The Art of Making Windchimes Out Of Recycled Materials
Making your own fun set of windchimes out of recycled materials is a great warm-weather activity! When spring comes along, I get like super interested in my outdoor yard art activities more. Nothing says “welcome” like a patio or porch with tinkling windchimes in the breeze hanging from your favorite location – that YOU made with your own items that you’d otherwise forgotten about and put in a drawer a long time ago.
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Now, on to one of mine…This is one of my oldest upcycled windchimes I made using various beads, glass dangles, the metal chime tubes from an old set of chimes, and some of my old jewelry! And can you believe I made this thing ten years ago and it’s still holding up?
Much better than one of my store bought ones from way back (I know, I know, sometimes I found them in clearance, they were real pretty , and I wanted a prototype to make my own from) What do you think, would you like to try this too?
Many things that are old and ordinary that can become part of an upcycled windchime. The one tricky part is finding objects that will “tinkle” in the breeze nicely on their own (after all, that’s why they are called CHIMES…lol)
No sound, and they just become yard art – nothing wrong with that, but this post IS about windchimes 😁
What Can Be Recycled Into Windchimes?
If you need some good ideas for things to up-cycle, here are a few I’ve seen…
Keys: Got some old keys, you have no idea what they unlock but all you know is they’re just sitting in a drawer. And they already have a little hole or opening in them. that you can run thread through. Use them!
Bottle caps: If you collect bottle caps – especially the metal kind (mainly you’ll find these on glass bottles only) enough of them have great panache for a handmade windchime…especially if you’ve got lots of different brands/logos on them.
Kitchen utensils: Awesome – they’re already metal…and some have ready made openings too. The above example uses measuring spoons – good thinking!
Creative Commons Photo Attribution: Image courtesy of: Faith Sweetened Style
Bells: Do you have some old Christmas decor with the jingly bells; or an old version of whatever those little bells are called that would make a little sound whenever you walked into a small establishment ? In that case; you have perfect windchime fodder waiting.
Image courtesy of: DammitKarissa
And the last one, I believe – like my example – jewelry. Older jewelry pieces that might have tarnished over time, can be incorporated.
The items above are great for the end embellishments because they’ll chime as the breezes blow,, in addition to items to add that can be threaded above, beads are great, seashells, whatever you an find that you have a good collection of, and looks interesting or colorful, would work.
Can’t find any of the above metal tinkling items? The good news is you can get metal tubes or bells to combine with your recycled items so they will look extra unique, and sound that way too.
You can string in a circle (the traditional way, an oldie but goodie) It can be tricky to line up everything so there are no gaps, or incorrectly long or short stands, but it’s worth it. Or use a straight pattern which looks good too. If you create a swag effect with the strand in the middle, it will look even better.
>>>You can see how I incorporated that swag look here with your own materials!
If you are threading beads, it is best to use fishing line to connect them, as it is strong and also transparent so it won’t show. If you’ve got some bulkier objects you’re connecting and they have wide enough openings, you could use leather cord (Which shouldn’t hamper their movement)
Creating the Base of Your Windchime
You can certainly create the base for which to hang the strands, from recycled materials too! Some ideas include ceramic plates (if you’re experienced with drilling) but there are other ways to go, such as the use of a short piece of sturdy wood, a coat hanger, or something kind of flat/shallow, and ring shaped. It may all depend on the shape of the strands, you will need to look for something that will fit it and complement it.
You may need to drill into the object (using a small bit) or if it’s narrow you may be able to wrap the stands around the base.
I embellished the “base” the jewelry piece with a few more beads and made the hanger part out of some wire. Voila!
Hope you enjoy…What materials are YOU going to make your windchimes from?