Making a rustic wood windchime yard ornament…
I always keep my eyes peeled for stray fallen tree branches. Earlier in the year (a storm always seems to bring it on) I went hunting for tree branch limbs that could be used to make stuff.
Little skinny ones are all around you,, but it’s the nice fat ones I’m after because they are strong enough to do what you want, pretty much just common knowledge.
I found about two that fit that qualification and just set them aside…Now I got a hankering again to make some windchimes…At first it was a bird perch, but we’ll save the other limb for that I think….Or if they don’t chime, that’s OK because it will look pretty hanging outside which is what counts.
That image to your left is of my first handmade windchime. I used glass beads, glass suncatchers and I even had a set of those metallic tubes and a little round ring with which to secure them. So now I want to see if lightening will strike twice.
It’s a great idea if you’ve ever wanted to do this but were leery of how you could get something round to serve as a base since a lot of popular windchimes are in a round spiral layout. Well that’s ok, because they can be just as cool in a linear line like I am about to show you below:
First off, trimming off the knotty end of this branch…hardest part because this must have been an oak tree it fell off of. It was tough. But that’s a good thing because it will be a good sturdy base.
I sanded the end…Do you know what works good for this if you’re talking about something small and you don’t have a power sander? A Pedi-Paw made for grooming dog nails. We did get it for the original purpose; but found out later on it is GREAT for small tasks like this. I do have sandpaper in the traditional sheets, but I just don’t like handling it sometimes.
Using my cordless drill I made two holes on top for the hanger-that’s 12 gauge wire wrapped around two eyehooks, one at each end.
I then used four more eyehooks for the places where the bead strands will be hanging. Looks like they will be all about the same length. If you wanted to do a “swag” design in which there is one longer strand in the middle, you’d need at least 5 strands.
Or you could just use 3…just needs to be an equal number of strands flanking the middle strand. So four it is. I used the drill to get the holes started after marking off the places with a Sharpie and measuring tape so they would be about 2″ apart.
I Mod-Podged the branch base-that’s optional too, but it does help outside art hold up for the long haul. It only takes about 10 minutes to do, so I just do it.
I’ve been in a quandary lately because it seems like I’ve gone through most of my “good” beads. As far as where they went, look no further than this project Those were my best and brightest. Now if I want this thing here to look that good well, I’ll have to combine the whites and purples and determine what goes with them.
Good thing I’ve been keeping a bottlecap collection lately as it just might be part of the answer.People are saving bottlecaps a lot these days. If I know something is going to be hung outside 24-7, I don’t stress about the most classy materials being used since they’re going to be exposed to the elements, pretty much. Just don’t want to go to the other end of the spectrum and go full-out tacky either.
Incidentally, you don’t need beads for this (well, not a bunch anyway) You can combine anything that is pretty, shiny or clinks.
Here are some items that would work well for this:
- Soda pop pull tabs
- Board game playing pieces
- Miniature bells
- Small suncatchers
The common denominator here is “can it be drilled?” If you can’t put a tiny hole in it, it’s out. Something like a ceramic thimble, but then again I don’t know. I haven’t attempted to drill through anything that isn’t wood, metal, or certain types of plastic.
Well here she is….I think I could have done better. Yep, I definitely need some more beads. I was going with pretty much all I had left that were kinda mismatched….I think at some point I may pick up some more and prettier beads and make some new strands.
I’m not sure if I like the bottlecaps….I think I will look for some little mini bells so that tinkle sound will be prevalent.
Don’t think it has to be straight stringing…you can make intentional gaps in between objects too, that would produce a great effect.Don’t be afraid to go full bohemian and mix and match different items!
It’s YOUR windchime, so who would I be to tell you what to use…I’m just here to show the best practices and how to use tools safely.
To hang the strands…fishing line or dental floss works well for this; wrap it around the eyehooks…or to make this part easier, take a bead/bell or whatever object and knot it around the first strand so all the other objects will stay on and not fall off as you thread them.
Voila…now that has got to be the best darn yard art idea ever. Dontcha just love rustic back to the basics kinds of ideas?