Introduction: Glass Wind Chime - No Drilling
After finding them on the internet, I had been wanting to make a glass wind chime but was hesitant because I don't know how to drill glass, nor do I have the resources that are needed. After some consideration of the problem, I decided that I could make a glass wind chime and wouldn't have to drill my pieces. Some simple supplies and gumption was all I needed to get it done!
For all these people who can't or are scared to drill glass, this is for you :)
And if you enjoy this tutorial, give it a vote in the Glass Challenge!
1. Glass cabochons, fish bowl glass, or glass for flower vases (you could also use bits of broken glass if you wanted, just watch your fingers)
2. Fishing Line (mine is 6 pounds, which means it should stand up to 6 pounds of weight, so it will work)
3. Steel wire or some other type of wire (I am using 26 gauge steel)
4. Pliers for shaping the wire (I use round nose pliers)
5. Wire Cutters for cutting the wire
6. Aluminum/floral wire for the frame (I am using gold 16 gauge aluminum wire. You want this wire to be a heavier duty wire, somewhere around 18 to 16 gauge so it will hold up to being the frame)
7. A strong glue (I am using Gorilla Glue)
Step 1: Wrapping the Glass
With the 26 gauge steel wire, hold the wire with the pliers and wrap it around one of the tips of the pliers, rotating the pliers as you go. This will give you a small round circle. I wrapped it two or three times to make sure it was strong enough to not come undone.
Now we will wrap the wire. You know those really quick stars made up of lines that you can draw without lifting your pencil? That is what this wire wrapping makes me think of.
Lay the stone on top of the wire with the circle at the top. Bend the wire up so that it wraps around the front of the stone and is back up at the top.
Pull the wire over the stone so that it is now on the back of the stone alongside the first bit of wire.
Cross the wire to the front of the stone, pulling it at a diagonal angle.
Bring the wire to the back at an angle.
Pull the wire across the front of the stone in a straight line. See the star?
Wrap the wire once again across the back of the stone. Cut off the wire with your wire cutters, leaving a small amount of extra wire.
Bend the extra wire under one of the other wires in the wrap, then make a loop on the end of it the same way you made the first loop. Finished!
For the jelly bean glass, I put the glass on top of the wire like I did for the round pieces. I bent the wire sideways and wrapped it tightly around the piece multiple times until it wouldn't fall out. I snipped the wire off, leaving a bit of extra that I wrapped around the original loop.
Step 2: Tying the Glass Together
Once all your glass cabochons are wrapped, lay them out in the order that you want them. Take your fishing line and hold it out against the line of beads (or whatever you want to call them). Make sure you cut more line than you think you need because you will be amazed when you find out that what you cut wasn't enough line (like I did, ha ha).
* I know that the fishing line is hard to see in the photos, but that is the idea! I want an "invisible" line so that the glass pieces are what really catches your eye with no distractions.
Take the string and thread it through the top loop of the first piece in your line of beads. Tie it to the loop with a simple knot, making sure to leave an excess of string above the loop. The extra string is for attaching the beads to the frame later, so make sure it is a good amount! Tie a second knot for security reasons ;), and add a dab of glue to the knots to make them hold (fishing wire is so bad about coming out of knots when you want it to stay and staying in knots when you don't want it to).
Take the line and thread it through a piece of the bottom wrapping on the bead to attach it to the second stone. This is so much simpler than cutting it off and tying an extra knot to attach a second glass cabochon. Attach the second stone by tying it on the string wherever you want, then pull the thread through the bottom wrapping and repeat until you have all the beads you want tied on that line.
For the last bead (my jelly bean beads), just tie the line to the top loop and then cut the line.
Continue to make lines of beads until you decide it is enough (I have five).
Step 3: The Frame
Now it is time to make the frame.
With the 16 gauge aluminum wire, I "measured" out a circle (really I just eased the circle it came in more open until it was the size I wanted). My circle is about the size of a large soup can. To help you decide how big you want the frame circle to be, place your strings of cabochons around the circle in the order you want them. This will give you an idea how far apart they will be spaced while hanging.
Cut the wire to the desired size of your circle, using the wire cutters. Also cut three straight pieces (however tall you decide), and these will be the support rods of the frame that extend toward the hanging hook.
Wrap the first of the rods around the circle base, wrapping around the cut ends of the wire. This will hold the circle together. Point the rod up and toward the middle of the circle at about a 45 degree angle.
Proceed to do the same with the other two rods.
Once all the rods are attached and pointed to the middle of the circle, bring them together and wrap them around each other, leaving the end of the tallest rod sticking up above the wrap. Wrap them tightly so they stay together and meld into one piece.
Now bend the end of the tallest rod into a hook shape.
The frame is done.
Step 4: Finishing Up
Attach the strands by tying them into place on the frame, using the extra string that was left on their ends. Double knot them (or triple) and drop a dot of glue on the knot and the frame.
Once the glue is dry your wind chime is finished.
Step 5: Shining in the Sun
I was really pleased with how this wind chime turned out, especially once I took it outside. It is beautiful with the sun coming through the different colored glass pieces.
I would advise not to hang this piece over a concrete (or maybe even wooden) porch or deck. If something happened and it fell you could have glass everywhere, and that isn't any fun! Mine is safe hanging in a tree right off of my porch, so if it does fall down it won't shatter. The little glass fish bowl stones are pretty sturdy, but I wouldn't want to trust them over concrete.
Use different colored wire, different colored fishing line, and different colored glass for a different feel. While I chose a blue/green color theme, I am sure that it would look great in whatever color scheme you want, or all colors of the rainbow!
Thanks so much for viewing this Instructable, and if you liked it, vote!
Participated in the
Glass Speed Challenge