Weather vanes turn with the direction of the wind and help you figure out whether a storm is coming. If the wind is very violent and causes your weather vane to turn from side to side or spin, a thunderstorm is probably on its way. A weather vane that sits still or points consistently in one direction indicates a light breeze and probably good weather. Commercial weather vanes are expensive, though you can create your own from simple copper sheeting and a little ingenuity.
Lay your stencil on your copper sheeting and trace out the stencil with a grease pencil. Choose a simple shape like a rooster, dog, pig, sun, star or house. Remove the stencil and draw a 2-inch-long-by-1-inch-wide rectangle projecting from the bottom of your shape.
Snip out your shape with tin snips. Use the tin snips like scissors, keeping your fingers out of the way of the cut metal. Your completed shape should look like your stencil shape, but with a copper tab sticking out from the bottom.
Push your utility knife against the end of your dowel rod, shaving away small pieces until it becomes a sharpened, tapered point. Drive this point into the ground where you want your weather vane to sit.
Bend the tab on your copper shape into an "L." Place a washer over the top of your dowel and the lower arm of the copper "L" over that. Drive a nail about halfway into the dowel, piercing through the copper "L" and through the centre of the metal washer. The washer, a small metal disc, will allow the weather vane to spin freely.
You can also mount your weather vane atop your house, barn or other building.