Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Make copper wind chimes

by: Chica

Make copper wind chimes
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My Honey and I are celebrating our 7th anniversary this year, and the traditional anniversary gift theme for the 7th year is copper. I like to follow the traditional gift when I can, but I had a heck of a time coming up with something copper that he would like. Finally it hit me — I could make copper windchimes, and to make it even more special I could use 7 pipes! He loves sitting on the porch and I knew he would enjoy the sound.

To start, of course I needed to get some copper pipe. I headed to my local home improvement store and went to the plumbing section, where I quickly found a 10′ long piece of 1/2″ copper pipe. I had planned on cutting it into pieces myself at home with a copper pipe cutter, but when the nice lady working in that department offered to cut it for me for free, I took her up on it. I needed 7 pieces of pipe and wanted each one to be 2″ longer than the last, so she cut me pieces measuring 10″, 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″, and 22″ long.

When I got them home, I drilled a small hole in the end of each pipe, making sure to drill all the way through the pipe so that the hole was on the back, too.

Then I needed two wooden circles, which I found at my local craft store. The first one is larger (mine was 8″ across) and goes on the top, for the pipes to hang from. The second one is smaller (mine was 4″ across) and will hang in the middle, to serve as a clapper.

When you choose your circles, make sure the second circle is small enough to leave room for the pipes to hang down around it.

Now for the tricky math part! I made evenly-spaced markings on the larger circle, dividing it into sections for each pipe. Since mine had 7 pipes, it took a lot of trial and error to mark 7 evenly-spaced spots on the larger circle. You’ll have a much easier time if you use an even number like 6 or 8.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

Then I drilled a hole about a half inch in from the edge at each mark.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

Then I drilled a hole in the middle of each circle. I also drilled three holes around the center hole in the larger wood circle. These would be used for the hanger later on.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

With the geometry behind me, it was time to start putting this thing together!

The pipes needed to hang from the wood by some sort of cord. I recommend using a nylon cord that’s suitable for outdoors. (Cotton will probably disintegrate too quickly when exposed to the weather.) Use something pretty thin and very flexible. I actually struck gold on this by using some mini-blind cords that I had saved from the last set of mini-blinds I threw away. It was perfect!

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

I cut a piece of cord about 8″ long and threaded it through the holes at the end of one of my pipes.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

Then I took both ends, slipped them up through a hole in the large wooden circle, and tied them in a knot.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

I repeated this for the second pipe, but when I tied my knot, I held the wood up level and made sure that the string was the same length as the one on the first pipe.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

I attached all the remaining pipes in the same way, making sure to put them in order from shortest to longest.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

Next was the hanger. I took three more pieces of cord, tied a big knot in each, and fed them up through the three middle holes in the larger wooden circle.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

I held all three cords tightly in my hand (the pipes were pretty heavy!) and held the whole thing up in the air. Here is where balance becomes very important, as I needed to make each of the cords the exact length necessary for the wooden circle to remain level. The varying lengths of pipes make one side heavier than the other, but you can make it all hang level by carefully adjusting those three cords.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

When I had it just how I wanted it, I tied them in a knot and trimmed the ends. This part is ready to hang with an S-hook from a hook our porch ceiling.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

But first, I needed to add the clapper. I took one more piece of cord, tied a knot in the end, and fed it through the smaller wooden circle.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

Then I fed the other end up through the middle hole in the larger wooden circle, adjusted for length, and tied it in a knot.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

That’s it, the wind chimes are done! I hung them on the porch for my husband to see when he came home, and he loved them.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

See, wind chimes are really not very hard to make! You can make them out of just about any material you like, too. Copper not only suited my occasion, but it has a wonderful sound when the pipes hit in the breeze, so my husband and I were both very pleased with the results!

Oh, one more thing… after doing all this, I realized that the spot I hung the wind chimes in wasn’t quite breezy enough to make them chime much, so I decided to add a wind catcher to help the breeze along. To do this, I just cut a little 2″ x 4″ piece of thin wood, drilled a hole in it, and strung more cord through the hole.

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

Then I just fed the end up through the hole in the clapper and knotted it so the wind catcher hung in place. This additional wind catcher piece helps catch the breeze and make the chimes ring even more. So, keep this optional addition in mind if you want extra noisy wind chimes!

DIY copper wind chimes tutorial

Make copper wind chimes
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71 comments so far:

  • 1
    Casey 08/09/2010 at 1:39 pm

    What a great – and beautiful – job you did! Your honey is going to be so proud of your efforts!

  • 2
    Baye 08/09/2010 at 8:07 pm

    Yet another idea I absolutely must try. Thanks, again, for the inspiration.

  • 3
    Chica 08/10/2010 at 8:03 am

    Thanks, Casey and Baye!

  • 4
    Rachel 08/12/2010 at 12:29 am

    Whoa… that is so cool! What a rewarding project and those things are so expensive! Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.

  • 5
    Lisa 08/12/2010 at 8:19 pm

    What a cool idea! I had no idea it was that easy! I hate that windchimes are so expensive so this is a great cheap way to make your own! Thanks!

  • 6
    Kristen 08/13/2010 at 12:12 am

    How does the sound compare to other windchimes? I was wanting to do something like this for my kids to bang on, but wasn’t sure how it would sound. Love all your projects I’ve viewed so far – I’m off to explore the rest now! :)

  • 7
    Chica 08/13/2010 at 8:27 am

    Rachel and Lisa, you are right on the nose with this being a money-saving craft. I spent less than $15 on all the parts!

    Kristen, the sound is lovely! A good way to hear how it sounds before committing to the purchase is to visit a hardware store and grab a small piece of trim wood, and tap it on a piece of pipe over in the plumbing section. If you like the sound from that test, you’ll probably like the finished result too :)

  • 8
    Shell 08/22/2010 at 2:03 am

    My husband and I made this today. I had been looking for wind chimes for my back porch and ones 1/2 this size cost $50 bucks! Thanks for the instructions!

  • 9
    Chica 08/22/2010 at 9:12 am

    That’s awesome, Shell. Can we see a picture? (You can e-mail it to us or post it to our Flickr group)

  • 10
    Sandy 08/31/2010 at 8:53 pm

    Love the wind chimes…have wanted some of these but they are so expensive in the stores….I know copper isn’t cheap….what did you end up spending on materials? Thanks.

  • 11
    Sandy 08/31/2010 at 8:55 pm

    Never mind…I just saw that you already answered this question.

  • 12
    Scott 01/27/2011 at 7:03 pm

    Aloha! This site is great! Your custom copper pipe wind chime project inspired me so much that I decided to start this project today, I’ve already cut the pipe and I’m ready to cut out the wood pieces. My wife was asking for a wind chime for years, but I could never find one (that wasn’t ridiculously over-priced). I’m modifying the design slightly with different diameter pipe, but they sound great. Thanks for posting process/instructions!

  • 13
    Chica 01/27/2011 at 7:46 pm

    Scott, we’re so happy our tutorial could help you score some brownie points with the Mrs! We’d love to see how your wind chimes come out :)

  • 14
    Karen 04/19/2012 at 11:26 pm

    Hi!I’ve been wanting to make wind chimes for years. I even thought of copper pipe because when they get wet and over an extended period of time they would get the verdigris look. You have inspired me to try it. What a nice lady in the hardware store to cut the pipe for you. Thanks for posting the instructions.

  • 15
    Chica 04/20/2012 at 11:34 am

    Karen, I’m so happy to have inspired you! Exposed copper will turn green eventually, so if you don’t like that look you can spray the pipes with a clear sealer or varnish to protect them.

  • 16
    Peggy 04/21/2012 at 5:57 pm

    Chica, I was so happy to find this. My wind chimes broke several years ago but I could not throw them out. This will help me put them back together. One question, where did you get the wood circles I have looked everywhere for them?

  • 17
    Chica 04/21/2012 at 6:55 pm

    Peggy, so glad we could help you save your wind chimes! I got my wood circles at my local Michael’s craft store.

  • 18
    Iris 07/18/2012 at 10:26 pm

    Chica, Thank You so much for the clear and easy directions,bought my copper today,and my wood at Micheals and getting ready to make mine. Wish me luck, I know it shall be sweet sounding sucess!

  • 19
    Chica 07/31/2012 at 2:54 pm

    Iris, best of luck to you. Let us know how it goes!

  • 20
    victoria 12/18/2012 at 7:59 pm

    where did u get the round wood?

  • 21
    Chica 12/19/2012 at 8:56 am

    Victoria, you can find round wooden pieces like that at most craft stores.

  • 22
    Joann 03/09/2013 at 4:36 pm

    I love windchimes and have been wanting to make some. Thanks for the great instructions! I hung a set I received as a gift over my heat and air unit and whenever the fan kicks on the windchimes make thei beautiful music. I love that I can hear them without any wind!

  • 23
    Jessica 04/08/2013 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks for posting all the steps. I have to make on for a project i’m doing and this kinda helps me figure out how to do it.

  • 24
    Judy 09/08/2013 at 7:55 pm

    This is great info. I have a couple of purchased wind chimes that the string has broken or they have come undone where they were stapled to the bottom of the wooden circle. My staple gun won’t insert the staples enough to hold it, so I was trying to figure out a way to fix them. I will now use your drilled hole method and fix them. Thanks you! Oh and a suggestion to those who will have theirs hung out in the weather, to keep the wood in good condition, you might either paint, stain or clear seal the wooden parts. I had to seal the wood on my store bought chime after I used wood glue to seal a crack that developed in the wood after being outside for a while.

  • 25
    madhuri 01/25/2014 at 6:02 am

    i like these very much

  • 26
    deb byrd 03/17/2014 at 7:47 pm

    instead of rope or fishing line, why not use copper wire through holes in pipes and twist ends together to secure. Then put your rope/fishing line through that. It saves wear and tear on the ends and you will not be replacing them so often.

  • 27
    Chica 03/19/2014 at 6:22 pm

    Good idea, Deb, as long as you’re okay with the copper wire developing a green patina as it ages. If not, perhaps a galvanized wire would work better.

  • 28
    Lonnie Ricks 05/02/2014 at 8:36 pm

    Where can I locate rubber gromets to insert in the hole int the tubes (protecting the string/sound enhancement).Ive tried Lowes, Home Depot, arts & crafts store like Michael’s. No luck

  • 29
    Jacob 05/09/2014 at 12:33 am

    I have always look at the large one thy sounds like church bells,icant aford one but I will try this thank you very much

  • 30
    Mikki 05/26/2014 at 4:35 pm

    I have just found your site !!!..wanted to try to make a wind chime..this looks just the job !..all explained very clearly..thank you…Michael

  • 31
    c.j. 06/15/2014 at 10:48 am

    Thank you for posting these easy to follow instructions. I have been asked to fix several wind chimes that have broken and I have been putting it off because I didnt know what type of string to use for outside use. Now I can get busy and they can enjoy their sweet music again. You have helped make several elderly people happy. :)

  • 32
    Chica 06/15/2014 at 11:26 am

    So glad we could help, CJ!

  • 33
    SANDY HOLLY 06/23/2014 at 1:32 pm


  • 34
    Sheila 07/19/2014 at 7:07 am

    Have the knots in the string held the pipes? Seems they might slip through eventually. Also, what did you use to thread the string through the holes? Great project!

  • 35
    Chica 07/19/2014 at 5:16 pm

    Sheila, the knots were big enough to hold the pipes and they haven’t slipped through. My cord was stiff enough that I was able to poke it through the holes without a problem, but if it’s not working for you, you could probably use a toothpick to push it through.

  • 36
    Teresa 08/02/2014 at 3:25 pm

    Did you cut the round circles yourself or did you find some precut? They seem to have nicely finished edges.

  • 37
    Chica 08/03/2014 at 4:08 pm

    Teresa I purchased the wooden circles already cut at my local craft store.

  • 38
    Lani 08/29/2014 at 10:07 am

    Am redoing my plumbing and now I can use the copper pipes to make some wind chimes. To seal the wood circles I am going to use outside house paint. It is made to endure all kinds of weather. Or deck sealer would work I would think. To seal the knots so they don’t come undone a little clear sealer applied to the knot. In days gone by when nylon stockings developed a snag or run a little clear nail polish was applied.

  • 39
    carrie 11/26/2014 at 12:14 am

    very helpful thank you

  • 40
    sania 01/22/2015 at 4:44 pm

    amazing worked perfectly! Me and my daughter made it and we had great fun!!!!!!!!! Lovely and easy

  • 41
    Chica 01/22/2015 at 7:23 pm

    Wonderful news, sania!

  • 42
    Linda 02/03/2015 at 2:46 pm

    I love this type of chimes, but they are so very expensive to buy! Thank you so much for providing instructions on your beautiful chimes.

    I found the copper pieces at Lowes in different lengths, so my project will start very soon.

  • 43
    Timmy Jo 02/12/2015 at 7:49 pm

    Hi great instructions.. my question is, how far apart did you drill the 7 holes.. thanks

  • 44
    Chica 02/16/2015 at 11:30 am

    Timmy Jo, the measurements will be different for every project, depending on how many chimes you add and how large your wooden disc is. Just make sure they are spaced apart evenly.

  • 45
    Brian 03/24/2015 at 12:55 pm

    I made a similar 5 tube wind chime a week ago and found your website today… Great tutorial!

    A few things that I tried:
    I used the wires from medium sized binder clips to slip inside the tubes and ‘spring out’ inside the tube and connect a single string.

    I used a buffing wheel on angle grinder/polisher and used rubbing compound to create mirror finish on the tubes, then light coat of wax to preserve finish.

    I had some old 1×12 cedar planks that I used for the top and clapper. For the sail, I had some old scrap mirrored plexiglass that I shaped into a teardrop, then glued 2 pieces back to back (for mirror on both sides) In sunny wind, the mirror reflects everywhere. (think audio & visual stimulation)

    I used MS Word and created a 5 slice pie chart for 5 pipes and used it for the template for all my holes… I marked my first outer holes, then rotated the template 1 inch to space my outer holes 1 inch apart. If you need 7 pipes, make a 7 slice pie chart. Save ink by printing grey scale. NOTE: I used .74 in Word as my slice dimensions for 5 even slices.

    I used a single string from tube, went through bottom of left hole, looped through right hole, back up through left hole, then up to steel hanging ring at top.
    Only takes a second to center my pie chart, mark my holes and start drilling. (If I continue to make these, I’ll make a template out of thicker material.)

    Enjoyed it so much, I’m working on my second set of chimes with different sized tubes or may even try 7 tubes. Thanks for the tutorial also.

  • 46
    Robyn Blasco 03/26/2015 at 12:10 pm

    GREAT INSTRUCTIONS!!!! I have looking for an easy Copper Wind Chime, and VIOLA! However if I may make a SUGGESTION, how about making the HANGER for the wind chimes 1st. That way in stead of having to hold up at eye level to check leveling…cuz it’s going to get HEAVY, you could go hands free by hanging your project up, maybe from a chair,Craft Desk or work outside hang it from a plant hanger while you need at eye level. Then when your masterpiece is finished, your shoulder is not KILLING you. LOL. ; )

  • 47
    Chica 03/29/2015 at 10:09 am

    Glad you liked this tutorial, Robyn, and thanks for the suggestion!

  • 48
    Chica 03/29/2015 at 10:10 am

    Sounds like you did a great job, Brian. Thanks for sharing your tips with everyone!

  • 49
    vicki 04/02/2015 at 1:13 am

    For the best sounding wind chimes you can do a search on google. And find the list of the correct lengths for pipes especially if you want them to sound harmonic. The actual 2 inch step is an OK idea for a general sound…. I tried it a few years ago also. But a beautiful sounding win chime (those pricy ones) should be pricy because they are harmonic. And lengths also change if you get decide to do one set of chimes in 1/2″ pipe and a different one in 1″ pipe etc

  • 50
    Janet 04/11/2015 at 1:13 pm

    We just repaired our wind chime using your technique. So much easier than using one piece of cord for all 6 chimes. Thank you so much.

  • 51
    Chica 04/15/2015 at 6:33 pm

    Glad we could help, Janet!

  • 52
    Phoebe 07/30/2015 at 10:12 pm

    Hey there. Yes Great tutorial! I would also suggest putting something on the wooden pieces to prevent weathering. I used Butcher Block Conditioner I had, but there are so many different things you can pickup @ any hardware supply store. One more thing for catching the wind… I put my chimes up under the eves of the roof under each corner of the house. It helps keep it out of the rain and if you use different sounding ones on each corner you know which direction the wind is coming from based on the way your house is setup.

  • 53
    miryan 08/14/2015 at 3:44 pm

    That is so amazing. I love all your projects.
    Thanks so much.
    Otavalo, Ecuador S.A.

  • 54
    idris 08/15/2015 at 1:09 pm

    your diy wind chime awesome.Thk for sharing the your genius ideas. Look forward to
    see more things. Be kind to one another. cheer

  • 55
    Jo 08/17/2015 at 10:06 am

    Idris, thank you!

  • 56
    Susan Thorpe 11/17/2015 at 10:12 am

    How far apart did you measure the holes on your 8″ wood circle? An approximation would be helpful. ????

  • 57
    Chica 11/19/2015 at 11:44 am

    Susan, I don’t remember for sure, but looking at the picture of the 8″ circle, I’d say they are between 2-1/2 and 2-3/4 inches apart. Hope that helps!

  • 58
    Cary 01/19/2016 at 9:33 am

    Such great directions! After researching how to make wind chimes on other sites, your directions are by far the easiest and simplest to follow (and I’m not overwhelmed by them like I was with all the others). Great job! Thank you!

  • 59
    Jo 01/21/2016 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you, Cary. We try to make all of our tutorials as thorough as possible.

  • 60
    Rocknrower 02/07/2016 at 8:33 am

    To determine how far apart each hole should be drilled you need to do a little geometry calculation. A circle is 360 degrees. If you want to make 7 holes, divide 360 by 7. This tells you that each hole is approximately 51.5 degrees angle from the next. So, 1st hole is at 0, 2nd at 51.5 degrees, 3rd at 103, 4th at 104.5 etc. If you have more or less pipes you just divide 360 by the number of pipes. Using a protractor (a semi circle / ruler looking tool available for about $1.99 at an office store…or ask to borrow one over night from your kid’s math teacher) you can then plot all 7 holes on the circle at a uniform distance from the edge of the circle.

  • 61
    Carolina 02/17/2016 at 12:29 pm

    Did you use a hand drill to make the holes in the copper. Needing help with that. Thanks for this idea.

  • 62
    Chica 02/18/2016 at 7:23 am

    Carolina, I used my regular power drill for the holes in the copper. To keep the pipe from rolling around on you, try wedging it between two boards to brace it.

  • 63
    Dianne 04/02/2016 at 1:15 pm

    I always had a hard time getting the center flat ‘clanger’ to stay level. It kept on drooping to one side. Then I discovered by using a round wood ball there was no droop! You can drill a hole through it, or attach small screw-in hooks opposite each other for attaching the strings. It works perfectly! I also added small washers to prevent the knots from falling through the holes in the wood. LOVE the sweet sounds!

  • 64
    Chica 04/04/2016 at 12:53 pm

    Dianne, thanks for sharing those tips!

  • 65
    Judi 04/15/2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hi, I made my own wind chimes from scratch because I never saw this site! Bummer!!! I used a round cut birch for the top but all my pipes are the same weight. It sounds pretty when I manually chime them but that’s the problem – the chimes aren’t moving enough to make a sound. They’re very quiet. I can barely hear them from a foot away. Can you tell me what I did wrong? It doesn’t appear I can send a picture but it looks like a regular wind chime.

  • 66
    Chica 04/17/2016 at 3:46 pm

    Judi, did you add a flapper to catch the breeze, and bump the pipes? We hung a flat rectangle of wood from a string in the middle.

  • 67
    savvyonyx 05/30/2016 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful copper pipe wind chime tutorial!
    “song is in the air”! ?

  • 68
    Sunny Stamps 03/15/2017 at 8:33 pm

    I have made several windchimes and repaired numerous store bought ones. There is a problem here in the desert of Southern Colorado of the string wearing out after sometimes only a month or so. Another problem is that where the hole is drilled in the pipe, it is sharp and often cuts the string. Someone had asked where to find rubber grommets, you can find them in auto part stores, they are used to protect wires that go through body parts. That would be a good option, but what I do, is take my dremel, and file the hole so it isn’t as sharp. I think someone mentioned using a paper clip or wire to attach the pipe to the holder, haven’t tried it, but with some experimentation, it might work. And, I always use a nylon cord. As far as them not being noisy enough, maybe you have them too close to the house and they aren’t getting enough wind? The more out in the open they are, add wind, and resistance (the flapper), it should be wonderful. Also, try conduit for piping, you can often get it free near the dumpster at electrical services places. The heavier the pipe, the more dramatic the sound. Conduit is more tinkley, copper is melodic, and heavier pipe is dramatic and bass. Of course remember that the heavier the pipe, the heavier your clapper needs to be. Just go down the aisle at your home store and look at the different pipes they have. Definitely, have them cut it! Thanks for the tute, it was great!

  • 69
    Chica 03/21/2017 at 3:59 pm

    Sunny, thanks for all the tips!

  • 70
    Dianna 09/10/2017 at 6:45 am

    This is the best tutorial I have seen on pinterest. It is straight forward. Loved it. Gonna make some on the weekend. Thank you.

  • 71
    Chica 09/14/2017 at 5:50 pm

    Dianna, thanks for stopping by and saying hi! Best of luck with your chimes.

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