Crafting Wind Chimes Using Dowels

With the onset of spring, many are ready to tackle their spring cleaning projects. Most have grand ambitions for the insides of their homes. However, spring cleaning doesn’t have to include only the inside of a home. There are improvements that can be made to the outside as well. Spring is a time when many begin preparing to plant their gardens, planting shrubs and flowers, and cleaning up landscapes from the listlessness and harsh effects of winter. Outside improvements can also include additions to one’s lawn, such as bird baths, statues, and rock or water gardens.

Another frequently underrated outdoor improvement to consider is the addition of wind chimes. Gentle spring winds make this a most pleasant and soothing sound. And it doesn’t have to cost greatly to have them! In fact, by using some basic materials, wind chimes can be crafted rather easily. By creating them oneself, wind chimes can be made according to the designer’s personal preferences, including the materials, colors, and textures used. Follow the steps below to craft your very own wind chimes quickly and inexpensively.

Start with a small terra cotta plant holder. Depending on any color preferences, paint or stencil the plant holder, and depending on any materials or texture preferences, add other materials, such as buttons, faux jewels, or ribbons to the plant holder.

Using a three-quarter inch thick wood dowel, cut a piece that will fit horizontally one-half inch from the outer rim of the plant holder. The lengths of the dowel may vary if a larger plant holder is used. Then, cut several pieces of dowel of varying lengths. Generally, dowel lengths should be between three and six inches. These cuts of dowel will be used as the chimes.

With twine or another hefty string, determine the lengths necessary to make the chimes functional, as well as the number of lengths needed as determined by the number of dowel chimes that will be used, and then cut them accordingly. Tie the twine to one end of each chime, and secure the twine by hot gluing it to the chime at the knot. Tie the other end of each chime to the smaller cut of dowel, which will fit horizontally inside the terra cotta plant holder. Also secure these knots to the dowel cut with hot glue.

Determine the length of twine that will be needed to support the completed wind chime project based upon its overall weight and the length appropriate to the site from which it will be hung. Generally, 24 inches is a good starting point, and adjustments can be made accordingly. Once the appropriate length is determined, tie either end of the twine to either end of the horizontal dowel cut. As with the other tied twine pieces, reinforce its security by hot gluing it at the knots. Then, pull this piece of twine through the hole on the bottom of the terra cotta plant holder. The completed project inverts the plant holder, making the bottom side with the hole the top of the wind chime. The twine may be knotted just above the hole or not depending upon personal preference.

Once pulled through the hole, the horizontal piece of hardwood dowel becomes fitted within the plant holder and provides the lift that secures the chimes into place. For additional security and stability, however, hot glue either end of the horizontally-fitted piece to its respective spot against the inner rim of the plant holder.

Allow ample time for all applied hot glue to dry, and when it has done so, hang the wind chimes in the desired spot.