17 January 2014

Make Your Own Copper Wind Chime

Jack and I celebrated our SEVENTH anniversary.  Hooray!  Being a couple of traditionalists, we stick with the list of traditional gifts--this year happened to be wool or copper.  I looked up a few suggestions and noticed copper wind chime.  Jack had just said something a few days earlier about needing a wind chime for our "forest."  I think it was inspired.  Anyway, I wasn't about to spend the amount of money required to buy a manufactured wind chime so, the girls and I made our own for under $10.  If you'd like to make one, here's how...
You'll Need:

3/4 inch copper pipe, about five feet (the store I visited only sold it in 10 ft sections)
Topper (the top of the wind chime where everything is strung together--can use wood, terra cotta planter base, metal etc)
Clapper (the center piece that hits against the copper pipe to produce a sound--wood works best)
Wind catcher (the piece that hangs below the pipes to catch wind to make the clapper hit the pipes--wood, clay, heavy plastic, metal, etc)
Drill and small drill bit (around 5/32 in)
Galvanized wire, twine or other string suitable for use outdoors
S hook or ring (for hanging)
Decorations (spray paint, beads, crystals, glue, etc)

1)  In your topper, mark the center and drill a hole.
2)  Mark five equidistant points (I drew a star to help align them) and drill holes.

3)  Make a clapper--I used a cut section of a tree branch, removed the bark and sanded it.  Drill a hole through the center.
4)  Make a wind catcher--the girls and I rolled out some clay, cut it with a cookie cutter and pressed a nail through where it would hang.
5)  Cut the pipes--if you don't own a pipe cutter, GET ONE.  It makes the job easy and prevents the pipe from bending.  For the following notes, cut at the following lengths (or choose your own notes by cutting various lengths):
Pipe cutters are pretty inexpensive and make working with pipe a cinch.


  • C Sharp: 11 1/2 inch
  • D Sharp 10 7/8 inch
  • F Sharp 10 inch
  • G Sharp 9 7/16 inch
  • A Sharp 8 7/8 inch

 6)  Drill holes in each pipe at the following lengths:

  • C Sharp: 2 9/16 inch
  • D Sharp 2 7/16 inch
  • F Sharp 2 1/4 inch
  • G Sharp 2 1/8 inch
  • A Sharp 2 inch
7)  Decorate topper, clapper and wind catcher as desired.
8)  Thread the center, leaving enough twine/wire/etc to hang the clapper and wind catch.  Attach the hook or ring at the top end of the twine/wire/etc.

9)  Hang each pipe at an equidistant length from the five holes around the center (tops should be level, not ends of the pipe).  It might take a few adjustments to get it right.  You can also string the pipe holes to help balance the topper and/or add additional strength.
I strung my wire through beads to give it a little extra decoration and strength.
10)  Thread the clapper and once positioned (about the center of the pipes), tie a knot below to keep it from sliding down.
11)  Thread the wind catcher and secure a few inches below the pipes.
12) Add any final decorations and clean off copper pipes as needed (mine had red ink on it from the store which came off with a cloth and mineral spirits).
Hang and ENJOY!

Oh, and what did Jack make me?  He always outdoes me--he built a wool spinner (now I can take up pottery AND spinning)!  It was quite the undertaking that included hours of whittling wood and disassembling my bike--I'll show it off soon!

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