Learn how to restring your windchimes – DON’T toss them in the trash just because a thread or two has gotten broken! This is a project I’ve been working on in which I’m going to give my old but treasured chimes a full makeover. It’s messed up in a few places…probably caused by bad weather off and on.
A couple of the metal tubes have fallen off (thankfully I found them – eventually) The hanger part is rusty too, and I plan to replace that part as well.
Not only am I going to restring it, I’m going to add some pretty beads too – going to be a total upcycle here! If you beloved chimes are damaged from wind, rain, or fading via the sun, let’s fix that thing up! A traditional round set of chimes with all the pretty metal tubes can be restrung easily if you take it one piece at a time.
Windchimes can be a little tricky to “dissect”, that’s why I also created a windchime pattern FREE to download and follow, to make it easier (see bottom of post for details 🙂
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What to Use to Restring Your Chimes?
The best kind of material to use for restringing is nylon-based cord. Me, I am using fishing line. I have always used it for stringing beads, jewelry, you name it. Interestingly enough, as I’ve been on very few actual fishing trips hahaha.
I love fishing line, as its inexpensive and pretty strong, as long as you choose a size that has a greater threshold for weight.
It comes in a range of sizes – I use “6 pound” (which I think means will support six pounds – in this case, beads dangles and metal tubes.)
If your chimes are a little heavier, though, you may want to look for a type with a little bit greater weight threshold.
Before You Start Restringing…
First thing to do, take a picture of your chimes. I did this so I could see how all the parts should fit together just like reverse engineering. This design is more intricate than this design with them all in a straight line .
Second, you may need to wash or clean off your chimes, as they may have outdoor debris left on them. I just immersed the whole thing in some water and a little squirt of Dawn. I rinsed them off and let them hang over a bucket in the laundry room to dry before tackling the job.
Examine the metal tubes…what condition are they in? Is there rust? Here is where soap usually doesn’t cut the mustard. For those, I would use one of the following:
- White vinegar (AWESOME for cleaning, period)
- A paste made from baking soda/water
- Lemon juice
- Citric acid
All of the above are acidic and work great for cleaning metal. I like to use WD-40, but it’s chemical-based and the list above is more natural.
Now what if the tubes are, like, really corroded…and can’t be treated? Replacing them may be the best option. Here are some I found that would look really jazzy:
Now, cut the old strings. Whatever’s left, just cut them and arrange the decorative parts on something like a towel.
Restringing the Top
Most likely, your chimes have a round base that all the tubes and other pieces hang from. First, cut four equal pieces of cord/fishing line, etc., and tie each one strategically around the round base (left image)
When you have tied all four new cords on, this part is strictly optional – you can add some beads or embellishments to spice it up a little. Gather all four remaining threads and tie them all in one cluster in the middle to secure it.
How To Restring the Metal Tubes
Get your first metal tube and thread the cord through the opening in the metal tubes and pull both ends out – then tie a knot above the top of the tube. Make sure it’s got enough “slack” in it to move around freely.
Repeat with the rest of your remaining tubes. Next comes the part of wrapping the strand around the round piece that all the tubes hang from.
Thread the cord part that is extending from the tubes through two holes in the round piece. Try to raise it up to a point where the tube will hang freely, then tie it off securely. Repeat with the other tubes.
The trick is to get them all hanging straight and not have one of them hanging too low. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it!
👉Pro Tip: You can also use crimp beads above the knots to secure them. Also, a small dab of glue applied at the knot will help strengthen it.
When you’ve got all four tubes secure on the ring, gather all of the loose thread together and knot it off (make two or three tieoffs to be sure.) You may have extra length of loose cord by this point. If you like, you could finish it off with a few bead embellishments.
All the tubes in the middle are connected to a focal point, mine came with a little flower thingy. I’m taking mine and adding more beads…now I’m tieing them to the ring/tubes.
I hate that end tie-off that’s hanging past the knot. It looks messy, but I don’t like to cut it close to the knot because that little teeny piece always sticks out. But I’ve got an ace up my sleeve 😊. I took some of my crafting wire and wrapped it around it to hide it.
When you’re satisfied that it looks good and will withstand stress, it’s ready to hang back outdoors! I created a hanger out of my wire to replace the old one that was rusted. You may want to try for a different location, this time, to hang your newly restrung chimes, in order to minimize wear and tear from this point on.
Need a good pattern to go by as you work on restringing? My printable windchime diagram and pattern can help! You can access it from my password-protected Resource Library by filling out the form below:
It’s my hope this new work will lead to this thing being much better able to withstand whatever the outdoors can throw its way.
Good luck to you,
Happy restringing! 🎐