DIY Gift Idea: Beautiful Wind Chimes

Jun 10, 2013

We recently made vibrant rainbow wind chimes here in my daycare, using sticks we'd gathered on a nature walk. They were so beautiful and easy to make, we were inspired to make a couple of natural versions for The Hooligans to give to their parents. In fact, these natural chimes make a perfect homemade Father's Day gift!

Crafting with items found in nature is a wonderful way for children to connect with the world around them, and collecting the materials is an opportunity to get outside with your children to explore your yard or neighbourhood.

You'll need ...

  • sticks and/or pinecones
  • small screw eyes
  • acrylic craft paint
  • craft varnish
  • yarn (or fishing line or twine)

The Hooligans and I started out with a walk through a nearby field, where we collected some large pinecones and lots of old sticks.Back home, we peeled the bark off the sticks, and gave them a quick scrub with a sanding block. Peeling the bark off the sticks prevents them from peeling after they've been painted, and a light sanding will help the paint adhere to the wood.

Once the wood was prepared, The Hooligans painted their sticks with acrylic craft paints, and gave them a coat of craft varnish. We used a "satin" varnish, which really made the paint colours "pop" and added a richness to the wood that was left unpainted. It also added a nice sheen to our sticks. We opted to leave the pinecones unpainted, and just added a coat of varnish to them. When everything had dried, we twisted the screw eyes into the ends of the sticks and pinecones. My preschoolers were able to do this with very little assistance. I started the screw eyes for them, and they were able to twist them almost all the way in before it became too difficult. This was a great fine motor exercise.

At this point, all that was left to do was to string the "chimes" (aka sticks and pinecones). We used acrylic yarn to tie the chimes to the stick. Each time I tied a knot around the screw eye or stick, I doubled it, and because these wind chimes would be hanging outside, I added a dab of varnish to each knot to make sure it would hold. To complete the project, I tied a length of yarn to the stick (that the chimes are hanging from). The pinecones obviously do not "chime" when the wind blows them, but they're a beautiful, natural decoration to hang in a corner of your deck or from a tree in your yard!

Our wooden chimes, however, make a lovely soft sound, similar to bamboo chimes when they blow in the wind.

These wind chimes are a perfect gift for your little Hooligan to make and give to Dad on his special day. Happy Father's Day! For more easy and affordable craft ideas, please pop over and visit us at Happy Hooligans! You'll find lots of inspiration for kids' arts, crafts and activities.  

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Read more from Jackie here.

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.

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