With autumn breezes quickly approaching, I wanted to take some time to make one of my favorite outdoor decorations that takes advantage of the wind. Now you can make wind chimes out of a variety of materials, but rather than use the usual metal piping, I was able to find a toy xylophone at the thrift store that I thought would work great for the job.
Step 1: Supplies
For this project you will need the following supplies...
- Old children's xylophone (thrift store find!)
- Scrap plastic
- Metal ring
- Paint (optional)
- Screwdriver or something to pry with
- Hot glue gun
- Rotary cutting tool
Step 2: Disassemble the Xylophone
The first step in this project is to get all of the bars from the xylophone. With the one that I picked up, the could just be popped right out with a little bit of prying. Don't worry about hurting the frame of the old toy as we won't be using it anymore.
Step 3: Cut the Clapper and Windcatcher
For this step out will be cutting the pieces that will help to catch the wind and hit the chimes themselves. You can use whatever material you like for these pieces. I had an old piece of plastic from a mini fridge laying around so I decided to use that. It already had a circle pattern in it so I just cut that and a triangular piece out. Once they were both cut, I used a drill to put a hole in the center for the circle and the top for the triangle for hanging.
Step 4: Painting
I thought that the bright pastel colors looked a bit strange for a wind chime so I decided to paint them with some leftover spray paint. Using a length of string, I suspended the chimes and the plastic pieces to allow all of the sides to be painted at once. Once they were dry, I cut them down and got ready to assemble the chimes.
Step 5: Suspend the Ring
The difficulty with this step is trying to get the ring to hang as level as possible so the suspended chimes don't hit themselves or get tangled. To do this, I cut pieces of string the same size and tied them to both the small ring and the large ring. To actually level the ring, I wrapped the excess string around the larger ring by spinning the knot. This put more string onto the ring allowing the large ring to be leveled. Also being tied to the small ring is the long string for the clapper and catcher.
Step 6: Attach the Clapper and Windcatcher
Feeding the long string mentioned in the last step, the clapper and catcher pieces are attached to the chime. I recommend getting the clapper where you want it before attaching the catcher. Once you have the correct positioning, Tie a large know (or multiple small knots) under the clapper to secure it in place. Trim the excess string from the bottom to get the position you want for the catcher. Tie the wind catcher at the bottom of the string.
Step 7: Suspend the Chimes
For this step, you need to cut equal length pieces for each of your chimes. Once that is completed, you can tie them to the chimes themselves. Once all the chimes have strings, You can attach them to the large ring. The easiest way I found to do this is to lay the large ring down and just spread the chimes out around it (think octopus shape) and attach them that way. You can decide if you want the chimes arranged however you like wither by length or randomly assorted. Like the leveling for the large ring, I decided that I wanted to bring the chimes up a bit. I used the same knot spinning trick to reel the chimes up towards the ring. I used hot glue to secure them at the correct height.
Step 8: Finished!
Now all that's left to do is hang it up and enjoy the relaxing sounds it brings in the cool breeze. Thanks for reading!