The sound of wind chimes ringing in the breeze can be a very pleasant addition to a spring or summer afternoon spent outdoors. If you’re interested in making your own wind chimes, you’re in luck: these simple decorative pieces can be made from a number of reused materials. The guide below describes how to make wind chimes from old cutlery using only a few tools and a little time.
Gather your materials. For this project, you will need 6 pieces of silverware, at least 1 of which must be a fork. Forks and spoons are preferable to knives, as the thick handles of knives make them difficult to drill a hole for hanging. You will also need a pair of pliers, a pair of needle-nose pliers, a drill and a set of drills, and fishing line or thin tape.
Prepare the fork that will be the centerpiece. All the remaining silverware will hang from this center fork. To prepare it, you’ll need to drill 2 holes in it and bend its pins to allow for hanging the other pieces.
Start by drilling the hole to hang the entire wind chime. This hole should be placed in the handle of the fork, very close to the end. Select a very small drill bit for this job – preferably 0.80 cm (0.8 mm) or less. General purpose drills will usually be able to drill through metal if they are of high quality. You may want to secure the fork to a work surface with a C-clamp while you drill.
Next, drill a hole in the center fork to hang a piece of silverware directly below it. This hole should be drilled in the center of the wide part of the fork, just above the tines.
You will now need to bend each of the fork tines in a different direction to make room for the other pieces hanging below. Use your pliers to bend each tine until they are at a 90 degree angle to the handle of the fork. Make the bend where the tine meets the wide part of the fork and spread the tines until they are each at a right angle to their adjacent tines.
Finally, wrap the end of each tine so that the fishing line can loop through it. Use your needle-nose pliers to grab the end of each tine and wrap it around itself until it forms a small loop.
Drill holes in each remaining piece of silverware so that they can be hung. Only one hole should be drilled in each of the 5 additional pieces of silverware. Position the hole very close to the handle end of each piece. Again, you may want to secure the silverware with a C-clamp while drilling.
Make decorative changes to the remaining silverware if desired. The remaining 5 pieces of silverware can be hung as is, or their shape can be modified.
For example, you can use your needle-nose pliers to firmly fold the tines of the forks over themselves. You can also curl the blade of a knife or the basin of a spoon in the same way.
Another option is to hammer each piece of silver flat. The best way would be to lay the silverware on a hard work surface and hit them with a sledgehammer.
Hang the bottom pieces of silverware on the center fork. To begin assembling the wind chimes, cut 5 pieces of fishing line to the length you want the lower silverware pieces to hang.
Carefully tie the end of each piece of fishing line to the hole in each bottom piece of silverware. Trim any excess length after securing the knot.
Wrap the other end of the fishing line through 1 of the coiled tines of the fork of the centerpiece. Tie a knot to secure it in place. The fifth piece of silverware should be attached to the hole you drilled in the wide part of the center fork.
Hang the wind chime assembly in the desired location. Now the bottom 5 pieces of silverware should be hung from the fork of the center piece above. The only remaining step is to attach a piece of fishing line through the hole in the handle of the center fork. This fishing line can then be attached to a hook in your ceiling, covered porch or other location.
You can give stainless steel silverware an aged look by exposing it to a direct flame. The heat from the flame discolors the steel in unpredictable patterns.
You can string decorative beads along the fishing line for a more ornate look.
Flatten the forks and spoons in a vise so they hang straight.
Things you’ll need
Silverware (6 pieces)
Needle nose pliers
Fishing line or thin ribbon