitchen colors.

We’re expecting storms in the Midwest tonight, so I am hoping this will make for some beautiful music!



Wind Chimes Redux

I love wind chimes. I heard once that the music from wind chimes will prevent evil spirits from entering your home. I kind of like the sound of that. But what I really love is the music that comes from wind chimes.

When we moved into our new home, I knew that I had to hang chimes. Not those twinkly little chimes, but large, full chimes that ‘bong’. Almost like church organs. It didn’t take long for me to have the roof lines of both decks lined with wind chimes.

But, as things do with time, the chimes began to break down. We would find tubes or hangers of various chimes on the ground below the decks. I would dutifully collect the pieces and soon, I had a box full of tubes.

With the advent of spring and the upcoming neighborhood garage sales, I knew that I would have to get this project completed. I had done this once before (you can see the blog post here) but there was a big flaw in my execution.

This time around, I determined to do it better. The design had two 2×2’s about 36 inches long, with two shorter pieces at each end. Then the pieces were bolted together (thanks to the help of The Kid).


Once this was done, we drilled holes about one inch apart for the length of the open portion, which turned out to be right at 30″. Then it was just a matter of threading the tubes on, varying the length and colors for an interesting look.

Once complete on both sides, all that remained was to add the change for hanging. I threaded two eye bolts on each end and ran a short length of chain between them. Then, using the remainder of the chain, I threaded the chain between the ends.


Then, it was time to hang the chimes.


The chimes were hung at the right time… we’re expecting a typical Midwest thunderstorm which promises to bring some wind which will equal some beautiful chime music.

I was able to hang it alongside of the other chimes that I created at the same time. This one has lasted much longer. It was created using a enameled pot lid and half of a dozen enamel-wear spoons, using a large ladle as the clanger, topped off with a small cup. I love the way this turned out (you all know my love of red and white)!


Whenever I go thrifting (as I call visiting thrift stores) I am always on the lookout for unique pieces that might make for interesting chimes. Below are the pieces next up for an interesting chime, the base is a red colander and the clanger is a small colander in silver. I think this will make for a unique chime in the end.

Collander ChimesI had written this particular post and made the mistake of not saving it. So this is the second re-write and I am sorry, but I am sure that I missed some important parts in the re-writing. Please, if you have questions, I’d be happy to help in any way I can.


Recycled Chimes

I love wind chimes. Always have. Heard once when I was little that wind chimes keep bad spirits away from a home. And I love the way they sound, especially if there is just a small breeze. Just enough to make the chimes play.

I especially am a fan of the deeper tone chimes. They generally are larger in diameter and length and remind me of church organ music. These are what generally decorate my decks, both outside the kitchen and the master bedroom. But alas, as with most things that decorate the outdoors, the weather wears them down. I have found the chime tubes on the deck, on the ground below, even all the way out in my garden. Sometimes I can repair the chimes, sometimes not. I have kept a number of the tubes and finally got around to creating a new chime with the collected chimes.

As you can see, the chime tubes are different colors and lengths.

I was able to cut a rectangle with rounded edges out of a 1×4 piece of pine. I drilled holes down each side and started threading a synthetic heavy string. I used plastic beads on each side of the tube as well as on top of each thread.

Once I completed one side, I draped the tubes over the edge of the counter and clamped the frame down. This enabled me to thread the other side without difficulty. The whole process took less two hours. I then used two pieces of leftover chain from another project and attached to each end to hang the whole chime.

I had originally planned to use the piece of wood cut from the middle as ‘clanger’ or the thing that hangs down between the tubes and allows the tube to strike it… but it broke and I haven’t found a replacement yet. The tubes seemed to create enough sound just banging into each other, so I may not need it.

Hanging next to it is a chime I completed a few weeks ago. I had seen something similar in a catalog – made with a tea kettle and cups and spoons – but I wanted to do something in red and white. I actually had the pan lid from my parents’ estate and started from that point. I purchased the enamel splatterware spoons and the ladle from different sellers on eBay and then used the same heavy synthetic string and red and white beads. Only the lid and the cup at the top needed to be drilled, all the spoons and the ladle already had holes at the top.

It actually has a great sound, almost like listening to my grandmother in her kitchen on a cold winter day cooking.

The third chime came from an idea I saw on Pinterest.com. I have always been a ‘saver’, never been able to throw out or get rid of interesting and old pieces. I collected all those old pieces and added a couple of ornaments that fit into the same category and assembled into two different, yet similar, chimes. I found an ornament of two brass-looking bells to use as the base, drilled the holes around the edges and using a variety of chains I picked up from Ace Hardware, I put together these weathered looking chimes.

It seemed a little fragile to actually hang outside, the ‘clanger’ is actually a glass ornament. So I installed a rustic looking hanger in my bathroom. (The window is actually glass block making it difficult to photograph.) I gave the other one, very similar to this one, to a friend. It doesn’t actually cause a ‘twinkling’ because there isn’t a breeze, but I love the way it looks anyway.

Well, I’ve pretty much used up everything I was going to use to create chimes and have once again lined each side of the eaves of the decks on both the kitchen and master bedroom. I think I am set to keep all the bad spirits at bay.

Happy crafting!

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