Making your own wind chimes does not have to be complex. Whether you're looking for a kid-friendly craft project or a means to make something melodious for your yard, a dig through your surplus craft supplies or junk drawer may turn up most of the supplies you need to create some clinking chimes.
Kid-Friendly Key Chimes
Upcycle old keys you no longer need into a kid-friendly chime project. Allow children to paint the keys with paint pens that work on metal, or leave the keys as-is for a more rustic look. Tie twine or fishing line around the hole at the top of each key, and allow children to string a series of their favorite beads onto each strand. Tie all the strands to found driftwood sticks, dowels or a wooden hanger. Tie string at each end of the dowel or driftwood, creating a loop at the top to hang the homemade chimes. Upgrade the design to an adult project by altering the lengths of the fishing line slightly to create waves of clanking keys.
Save the tabs from the tops of soda cans for a mellow-sounding chime kids can make. Run strips of ribbon or elastic through a line of can tabs, moving the ribbon over one piece, then under and through to the next hole, as if you were sewing. Tie a large washer to one end of each strand, and then tie the other end of each strand to a dowel. To keep with the can theme, remove the top and bottom from a can such as a tomato paste or soda can, and drill small holes around the perimeter of one edge to tie the strings. An adult should do the drilling and the tying.
Flatten old, damaged metal forks and spoons for kitchen-themed wind chimes, using an old colander, metal bowl or pot lid as the framework for the dangling flatware. Drill holes through the cutlery handles near the top, and tie a strand of fishing line to each piece. String on translucent glass beads from broken necklaces or your own bead stash for chimes that also work as sun catchers. Drill holes around the perimeter of the pot lid or colander, tying the other end of the fishing line through each hole. Add narrow chain around the perimeter of the chime frame, or up through its center, to hang your handmade creation.
Remove the labels and wash out a series of metal food cans, or select decorative cans such as spice tins and imported food products with the printing on the can itself, not a label. Paint plain cans with patterns, insects or garden scenes, if desired, using acrylic craft paints. Keep in mind the cans will be upside down on the chime structure. Drill or poke a hole through the center of the bottom of each can, and then run a piece of sturdy twine or thin rope through each one, knotting the end facing the inside of the can. Pull the twine so the knot catches the inside of the can, so the can dangles upside down. Tie the strands to an embroidery hoop, bike rim or metal colander for a simple wind chime.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.