How to Restring Your Windchimes Like a Pro

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How to Restring Your Windchimes Like a Pro!
Learn how to restring your windchimes – DON’T toss them in the trash just because a thread or two has gotten broken! I’ve done this before from a treasured set that got damaged – no doubt caused by bad weather off and on. A couple of the metal tubes had fallen off (thankfully I found them – eventually) and I ended up replacing the hanger, too, which became rusty.

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.

Pin for Later? 🎐

windchime parts explainedWindchimes can be a little tricky to “dissect”, that’s why I also created this diagram showing all the individual parts so you know where each one fits. (Feel free to pin it and share!)

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. This is the kind I use – monofilament nylon line. 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 way it will be easier to re-create the original layout.

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.

Are there broken parts? This is a special set I bought from a local outdoor event – It was handmade from a whiskey bottle, themed with team symbols and ornaments. We had some nasty weather one afternoon and it ended up getting tossed, but I was lucky that the bottle part remained intact. Two of the three dangling ornaments got broken.

Some of the pieces are too small to glue back together so I’m going to re-create them. Using what? One of my favorite substances – polymer clay, which you know I talk about a good deal on here. Using the piece that didn’t get broken as a template, I can easily create replacement parts that should look just as good as the original.

broken windchime

I knew it would be a long shot, but I finally came to the conclusion that I could re-crate the broken pieces out of clay.  The first step – I hoped I had the opaque color, but not much of it, this was as close as i had in my stash, using the main piece that remained intact to go by, I managed to sculpt two new ones. To get that color, I used a red pastel stick that I scraped the particles off of and worked into the clay.

There was only one shade of red so I added a little purple, Can you see in the fourth image, I have my clay re-creation on top of the real piece. And of course, I thought for grins I’d include a shot of my cat trying to eat the clay. She was being a bad girl. Thankfully, she figured it out it wasn’t too tasty!

making new windchime pieces from clay

 

Before baking the two pieces I’d made in the oven, I pierced the top middle with a pushpin for the places I would be threading the new strings through.

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.

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.

Because adjusting the tubes for getting the correct hanging length may take a little trial and error, you may want to tie the cord around them a little loosely while you check for a straight lineup. When you have gotten them in the right position, THEN tighten the knot securely. Since I’m not using tubes, in this case, I’m threading the parts together one at a time.

Repeat with the rest of your remaining tubes. Next comes the part of wrapping the strand around the round disc-shaped piece that all the tubes hang from (image 3).

restringing windchimes set

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. With this one, I’m attaching them to the chain hanger.

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.

Be sure that if your chimes have a middle striker, that when it hangs it will be in a place where the tubes will still emit the same tones and all.

When you’ve got all four tubes (or other objects) 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.

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… Ta-da!

finished whiskey bottle chime set

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.

 

2 thoughts on “How to Restring Your Windchimes Like a Pro”

  1. Linda Lee Kristbaum

    Great instructions! I have so many to re-string…now I know what cord to use and how to put them together. Thank you!! I’d like to share what I noticed as tubes were dropping like flies from my 6 month old, newest. When the holes are drilled, the bit goes thru the front and out the back, perfect. It leaves the front hole smooth, and back hole with jagged metal protruding that cuts into the cord. It seems a lot are made this way! You can sand it smooth, depending on the type of metal, with a metal file, sand paper or a Dremmel w/attachment. Can’t really see it so check the holes by feel, It tears up the cord fast when it’s windy, Linda

  2. Glad this article helped. Good idea, sanding the tubes down, sometimes windchimes are not always put together well (the ones you find at the drugstore are a prime example..they’re cute, but cheap!)

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