Make summer memories with a dazzling DIY wind chime that will add some sparkle to any porch. By rummaging through your garage, kitchen junk drawer or craft cabinet, you are sure to find the perfect random materials. Consider old keys, metal hardware, rusty silverware or broken jewelry. Then add in some beautiful glass beads for a polished look and the sweet tinkling sound of metal striking glass.
(For a true recycled treasure hunt, pair this project with a field trip to the Rebuilding Center, ReClaim It!, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or SCRAP and make it a hands-on lesson about the importance of reuse.)
We used a piece of driftwood found on the beach for our first wind chime, and an old lighting bracket found at the ReBuilding Center for our second wind chime. So let the natural creativity of your kids take over!
A variety of “lost and found” objects, such as keys, springs, metal doo-dads, old costume jewelry, washers, nuts, silverware with holes, wooden beads and shells
A stick, piece of driftwood or some sort of metal base with holes in it from which to hang strings
Drill to make small holes (if using stick for base)
Wire or string
1. If you are using a stick or wood for your base, drill a few small holes in it. (Kids will need supervision or help from grown-ups here.)
2. Cut fishing line to desired length, make a knot at one end, then string up a mixture of glass, wooden or metal beads, and all the other treasures you found. Note that fishing line is slippery, so grown-ups can tie the knots. But it is nice and stiff, so it’s easy for small hands to string beads on it.
3. To secure the line to the base, put the line through a hole in the base, add one bead, then put the line back through the same hole in the base. Then tie it off.
4. Repeat, making as many strings of beads and recycled objects as you have holes in your base.
5. After all the dangly strings are attached to your base, use wire or sting to make a handle for your wind chime.
6. Hang the finished creation on your porch where the sunlight will make it sparkle and the breeze will make magical sounds!
Amber Gauntlett is the owner of Smartypants kids’ art space in North Portland. Witnessing the joy that kids find in the art-making process brings out the kid in her. For more information visit smartypantspdx.com.