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Mansfield Magazine

Tin Can Wind Chimes

Mar 18, 2013 10:52AM ● By Brian O

Tin Can Wind Chimes

by Mary Phillips

Tin can wind chimes are a great way to upcycle – and you won't believe the lovely Tibetan bell sound that comes from them as the wind blows! Paint them with bright colors and string pretty beads for a burst of color in an otherwise drab corner of your porch, or allow the kids to add their artistic touches as a fun family project to welcome spring weather. Here’s how you can make a set for yourself:

1. Collect your supplies.
 Large, medium, and small tin cans. Take the paper off the tin cans and wash them. Be sure they nest inside each other, even if the overlap is small.
 A file tool for smoothing any sharp edges on the cans if needed.
 Enamel spray paint; and paint brushes and outdoor paint for artistic additions.
 Pretty beads. Be sure to have one large or flat bead to use as a clapper. We used a piece of aluminum can cut and painted with enamel.
 .45mm jewelry wire – we used a 7 strand thread for durability and stiffness.
 Hammer and small nail.

2. After your cans are cleaned and any sharp spots are filed down, spray paint your cans with several light coats of enamel paint. Even if you intend to let your children (or your inner artist!) paint designs on the cans, the spray paint is an important primer. Allow the paint to dry over night.

3. Cut a piece of wire 3 feet long and securely tie a starter bead to one end. Knot it several times.

4. String your clapper over the starter bead. A large bead will work just as well as a flat piece as a clapper.

5. Thread as many beads as you would like to hang down outside of your chimes from the bottom. Be sure you have at least 4 inches of beads.

6. Lay your beaded wire down along side your smallest can. Determine where the top of the can will rest, and tie an anchor bead here to support the can with a secure knot.

7. With the first small can in place, lay your strand down again and figure out how much overlap you want from your second can. Determine where your second anchor bead should be tied and affix it to your strand with a knot.

8. Repeat this process again to add your third and largest can. If you want, add more successive cans to your strand…We stuck with three.

9. Top your chimes off with more pretty beads and tie a loop in the top of your wire for hanging your masterpiece!

Enjoy your wind chimes year round at your home, then make a second set for a friend!

Mary Phillips at Forgotten Works Garden Gallery.

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