My grandparents have always had a lot of wind chimes at their house. I’m not sure whether they really like wind chimes or just that a lot of people have given wind chimes to them. I’m hoping their reasoning for having so many is that they really love wind chimes because I decided to make them one for Christmas. To put a spin on it, I chose to make the wind chime out of bottle caps.
- Bottle Caps
If you drink out of glass bottles often, it should be easy for you to gather your main supply! I, on the other hand, went online to purchase some bottle caps. A simple Google search will yield many possibilities…vintage, silver, multi-colored, etc. You will definitely have many choices. I bought a pack of 50 vintage bottle caps. Fifty was a sufficient amount, but I would have liked to have maybe 5-10 more than that.
- Jump Rings
In addition to the bottle caps, I stopped in the jewelry section of a crafts store to pick up some jump rings to connect the caps together. I bought two different sizes for variety. The amount you will need will depend on how long you want your wind chime to be.
The jump rings are pretty small, so you’ll probably need some help holding onto them (…unless you make jewelry, and you’ve mastered this skill without one)! I purchased a three-pack of pliers and cutters for this project and for future use. I used both of the pliers in the three-pack to hold onto the rings and twist them. I would suggest using two needle-nosed pliers if you have them rather than using the round nose pliers.
- Punch Pliers
I bought 1.8mm punch pliers to make the holes in the bottle caps to connect them together. This was an ideal size for the bottle caps.
*Reminder: Make sure you buy a punch pliers that punches holes big enough for the size rings you purchased (or that you buy rings small enough to fit through the hole made by the pliers).
- Jar Cover
I was making a fairly small wind chime, so a pickle jar cover was the perfect size for mine!
*Reminder: Make sure you wash the cover really well if there was something in it previously. My wind chime still smelled a little like pickles despite the repeated washing. Sorry, grandma…I hope you like the smell of pickles!
To connect the rings to the top of the wind chime (the jar cover).
THE MAKING OF…
Step 1: Punch some holes!
This was the easiest part of this project. Simply punch holes with your punch pliers on two sides of the bottle cap. Try to make the holes directly across from each other, but it’s not a big deal if it’s not perfectly lined up. The grooves in the side of the bottle cap sometimes get in the way and require you to make a hole that is slightly off-centered from the hole on the opposite side.
Step 2: Ring it up!
Use your pliers to open up the jump rings, making sure you only open the ring enough to slide one end through the hole in the bottle cap. You don’t want to be twisting the ring too much so that it breaks. Once you’ve put a side of the ring through the bottle cap hole, use your pliers to bend the ring back together so that the link is closed and that it is securely connected to the bottle cap. Do the same to link rings together at varying lengths, attaching another bottle cap every once in a while (so that you have unique chains of bottle caps as shown in the photo).
Step 3: Create a “cap” for your chime!
You can use different items to be the cover for your wind chime depending on how big you want your chime to be. I used a pickle jar cover. To attach the chains of bottle caps to the cover, I punched holes in the side of the cover just as I did on the side of the bottle caps (as shown on the right).
Depending on the size of the cover you’re using, this may be sufficient. My cover was big enough that having chains around the edge of the cover wouldn’t be enough to have the chains clink together. Therefore, I used a drill to make some holes on top the cover to allow chains to hang in the middle as well. I did this by drilling two holes in multiple areas in order to be able to loop a jump ring through the cover to hang a chain of bottle caps from. Additionally, I attached a key chain hook to the top of the cover in the middle to hang the chime from.
Step 4: Chime it up!
Finally, use your pliers to create a chain of jump rings, connecting this chain to the rings on the cover of the chime and to a chain of bottle caps. I put at least three rings in between the cover and the first bottle cap. You may find that your wind chime leans towards a certain side. You can fix this by adding a bottle cap to a chain on the opposite side to balance the weight better.
Make sure all the links on your wind chime are closed, and you should be good to go! I would suggest you keep this wind chime inside by a window since I’m not sure how well it would hold up outside on a windy day.
Dream. Be inspired. Create.