Wind chimes are one of those things you’d never think to make. A quick Google image search leaves you with pages and pages of designs that all look exactly the same (not to mention dated)—and they're all pictured outside: hanging on a porch or deck, in a garden or by the front door.
It’s time to rethink the wind chime.
On a recent trip to Terrain—a dreamy garden and home center in Glenn Mills, P.A. (also in Westport, C.T.)—I spotted a few hanging pieces inside and outside. Although unconventional, I love the idea of an indoor chime hung by a window, in a kitchen or play/work room. I started keeping my eyes peeled for more of them.
And then I spotted this gorgeous one from Ladies & Gentlemen, which featured half-moon glass pieces suspended in a big brass ring. I was inspired by the shape of it, but decided to use leather trim instead of glass combined with lots of other inexpensive ornaments.
This project can be made using items from a hardware store: washers in gold and silver, inexpensive monofilament, plus bits of copper and wood. Choose larger or smaller metal rings depending on the space you are filling and the effect you're looking for (I made mine with a 6-inch ring, but you could make a statement with a larger 10 or 12-inch ring).
And, yes, there is the whole lack-of-wind-inside factor… however, mine lives in the kitchen and I’m pleased to hear it chime from time to time. If there’s an open window, fan, or A.C. in the room (even if someone walks by!), you’re all set.
Trim cord to desired hanging length (about 12 inches for a shorter hang and 24 for longer). Fold in the cord in half and tie a girth hitch knot around the metal ring. Slip wooden bead on next, then tie cord off at the top.
Left: Tying a girth hitch knot, and slipping the bead on. Photo by Mark Weinberg
Step 2: Trace the opening of the glass on to a piece of leather trim.
Cut out the circle using scissors, then cut in half (to create two half-circles)—or keep it whole if you like! Using a screw punch, make a hole a 1/4 inch from the side of the half-circle that you want to point upwards.
Left: Cut out a circle of leather trim, then hole punch it using a leather punch.
Step 3: Lay out the elements you're going to hang.
This include chime components, washers, the leather half-circle, and the anything else you want to dangle from your brass ring. Attach a piece of monofilament to each one, then lay out where you want them all to hang. Be sure to do this at varying heights (perhaps one chime is slightly higher than another, and the same for the washers) so don't all lump together.
Left: Chime charms! Right: Laying out where you want them to fall before knotting. Photo by Mark Weinberg
Step 5: Hang elements from the metal ring.
Tie the ends of the monofilament pieces quite close to the girth hitch knot or even through it; you’ll want to tie a few elements on either side of the knot so that there’s some distance between them when they hang. Knot and snip monofilament so there’s very little excess string.