Most people have seen or even own a set of wind chimes, but rain chimes are a beautiful home and garden accessory that are a little less well-known. Making your own set of rain chimes can provide entertaining arts and crafts time and add an interesting piece to your garden. Each drop of rain will make a different sound as it strikes the bell-shaped copper, making a different song with different levels of rain.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Copper sheeting
- Tin snips
- Soft rags
- Soldering gun and solder
- Leather gloves
- Fishing line
- Thin metal rods (flattened out wire coat hangers will work)
Cut your copper sheeting into six squares of different sizes. Start with the smallest one and work your way up. The smallest square should be no less than 1 inch by 1 inch so that it will still be easy to work with. Make each progressing square about a half-inch larger than the last. This will create the different notes that play when the rain hits.
Shape each square into the shape of a cup. Use your thumbs to push up and round the centre of the square, then tuck the corners under with the pliers to make a flat bottom. Use rags as a buffer between the copper and the pliers if you want to protect the metallic shine. The bottom does not have to be perfect; some rough edges will add a rustic appeal.
Bend the thin metal rods to create three arches of equal size. Try to make the arches equal in shape and degree of bend, but don't worry if the arch is not perfect.
Solder each end of the three metal rods onto the centre of the top of one cup. It doesn't matter which end goes to which size cup, but you may want to consider balance when placing different-sized cups on opposite sides.
Tie a long piece of fishing line to a tree limb or other suspended wood or iron rod. Tie the first metal rod about four inches down from the tie point. Tie the string in the middle so that the bells hang balanced on each side. Tie several knots and make sure there is plenty of space remaining on the fishing line. Tie the other two rods in the same way four or five inches apart. Turn the arches and tie them so that the cups do not bump into each other; a few hard knots on each arch should do the trick.
Tips and warnings
- Use a hammer to add a metallic pattern to your bells.
- Coat the copper with a clear polyurethane coating to protect the chimes from weathering.
- Always wear leather gloves when working with copper sheeting, as the edges can be sharp and the surface conducts heat when soldering.
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