How to make wind chimes

3How to make wind chimesWind chimes have such a soothing sound. Their prices can range from a few dollars to up into the hundreds for really elaborate hand-made and hand-tuned chimes. They are also a component of feng shui that affects your surroundings–they keep the “chi” or energy moving around your space–and that’s a good thing.

There are kits that you can buy at craft stores for simple small metal wind chimes. The simplest ones require that you decorate the top of the chimes, make sure thet strings are well tied and connected, and you’ve got a custom set of wind chimes! You can personalize the chimer (also called a striker or banger), as long as it is of the right size and weight, and as long as the string that holds it is spaced correctly to get a nice chiming sound.  You can buy more elaborate kits that require you to tie all the pieces together–and once you get thet hang of it, it’s a fun craft project and much more inexpensive than buying the pre-assembled kind.

And once you understand about the “physics” and  ”tuning” of wind chimes, you can use everyday household objects–from pretty glass bottles, to silverware, to computer hard drives (!) to make your wind chimes. Of course lengths of metal pipe, wood and bamboo make chimes that sound nice, too.

Whatever materials you use to build your wind chime, the most common design has a center-mounted wind catcher that’s surrounded by various tubes or poles that create the sound from the chimes.

Since most wind chimes are circular in design, find a plastic lid or circle of wood that you can use as the top of the wind chime. You can paint or decorate the top with anything you like–shells, pebbles, most anything, depending if the chimes will be covered by a roof or not.

Next choose your materials—old silverware, bells, old keys, small decorative rocks, marbles, seashells, even an assortment of most anything.

Find the center of the lid and punch a tiny hole through it. Slide a piece of sturdy string or nylon thread through the hole and tie it in a knot on the top side of the lid. Measure out the string to your desired length and cut it.

Make additional holes along the outside edges of the lid, one for each hanging chime. For the best result, the wind chime should be balanced, so keep the distance between the chimes as even as possible, as well as the weight of the chimes you’ll be attaching.

How to make wind chimes4Install your chosen chimer at the center point on the center string. The center banger needs to be something that’s hard and large enough that it will make a noise when it hits into the surrounding chimes,  but not so heavy that the wind catcher below it is unable to move with the breeze. If you choose something circular, wrap the nylon thread or string around it and tie it in a knot, then apply a layer of  glue over the string to hold it in place.

At the base of the center string, install your wind catcher. This can be anything that has the capability of catching the wind, like a smaller plastic piece, a large spoon or anything with a large, flat or curved surface.When you install the chimes, the length of the string should be so the chime sits at the same height as the center banger. This is important because  the banger has to hit the chime.

Then hang your chimes on a tree branch or porch! You may need to experiment with the placement so that they get a nice breeze blowing by.

 

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