Rain Chain

6 Materials
$10
30 Minutes
Easy

I’m with several folks here on Hometalk in that I love rain chains. While visiting my sister we went thrift shopping and I found these metal cups (some kind of gelatin mold or baking cups – not sure). As soon as I saw them, rain chain jumped into mind. When I got home I already had all the other parts I needed. Of course, there are a myriad of variations you could use when making this project; this is the path I chose.
Step 1: Drill holes in the cups to accommodate your wire (it really only needs to be big enough for the wire to slide through). See materials list at the end of the project.
Step 2: I started making the wind chime and then decided I should probably check to make sure I had sufficient materials to complete it (not a bad idea, right?).

Step 3: I used chain between the cups and separated it to the length that I wanted. Obviously, this will depend on the size of the links in your chain and how long you want the rain chain to be. I decided to use copper wire for two reasons: a) I like to mix metals; like the look. b) it’s more pliable and some of this work was made easier because I could bend the wire with my fingers instead of having to use the needle nose pliers all the time.
Step 4: The process is the same for all of the cups except the first and last one.
a. Loop the bottom end of the wire.
b. Attach the chain segment, close the loop.
c. Slide on a bead.
d. Slide the wire through the open end of the cup.
e. Slide on another bead.
f. Loop the top end of the wire, but do not close the loop.

First cup: follow the steps above, but you need to add a hook of some kind for hanging the rain chain.

Last cup: follow the steps above, but omit Step b. the addition of the chain (unless you want to hang something at the bottom for decoration).
Step 5: Hang the top wire loop on the chain of the previous cup and close the loop. I used 16-gauge copper wire which is pretty easy to bend with my fingers. These cups are very light, so the wire worked (heavier objects would not work with this gauge wire). It actually made it easier to close this loop rather than using the needle pliers.
Step 6: Repeat the process in Step 4 for each cup (with variation on the first and last cup, as mentioned above). You may be able to see it in the last pic; I used a large "fish hook" type hook to hang the rain chain.

Here’s a close-up of the rain chain. I had 4 cups that were a bit larger and 11 of the smaller cups.
Here it is in all its glory; it’s a good length. This may not be its final home, but you can see the result. That’s my cat, sitting on the patio in the background, cleaning herself – as usual!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Ivycrafter
    on Mar 2, 2020

    Wouldn't it work better to have the smallest cup at the top, so each cup in turn would fill and overflow to the one below it? I cannot picture how it would work as a rain-chain with the largest at the top, because I imagine the rain just sorta splashing off of it and not traveling down the whole chain.

  • Laura
    on Mar 3, 2020

    Very cute, but aren't they upside down?

  • Andrea Mitchel
    on Mar 3, 2020

    Every rain chain I've seen has been where the cups will fill and dump into the next one below. Could you just turn this one over?

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