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.
We’ll be using a wood tree limb upcycled into the base and from there we’re going to hang gorgeous colorful beads (and other embellishments.) I went limb-hunting not too long ago -Little skinny ones are all around, but it’s the nice fat ones I’m after because they are strong enough to make stuff!
I found about two that fit that qualification (yay!) so I’m excited to get started. Have you got yours yet? You need that first and foremost and did I mention beads, lots of them.
- Nice sturdy tree branch limb (at least an inch in diameter for best results)
- A large quantity of beads or other small objects to display, like pop tops, etc.)
- Fishing line
- Aluminum craft wire, 12-18 gauge would work well
Your branch may not be perfect, and that’s OK (Nothing in nature will be – there will always be natural imperfections.) First off, I had to trim 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 ends…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-Pawmade 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 a cordless drill, 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.
I did 4. With an even strand number, I decided to make the second and third strands the longest. 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.
Now insert your eyehooks into the drilled holes – you’ll be hanging all those pretty bead strands from these eventually.
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 pink tones.) I thought these were so pretty and bohemian looking. Here are my first two strands…I finished them off with bottlecaps…so they would also “clink” around a little in the breeze, which is what windchimes are supposed to do , right? 🙂
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
- Board game playing pieces
- Miniature bells
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.
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 here:
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….(The owl windchime you see behind it, no I didn’t make that one sorry 🙂
Make sure you pick a nice breezy spot, ideally your porch or patio or garden area.
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?