One of my favorite summer memories growing up was spending time on my grandma’s front porch. She had a porch swing and tall trees in the front yard. It was the perfect lazy summer activity; my family would sit around visiting while I played with my cousins. As we got older we spent less time on the porch, but the enjoyment of swinging on the front porch is still there.
When my husband and I were house hunting, one of the things that was most important to me was having a porch so we could hang a swing. We totally lucked out in that department; our house has a great covered porch and my uncle made us a swing as a wedding gift. We strung some icicle lights to add to the ambiance and now the porch is a wonderful place to enjoy a warm summer day or to watch a thunderstorm. Something is still missing, though. We have the swing, the bistro table, the fairy lights…what do we still need?
A wind chime, of course! My love of wind chimes definitely comes from my mom; she has at least five of varying sizes in the back yard. I love delicate wind chimes with glass and crystal elements but I also enjoy the larger, sturdier variety. Whatever the style, they are all beautiful to listen to on a breezy summer day.
The trouble with wind chimes is, as always, finding what I want at a price I can be happy with. I want something fun and decorative, but I also want to be sure it will hold up to the elements. A dainty wind chime will be fun and festive, but one big wind and it ends up a tangled mess. The larger wind chimes can take a beating from the weather, but they aren’t the right size for our front porch. The only option is (you guessed it!) to make my own!
My husband’s grandparents recently moved into an assisted living facility, so his family has been going through their house. We acquired a box of old keys, and that gave me the idea for this DIY Key Wind Chime! Using keys gives the wind chime the perfectly tinkly sound along with an eclectic decorative touch!
To make your own key wind chime, here’s what you need:
- Keys! Any keys will do. Antique keys, old house keys, any size, shape, or color!
- Fishing line or heavy-duty string
- Beads to add some extra sparkle (optional)
- Embroidery hoops
- Clear spray paint (optional)
- Glue (optional)
1) To start, select your keys. I opted to just use random ones, but if you have a large set you could pick ones that are all similar shapes or colors. If you want to protect them from the elements, I would recommend coating them in clear spray paint and letting them dry before you begin.
2) Tie your keys to the string or fishing line. Cut the fishing line into varying lengths, but don’t worry too much if they are too long; you can always shorten them later. Be sure to use a square knot/double knot to keep the keys secure! If you like, you can add a drop of glue to keep the knot in place.
3) Once your keys are tied, add beads! I added just a couple beads to every other key, but you can add as many or as few as you like. I also added a few strings with just beads, to make it extra sparkly!
4) Tie your keys to the inner hoop of your embroidery hoops, using a square knot/double knot here as well. This can get kind of tricky as the keys will be prone to tangling; I sat on the floor with my leg bent and balanced the hoop on my knee and worked around it. If you have a large, flat table to work on (and no cat to attack your work!) you may have a better chance of keeping things from getting knotted. This is the time to decide how long or short you want the lengths of fishing line to be. Once the keys are tied to the hoop, you can adjust the length so the keys hit one another when they move. My keys hang a variety of lengths, but I tried to keep them pretty close together. If your fishing line is too long, carefully wrap it around the hoop (after you’ve tied it on) to shorten it.
5) Once all the keys are on the hoop and spread out to your liking, add the outer hoop and tighten it. Make sure it’s tight enough to keep your fishing line in place. For extra security, you may want to add glue to the space between the hoops; this will keep the fishing line from slipping. Once everything is glued, trim the excess ends of the fishing line.
6) Cut three long lengths of fishing line and fold them in half. Tie each length of line at a different point around both hoops; the points where these are tied would create a triangle if you connected them. Tie the ends together into a loop so you can hang your wind chime!
And there you have it! The perfect DIY to enjoy next time you’re sitting out in the warm summer breeze.