How to Make Homemade Wind Chimes to Bring Music to Your Garden
I love the sound of wind chimes but wow they're rather expensive to purchase! So, I said to my husband, "Let's try to make some homemade wind chimes out of pipes." Maybe it'll be so easy we'll make a whole yardful of DIY wind chimes!
I had no clue it wasn't as simple as cutting some metal tubes and stringing them to a wooden circle.
Interestingly, you can purchase individual wind chime components—the chime pipes and the wood pieces—and put together a wind chime with no tools needed. I love options, don't you?
Here is how we did it:
1. Cut your pipes
We purchased a 5-foot long piece of ¾" conduit pipe in the electrical section of the store. We cut it with a conduit pipe cutter but a hacksaw would probably work also.
Wind chime pipe lengths
To get chimes that sound good together, you can search the internet to find a variety of tones and required lengths. This is what we went with along with the precise lengths they are cut:
- C sharp 14-3/16"
- D sharp 13-3/8"
- F sharp 12-1/4"
- G sharp 11-9/16"
- A sharp 10-15/16"
Once cut, use a deburring tool on the ends to remove sharp edges and lightly sand off any wording your pipe may have on it.
2. Drill your hanging holes
Next, drill the holes to hang them and again they need to be precisely placed.
- C sharp 3-3/16"
- D sharp 3"
- F sharp 2-3/4"
- G sharp 2-9/16"
- A sharp 2-7/16"
File any sharp edges.
3. Prep your 3 pieces of wood
You'll need 3 pieces of wood which you can purchase at the hobby store or go cheap and cut from scraps of wood you already have.
The shapes and measurements we went with are as follows:
- Chime support: 7" round and we drilled a center hole
- Clanger: 3½" round
- Windcatcher: we went with a butterfly shape but anything that will catch the wind is fine
Stain or paint your wood, which will help seal it from the elements. I sprayed mine with clear spray paint also.
4. Attach eye hooks
Screw in an eye hook in the center of the clanger both top and bottom and another in the center of the butterfly, as shown.
On what will be the underneath side of the chime holder you'll need an eye hook for each of the 5 chimes. Space them precisely and evenly apart.
5. Reinforcing your twine
Slide short pieces of shrink tube onto nylon twine. If you center them through the tube, when the wind moves the chimes it won't cut into the twine. Use a flame to melt the tip of the twine, then it slides right through the tubing.
6. String the pipes
To better understand how to thread the chimes, look at this drawing, which shows the 5 chime pipes and the 5 eye hooks.
Each piece of twine goes through a chime with one end tied onto the eye hook to its left and the other end to the eye hook to its right.
Here you can see tubing-covered twine in place in each chime.
For balance, you'll place the longest chime, then across from it, place the shortest chime. Continue likewise so that you can keep some balance. About 3" space between each chime and the chime holder above is good.
For your clanger, you'll want it strung in the center so it hangs midway down in the center of the chimes. Then string the windcatcher underneath the chimes so it can catch the wind and moves the clanger to ring the chimes.
Cut the excess strings and put a dab of glue from a glue gun onto each knot near the eye hook for extra security.
Homemade wind chimes
They sound lovely! We're pretty happy with our homemade wind chimes and may just make a few more. I think a really big one would be awesome!
We had some of the materials already and all the tools needed but I'd say most people should be able to make DIY wind chimes "from scratch" using about $7 worth of materials.