DIY Beaded Windchimes: A Marriage of Rustic and Boho

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How To Make Wind Chimes With Beads (and More) Cool Stuff!
Ok guys, I am coming at you with something else totally unexpected…we’re going to be diy-ing a super cool beaded windchime! This will not be your typical round windchime…for this diy we’re going back to nature.

You’ll need to find a scrap of wood that is linear enough to accommodate multiple bead strands. If you’re fortunate enough to find a tree limb that is sturdy enough, you’re golden. The “right” kind may not be easy to find. Me, I am using a stretcher bar from an old canvas. It is about 12″ in length.

Have you got yours yet? You need that first and foremost and did I mention beads, lots of them.

Materials Needed
Nice sturdy piece of wood, at least 10″ in length  (and at least a half inch thick for best results)
A large quantity of beads or other small objects to display, like pop tops, etc.)
Fishing line
Eyehooks
Aluminum craft wire, 12-18 gauge would work well

Pin to Your Craft Board

bead windchimes

Getting Started
Your branch or scrap of wood may not be perfect, and that’s OK (Nothing in nature will be – there will always be natural imperfections.) You may need to sand parts of it…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. You can also paint or stain it in any color, I used brown for a natural look.

You can use a cordless drill, for my wood bar I only needed to use a pushpin to get the holes started. Make two holes on top for the hanger-try to put them at opposite ends. This is where you will later on be attaching a wire hanger.

Bead Strands Or Swags?
Determine how many strands you want for your windchime…you could have 3, 4 , 5…However many strands you want to make may be determined by the length of the branch. If you want you can do a “swag” design in which there is one longer strand in the middle. This approach works best for an odd number of strands.

making frame for bead windchime

I chose to have 5 strands, and used a ruler/pencil to indicate the right placement. Each place marked is 2″ apart. From there, I used a pushpin to get the holes started and followed with the eyehooks.

I applied a coat of shellac to the branch base-that would be a good idea to preserve it as it is going to be outdoors 24-7.

Start Stringing Your Beads
I’d 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.

Thankfully I was able to replenish my supply last time I went o Hobby Lobby. I got what they call a “value pack” (larger size with multiple purple tones.) I thought these were so pretty and bohemian looking. Now I went on with mapping out my design. To get an accurate swag, I used a measuring tape and started with the middle strand (3rd) being the longest. The 2nd and 4th I measured an inch shorter, and the 1st and 5th the shortest.

layout for beaded windchimes

I don’t know if you can read my writing but that’s 14″ for the middle longest strand, 13″ for the 2nd and 4th, and 12″ for the 1st and 5th. Hopefully that makes sense. These are my first two strands…I’m taking an “outside in” approach and working towards the middle. Notice how I have kept the pattern very similar between the two strands.

If you’d like to add something a little extra to your beaded wind chimes craft; e.g something metal that will make a nice “tinkling ” sound, consider adding:

Soda pop pull tabs
Bottlecaps
Board game playing pieces
Miniature bells
Keys


Doesn’t have 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!

I, being kind of a perfectionist, made patterns stringing my beads…with the big ornate ones in the middle after about 6-8 little ones. Gaps in between beads can look good too, you may want to knot the strands at every inch or so, so the individual bead will stay in place. Or you can use what’s called a crimp bead in that spot.

beaded windchime steps

I also included the melted bead discs I made a few years ago, I thought they were a great object the draw in attention being kind of big and all, that’s another way to create eye appeal, alternating big adn small objects with the beads. For the very ends, I’m using miniature cowbells. They tinkle just like the real thing!

 

Now once you have got your beaded strands the way you like them, now’s the time to attach the wire hanger. Thread a piece of aluminum wire through the two eyehooks on the top of the branch.

My quandary next was thinking about wrapping around two extra short bead strands, but it seemed my stick wasn’t quite long enough for that. I then decided to embellish the wire hanger with a little bling as you can see in the third corner image.

So what do you think of my cute little butterfly in the middle? I thought it was the perfect finishing touch.

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 

Hanging Your Finished Beaded Wind Chimes Craft
To hang up your finished rustic style beaded windchime, you can get another piece of fishing line and loop it around the wire hanger for a little more movement before suspending it from your desired location.

Or you can pretty much just get another piece of wire and loop it around the hanger you made.

Here she is…Make sure you pick a nice breezy spot, ideally your porch or patio or garden area.

beaded windchime hanging

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?

 

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