You still have time to make this for Christmas!
My baby sister recently had a "milestone" birthday and a few months before it arrived, I started to rack my brain for what I could make/give her. After a few sessions on Pinterest, Etsy and good old fashioned Google I decided I would make wind chimes!
I chose to make chimes out of old spoons, which my loving hubby said would only make her think of doing dishes every time the wind blew - but I am happy to report they sound beautiful and nothing like doing dishes!
The wind chimes I made for my sister hanging on her front porch
I happily spent a day visiting thrift stores (the good ones - tiny shops with insanely low prices) and bought as many good quality, heavy spoons as I could. I got all sorts of sizes - including teaspoons. I also checked out the jewelry areas for any beaded necklaces, bracelets or earrings in my colour scheme. While browsing the thrift shop I kept my eyes open for what would serve as the main piece in the wind chime. The piece to which I would attach all the beads, string, spoons, etc. I found cool cheese graters with lots of rust and character. I found a candle holder with beautiful detail and lots of holes to string my wire through. What I ended up using was a brass candle holder that I took apart and drilled holes in to. I had to visit a box store for heavy duty craft wire, and also picked up a few stamped silver beads. The last thing I needed was a letter and number stamp. You might know someone who has one - my Dad has one for stamping his equipment with his name. Ask your favourite handy-man if they have one and if they don't, you can attain one for $20.00. You're looking for a 5/32inch set, nice and small letters for stamping names on the spoons.
Now you're ready to get to work!
You will need something incredibly hard to hammer your spoons flat on. Something that won't shatter and will stay flat while you smash the spoons. I used a large piece of nickel (the things my Dad has laying around is unpredictable to say the least).
You will need to hammer the spoons flat, including the handle. Next, take a drill bit meant for drilling metal and carefully put holes in the handles of your spoons. If you've chosen a main "frame" for the wind chime that doesn't have holes, drill them at this time too.
Drilling the holes in the spoons was actually kind of fun!
To stamp a name on the spoon, you will need the number and letter stamp set, a black permanent sharpie, hammer and a block of wood. Mark out on the spoon where each letter will go with the sharpie. Be sure your placement and spacing is correct before beginning the actual stamping. Once you have the spacing figured out, simply retrieve the letter you need and hold firmly on the spot you've marked with your sharpie. Hammer the letter stamp firmly into the spoon (the spoon is resting on the block of wood). Get angry, and really hammer it in! If you pull the stamp away and find you haven't gone deep enough, you can move the stamp over the area and find the indentation to line it back up again. Once the name is complete, colour it in with black sharpie and rub off the excess so the font stands out. I wrote the family name on the largest spoon, the grown-up names on the regular sized spoons and the children's names on the teaspoons.
I'm going to take a small moment here to say one of the main reasons I chose to make wind chimes is because it allowed an opportunity to honour the babies my sister has recently lost in miscarriage. The loss of a child is devastating and a heavy burden on a mother's heart. It often gets overlooked and treated casually because it is so commonplace; but the loss of a child is never "commonplace" to a mother. Our tendency is to ignore uncomfortable problems, but that only compounds the pain. Drop off a meal, maybe a box of tea, offer your shoulder to cry on and don't ignore the loss.
Ok, the hard work is done and you get to be more creative! Attach the spoon to the end of your wire and leave a long "tail" so you can twist it back up the wire - ensuring it won't come undone if someone knocks their head in to it one too many times. Once the spoon is attached start arranging your beads. If you're unhappy with what you've done - start over! Nothing is worse (craft wise) than wishing you had done something differently and not fixing it when it's easiest to change! Get creative with your bead arrangement. For this piece I included purple beads on the "girl" strands, a certain blue for the "boy" strands and added special stones for the "parent" strands. I also used some chain pieces to add more silver to the colour scheme and to help tie in the silver spoons.
Once the beads are all arranged, attach it to your main "frame" as suits your piece. I used a bead to hold mine in place and twisted the wire back through to the other side. I was worried it would fly apart during a good ole' country wind storm and made sure nothing short of a twister would do damage.
You will need to decide how it will be hung. I removed a screw from the candle holder that I knew I would replace with an eye hook. I spray painted the eye hook and an "s" hook to match the wind chimes so the bright silver didn't stand out like a sore thumb. There are plenty of spray paints that will bond to metal, and I had some in my shed - so, it worked out well for me!
That's it - get wind chiming!
I sound like a paid advertisement with the amount of times I've repeated this - but try making a gift or two! Put some time and thought in to the gifts you give. Even if they don't turn out perfectly, a handmade gift is a great way to show someone how important they are to you.
*Thank you sis' for taking pictures of your wind chime and sending them to me! You take such beautiful photos!*