DIY Hand Painted Wind Chimes


I recently volunteered myself to put together a class auction project for my daughter's 7th grade class. I decided on these beautiful wind chimes, made from unique personalized ornaments that each of the kids painted.
The first step is to paint and seal your ornaments. I practiced this with some ceramic tiles, sharpies and rubbing alcohol. The full instruction for painting the chimes can be found here: http://lifestyleforreallife.com/2017/01/18/paint-sharpies-alcohol/ and the instructions for sealing your chimes can be found here: http://lifestyleforreallife.com/2017/01/25/how-to-seal-painted-tiles/
Determine the lay out of your chimes.  I knew I wanted a triangular/V shape, so I planned out where I would need to attach them and spacing.  Leave enough room so that none of the chimes are actually touching, but close enough that if there is a light breeze they will move into each other to create the tinkling chime sound.  My birch branch was about 24 inches wide and I placed the hooks for hanging the chimes, about 2.5 inches apart.  Honestly, I mostly eye balled this part and it took a little bit of trial and error to get it the way I wanted.  For my 21 wind chimes, I needed 11 hooks to attach the chimes to. Determine the lay out of your chimes.  I knew I wanted a triangular/V shape, so I planned out where I would need to attach them and spacing.  Leave enough room so that none of the chimes are actually touching, but close enough that if there is a light breeze they will move into each other to create the tinkling chime sound.  My birch branch was about 24 inches wide and I placed the hooks for hanging the chimes, about 2.5 inches apart.  Honestly, I mostly eye balled this part and it took a little bit of trial and error to get it the way I wanted.  For my 21 wind chimes, I needed 11 hooks to attach the chimes to:
Attach the chimes to the fishing line.  You will start with the top left chime.  Determine how long you want the first row to hang, then cut a piece of fishing about double that size.  Fold the fishing line in half and feed the closed end of the line through the hole in the chime.  Bring the open ends of the fishing line through the closed end creating a "larks head knot".  Here is a visual of that for you (and you can click the picture for additional instructions if you still need help):
Attach the first chime to the first hook at the far left of the branch.  To do this, I tied off the open end of the fishing line that is attached to the chime, and then repeated the same knot from above to attach the chime to the hook. Continue with the rest of the first row checking to make sure your chimes are hanging approximately evenly. For instance, the First hook is going to hold one chime which is the first chime of the first row.  The Second hook is going to hold one chime which is the first chime of the second row.  The Third hook is going to hold two chimes which are the second chime of the first row and the first chime of the third row.  The second chime will be attached to the chime above it using the same process we used attaching the chime to the hook. I know that sounds super confusing, but it will make more sense when you have it laid out in front of you.
For instance, the First hook is going to hold one chime which is the first chime of the first row.  The Second hook is going to hold one chime which is the first chime of the second row.  The Third hook is going to hold two chimes which are the second chime of the first row and the first chime of the third row.  The second chime will be attached to the chime above it using the same process we used attaching the chime to the hook. I know that sounds super confusing, but it will make more sense when you have it laid out in front of you.

Suggested materials:

  • Birch Branch
  • 21 Ceramic Ornaments  (Maryland China http://www.marylandchina.com/3-disc-ornament.html)
  • 11 Small eye hooks  (Home Depot)
See all materials

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Marybeth Santos

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

6 questions
  • Barb
    on Apr 23, 2017

    The charms are made of ________________________________?
    • N. G. Londonderry
      on Apr 23, 2017

      She said ceramic tiles in the beginning of the post.
    • Jean Leonard
      on Apr 23, 2017

      Ceramic tiles
    • Marybeth Santos
      on Apr 23, 2017

      They are made from ceramic ornaments I found from Maryland China. You can also find them on etsy. I have links to then in the blog post if you click through. Thanks!
    • Cathy McIntire
      on Apr 23, 2017

      How Re they holding up in the wind? They are beautiful!
    • MK McDonald
      on Apr 24, 2017

      cathy, she said in her post that it was being auctioned off. If it was me, I wouldn't test them out. Lol.
    • Marybeth Santos
      on Apr 25, 2017

      Haha! True I was nervous about the chimes breaking, but, I did a little experimenting with them. I found that if they are hung against a wall or fence they have less movement, but will still chime. I would definitely bring then indoors if you know it's going to be particularlywindy or rainy. I did test one chime by dropping it on a hard for and it survived the fall, so hopefully they will do ok!
  • Carolyn Ratcliffe
    on Apr 23, 2017

    What are the round chimes made of?
    • Sheila McKean Bagg
      on Apr 23, 2017

      She said Ceramic tiles

    • Marybeth Santos
      on Apr 25, 2017

      Hi Carolyn, they are actually ceramic ornaments that i found at Maryland China. You can also find then on etsy. If you click through to the blog post there are links to both. Thanks!!
    • Margie Spenser
      on May 4, 2017

      is there a way to cut china so you could make your own shapes from thrift store plates?
    • Pco23541486
      on May 13, 2017

      Could use the ends of frozen juice cans, would just have to drill holes
  • Donna
    on Apr 23, 2017

    How expensive is this to make ?
    • Marybeth Santos
      on Apr 23, 2017

      Hi Donna, This was a bit on the expensive side. I spent about $60 on materials, but after I had purchased the ornaments, I did find them on Etsy for a little less money. Also, I bought the birch branch, but you could definitely just find a fallen birch branch and cut it as needed. That would save another $15. I included the price of the Sharpies ($10), but those I will use over and over again. Same with the product I used to seal the chimes. I have links to most of the materials on the blog post if you click through.

      Thanks!
      Marybeth
    • Yofrendonna
      on Apr 23, 2017

      wow!
    • Donna
      on Apr 23, 2017

      I wonder how fragile the discs are - any idea?
    • Cathy McIntire
      on Apr 23, 2017

      I don't know about these but I paid well for a ceramic chime from an art show and the first week they had broken in the wind. I was so disappointed. These are very pretty though.
    • Donna
      on Apr 23, 2017

      Cathy, that is my fear. I would love to make these and sell them (I do craft shows but I don't think they are really practical. I do wonder though if the hardware store has some sort of metal disks that I could use alcohol ink on.
    • Judy Bixby
      on Apr 24, 2017

      could you use the lids from frozen juice?

    • Nat16263369
      on Apr 24, 2017

      What about repurposing old/scratched DVD or add.


    • Donna
      on Apr 24, 2017

      I don't think that the juice lids or CD/DVD would have the sound that you look for with windchimes.
    • MK McDonald
      on Apr 24, 2017

      id probably use it with caution and bring it indoors during high winds. Besides it wouldn't be a crime to replace a couple of tiles yourself if they broke. Just grab kids and decorate!
    • Marybeth Santos
      on Apr 25, 2017

      Definitely bring it indoors if it's windy or rainy! I did drop one of the chimes on a solid floor and it didn't break. I also suggest that these are hung against a fence or outdoor wall. It controls the swinging of the chimes a little, but you still get enough movement to get a chime noise. I love the ideas for alternative materials, especially the juice bottle covers!
  • Patty
    on Apr 23, 2017

    Did you have to drill any extra holes in the ornaments for hanging?
  • Dani Woodland Grigg
    on Jan 11, 2018

    The blog seems to be down so sorry if this question is answered there... Did you paint both sides of the ornaments? If so, how long did you have to wait for one side to dry before you flipped it over? Thanks!
    • Marybeth Santos
      on Jan 11, 2018

      Hi Dani! I did not paint both sides, we actually had the students sign their names on the back. you would definitely want to wait until one side is COMPLETELY dried and set (2-3 days after sealing) before you do the opposite side. They are pretty delicate before they are sealed and can definitely get scratched. You also want to make sure that the sealer is completely set, not just dry, because it can be a little bit tacky for as long as a couple of days. Sorry, that probably triples the time you were planning to spend! I would love to see how they come out when you are done!!
      Marybeth
  • Krystal
    on Dec 5, 2018

    How big were the discs that you used? All I can find is 4 inch, but that seems too large. Thanks!!

Join the conversation

4 of 35 comments
  • Mur2628492
    on Jun 8, 2017

    How about using Mason Jar lids???? I think they would work also.

  • Marybeth Santos
    on Jun 8, 2017

    That's a great idea!!
    • Stacey
      on Mar 31, 2019

      I really am interested in this project I love doing crafts but I am you and still learning my mother-in-law and I have aunts that have taught me I just don't quite understand your instructions thanks and would love to hear from you I have a child that is in 6th grade

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