How to make a wind chime

How to make a wind chime

Nothing compares to the melodic tones of a windchime. Now, you can learn to make your own in just a few short hours.


By recycling old compact discs (with your parent’s permission), you can throw together this combination windchime and suncatcher in under an hour.


2 compact discs

4 silver bells

String, yarn, or twine


Childproof scissors


  1. Determine your color scheme. If your CDs are bright and shiny, you may want to use matching colored ribbon or yarn. If you’re going for the suncatcher effect, you’ll probably want the labels of your CD facing inward. This means you may want to use lots of golds or silvers.
  2. Cut your string. You can use ribbon, yarn, string, twine, or any number of materials to hold your windchime together. Cut a 16-inch piece of string.
  3. String your bells on to the string so that when you hold the two loose ends of string in your hands, the bells swing freely at the bottom.
  4. Tie a knot. Just above where your bells are hanging, tie a knot. You should now have two equal, loose ends of string in your hand.
  5. Slide one CD through both pieces of string and lay it flat on a table or similar working surface.
  6. String one large bell on one piece of string. Pull it down your string until it is 3-4 inches from the bottom of the string. (Your CD will be just below the bell.)
  7. Spread glue on both CDs. (Remember, if you want a suncatcher, this means you’ll be spreading the glue over the label side of the CDs.)
  8. Pull your already strung CD upward so that it lays tight against the last bell you strung in the center of your windchime.
  9. String the second CD and pull it down against the first. Push the CDs together in whatever arrangement you desire and allow to dry thoroughly.
  10. Once dry, tie on a knot in the ends of your loose string and hang.
  11. Enjoy!


ADULTS and older children can make a more elaborate wind chime out of used CDs by cutting the compact discs into pie shapes and drilling a small hole in the top of each piece. String with twine, add bells, and hang!

USE colorful spray paint to add your own design to CDs before stringing. Metallic silvers and golds attract sunlight.

USE colored bells and give as a gift during the holidays!


This windchime can be crafted in an afternoon by older children and a few common household items.


Plastic lid (Large lids from coffee canisters are perfect!)

Silver or gold paint

Hole punch







  1. Cut your yarn. (You can also use twine or string.) For each shell you want to use, cut one, eight-inch piece of yarn and set aside.
  2. Cut holes into your plastic lid. Using a hole punch, cut holes into your plastic lid. You’ll need one hole for each piece of yarn.
  3. Paint the lid. Paint your plastic lid. You can use acrylic paints or spray paint. Set aside to dry.
  4. Glue one end of each piece of yarn to a shell. Allow to dry completely. (This may take several hours.)
  5. Attach each piece of yarn (with the shell already attached) to the lid by stringing the yarn through the hole and tying a knot. Continue until all your shells have been strung.
  6. More yarn! Cut three additional pieces of yarn. Measure each one, making sure they’re all exactly 9-inches long.
  7. Tie. You’ll want to space your 3 pieces of yarn evenly around the top of your lid. (This is what will hold you windchime up.) Find 3 holes and knot your yarn to the lid.
  8. Knot. Gather the 3 loose pieces of yarn together and knot them. Trim any loose ends.
  9. Find a hook and hang.
  10. Enjoy!


YOU can purchase craft shells with pre-drilled holes for easy stringing.

COLOR COORDINATE your shells, string, and ribbon to make a colorful gift.


By selecting a variety of pipes from your local hardware store and trimming them down to size, you can create your own professional sounding windchime!



Hacksaw or pipe cutter

Heavy grade fishing line



Drill bit

6 inch disk of wood or fiberglass

A note about pipes: You can make a windchime out of almost any type of metal pipe. Use your finger to ping at copper, aluminium, steel, and brass pipes in your local hardware store, until you find the type of metal you prefer. How much pipe you’ll need will depend on how large you plan to make your windchime. Usually, no more than 3 feet of pipe is necessary.

A note about clappers: Clappers are the object placed in the center of the windchime, which bangs against the pipes, creating the sound. Almost anything can be used as a clapper. If you want a mellow, even-toned windchime, choose materials which are soft, like fiberglass pieces, wood, or rubber. Likewise, if you’d like your chime to be heard by the entire neighborhood, you’ll want a hard surface for the pipes to strike as they blow in the wind. You can use a stone, piece of plastic or metal.

  1. Cut your pipe. The most basic windchimes require only 4 or 5 pieces of pipe, but you can design your windchime any way you like. Keep in mind that the shorter you cut your pipe, the more high pitch your ringing will be. Each piece of pipe should be a different length. For chimes that are meant to soothe, a variety of like lengths will be needed. Begin with your longest pipe. For each additional pipe, subtract 1/2-1 inch from the length.
  2. Sample. Ping the pipes before proceeding to make certain you’re satisfied with the sound. Use your clapper, if possible. If you need to make adjustments, do so now. Filing down the ends of the pipes will help to soften the sound produced and raise the pitch. Cutting additional length from a pipe will raise the pitch drastically.
  3. Drill a small hole at the top of each pipe.
  4. String your pipe. Extra-heavy grade fishing line or twine make excellent windchime material. Put one end of the string through the hole in each pipe and knot.
  5. Add the clapper. Pull all your strings together so that they are even in length. String your clapper on a length of string that is half of that used for your pipes. (The clapper will be resting somewhere near the middle of your pipes when finished.) Add your clapper to the middle of your pipes.
  6. Loop all your strings through a large washer or bolt and knot several times.
  7. Hang and enjoy!


BY adding a 3-4 inch circular disk made of wood, fiberglass or plastic to the top of your chime, you can create new sounds and appearances.

Leave a Comment