Wind chimes are beautiful to listen to and pretty to look at, but they can be pricey. Fortunately wind chimes can be made right at home relatively easily and inexpensively with just a few materials and a little handy work. No large workshop or fancy tools needed! You can enjoy the sounds of your very own handmade wind chime and feel proud that you made it yourself in just an afternoon. Follow these instructions on how to make a copper wind chime and you’ll see just how easy it is to adorn your garden or back porch with a unique, homemade wind chime. Let’s get crafty!
11 ½’ of ½”-diameter copper pipe
A drill with a small bit
Two (2) wooden circles, one smaller than the other (try circles with diameters of 4” and 8”)
9’ of thin nylon rope
A thin, rectangular piece of wood, about 2” x 4” (for the wind catcher)
- Cut your copper into 8 pieces of the following lengths: 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, 18”, 20”, 22”, and 24”. You can do this at home with a copper pipe cutter, but often your home improvement store will gladly cut them for you when you purchase them.
- Using your drill, drill a hole about an inch from the top of each copper pipe. Make sure your drill bit goes in one side and comes out the other side so that you can string your rope through both holes. Set these aside.
- Now let’s work with the larger wooden circle. This will be the top mounting piece that you’ll hang the chimes from. Since you’re going to be hanging 8 pipes, you need to mark 8 evenly spaced Xs or dots going around the circle about an inch in from the outside of the circle. Also mark your center hole. Drill a hole in each spot you marked (9 holes total). Once those are drilled, draw three more Xs or dots evenly spaced around the center hole (you could draw a triangle if you connected these three dots). Draw these about halfway between the center hole and the outside holes. Drill these holes. Set this aside.
- For your smaller wooden circle, drill a hole directly in the center. The nylon rope will be threaded through this hole. This will be the “clapper” that hangs between the pipes to keep them from tangling in the wind.
- Find your small, rectangular piece of wood (the wind catcher). Drill a hole in the center of it toward the top. Set this aside. And set your drill down. You are done drilling holes!
- Grab your 9’ ball of nylon rope. Using your scissors, cut the rope into the following lengths:
8” nylon (3 pieces)—to hang the wind chime from the S-hook
8” nylon (1 piece)—for the clapper
4” nylon (1 piece)—for the wind catcher
- Thread the 8” nylon pieces through the drilled holes in each pipes. For each pipe, grab the two ends of the nylon once they are threaded through the pipe, thread them together up through a hole in the large circle, and then tie them together in a knot to hold them in place (hanging from the wooden circle). Repeat this for the 7 other pipes. TIP: WHEN HANGING THE PIPES, HOLD THE WOODEN CIRCLE UP IN THE AIR BEFORE TYING EACH KNOT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE TOP ENDS OF THE PIPES ARE ALL LEVEL WITH EACH OTHER. ALSO, HANG THE PIPES AROUND THE CIRCLE IN ORDER FROM SHORTEST TO LONGEST FOR A UNIFORM LOOK.
- Once you have all 8 pipes hanging securely, it’s time to thread the 3 nylon pieces that the wind chime will hang from. Tie a knot in the end of each piece. Thread each piece through a separate hole that was drilled around the center hole. After threading them, gather the three ends together. Hold the wind chime up in front of you and tilt it so that the chimes are hanging evenly. Since the longer ones weigh more than the shorter ones, it won’t balance out automatically. You’ll have to adjust the lengths of the three strings before tying them together so that your wind chime isn’t crooked when it hangs. When you have it just right, tie the three strings together and trim the ends. Set this aside.
- It’s time to attach the clapper. Using an 8” piece of nylon string, tie a knot in one end and slide the small circle down to the knot. Then thread it up through the middle hole in the larger circle (in between the 8 copper pipes). Tie a knot on this end so that it hangs down from the larger circle. You can adjust it to whatever length you want.
- And now for one last final step (and it’s an easy one!): Thread the 4” piece of nylon rope through the hole in the wind catcher. Tie a knot in it near the hole. Thread the other end up through the hole in the clapper and knot this end too. It’ll hang down from the clapper and catch the wind to help make your wind chimes more melodious.
Now comes the fun part! Find a great spot around your house to hang your wind chime (on your back porch, just outside your kitchen window, from a tree limb, etc.). Screw in the S-hook and hang it up. Grab a glass of lemonade, kick up your feet, and listen to the beautiful sounds of your new homemade copper pipe wind chime. Oh how sweet it sounds!