Like all outdoor accessories, wind chimes are vulnerable to weathering and damage – the cords might need replacement eventually. So what’s the best way to restring wind chimes?
Restringing a wind chime might seem like the easiest task at first, but many calculations go into constructing the instrument and affect tone/sound quality. Follow these tips if you want to know how to string your wind chimes yourself at home.
A Brief History Of Wind Chimes To Share With Your Kids!
Wind chimes originated in China as early as 1100 BCE, when Chinese artisans first began to cast bells.
Other bells without clappers are called Yong-Zhong, but the kind of bells we see commonly in wind chimes were originally known as Feng-ling, also referred to as “wind bells.”
Yong-Zhong is large bells often found on religious and governmental buildings. Feng-ling bells were a significant invention because they gave people the chance to have a small bell at home.
Windchimes originally were religious in nature and were used by many religious institutions to call out good spirits and ward off evil ones. The invention of the Feng-ling created a means for people to experience this same power within their homes. In many cultures, wind chimes are now commonplace!
Types of Wind Chimes
There are many types of wind chimes, all of which differ in size, shape and materials. The right type for you will depend on your needs for sound quality and aesthetics. Some popular types include:
Tubular Wind Chimes
Tubular Wind chimes are one of the most common types of chimes. The chime is usually a tubular or rods shape that comes in various materials, including metal and bamboo.
Bell Wind chimes
Much like the name implies, these designs are typically constructed using bells. Some will have various chimes in conjunction with bells, whereas others are composed solely of bell sounds.
Decorative Wind chimes
Wind chimes are decorative pieces as much as they are musical instruments. Eggshells, for instance, can make pleasant sounds while also reflecting light.
Celebration or Memorial chimes: This type often includes personalized engraving options and provides a meaningful way to remember someone with an important day.
Gong Wind chimes
These wind chimes are larger and somewhat different in appearance than others. They contain a metal (often brass) gong with a wooden clapper, which sounds more like a gong when struck.
Wind Chimes Tone Based On Materials
Many design factors are impacting the sound quality of a wind chime. The material is the most important factor, but it’s not the only one that affects how a wind chimes sounds.
Common wind chime materials include metal, wood, bamboo, glass, earthenware, shells, and porcelain. Each of these is made from different materials that have unique tones.
Metal Wind chimes
Metal wind chimes produce a loud, sharp sound. This makes them well-suited for calming your surroundings when you want to find a moment of peace outdoors or in your yard. A unique feature of metal tubular wind chimes is that they can be tuned to musical notes. Metal wind chimes come in all kinds of different pitches and tones, which means it’s easy to find one that pleasingly fills any environment with the sound you need at any given time.
Wood And Bamboo Wind Chimes
Wood or bamboo wind chimes produce a hollow, clunky sound that’s more like an echo rather than a chime.
Glass Wind Chimes
Glass chimes make a light, delicate sound. Because of this, they may not be as audible from long distances.
Wind Chimes Volume and Clarity
The type of material and the size of a wind chime can also influence its sound clarity and volume.
Sharp, crisp tones are typical for metal wind chimes. Some metal wind chimes also produce musical notes. Wood, bamboo, and glass create subtler sounds. Bamboo and wood, in particular, produce soft sounds.
Hollow chimes sound louder and travel farther than solid chimes because the hollow shape allows for more vibration. Metal or bamboo tubes are generally louder than styles that use flat shapes.
Wind Chimes Duration
The duration of the sound from a wind chime is related to both the material used and the design of the wind chime. The longer the material vibrates, for instance, will produce the sound-lasting longer.
Wooden and bamboo wind chimes can make a brief noise, but metal chimes, specifically hollow metal chimes, will vibrate easily and create a longer sound.
The weight of the sail, which hangs from the chime’s center cord, can also affect the duration. Light winds will cause wind chimes with small sails to jingle. The chimes are activated when there is even the slightest movement in the air, and once they do, they stay active.
A heavier sail for wind chimes means they are less sensitive to light breezes. On calm days, they’ll be quieter because the lower level of wind needed to get them moving is too low to produce sound.
Wind Chimes Note Variety
Metal wind chimes, designed to produce specific notes, can be tuned to play known tunes.
Wind chimes with more tubes will play more notes. This means that not only does the sound vary, but the complete tune changes. Wind chimes will vary in sound depending on the size of the tube used to construct them. Larger tubes lead to lower notes and fuller tones, while shorter ones produce higher pitches with sharper sounds.
Wind Chimes Extra Features
Wind chimes are a decorative addition to any garden or patio. You can find many designs and types, depending on your tastes and decorating vision. Some wind chimes are made from recycled materials like wine bottles, which have a distinct look and sound. Glass or crystal hand-blown chimes make attractive accents that reflect sunlight nicely when the sun shines through.
Wind chimes customized with a celebration or memorial message allow for an individualized touch that these instruments are often missing.
Wind chimes are made to last and withstand the weather. But over time, they will deteriorate, so you must purchase durable materials. You can find some varieties in rust- and rot-proof metal or wood. Monofilament, nylon, and the braided string will also hold up during heavy weather too.
The most crucial part of protecting your wind chime is placement. Choose a spot that offers protection for your chimes against the elements such as rain, snow, and direct sunlight.
The type of metal, bamboo, or wood your wind chime is made from determines how long it will last. Chimes made with glass or seashells are more fragile and may break in high winds, but they won’t rust or rot.
Why Restring Your Wind Chimes?
If the weather becomes too cold or windy, your wind chime strings may tangle, break, freeze, or snap. And if you have an antique set of wind chimes that are old-timers? The passage of time alone can cause some serious stress on the strings.
No matter the situation, frayed or damaged strings mean that your wind chimes will eventually be at risk of coming crashing to the ground. If they do, the danger is that your wind chimes could break on contact–depending on their material composition.
If the strings of wind chimes are stretched or damaged, it’s easy to replace them. Instead of throwing out your whole set, follow a few relatively simple steps, and you will have wind chimes that sound like new!
How To Restringing Wind Chimes
If you have a broken wind chime, repairing the decoration is always an option. Sadly, time and weather (either of which can take their toll) can eventually break even the most durable wind chimes.
Consider The Type Of String You’ll Use
To restring your wind chime, use a strong and durable type of synthetic string, such as polyester fiber, nylon cord, or fishing line. Although your set of wind chimes was originally outfitted with a natural-fiber string, you can restring them using a synthetic one as well to help protect them from the elements.
You have a few options for restringing your wind chime, and the option you choose will depend on your budget. You could use an archery string. It comes in different grades, and some can withstand up to 100 pounds of force, which is important for larger wind chimes made from metal.
You may also use a nylon cord or fishing line. Nylon provides various grades of thicknesses that can be less expensive depending on the needs of your wind chime. it’s a good idea to choose a higher grade to increase strength if it will fit through your chime’s holes.
Remove The Old String
After you have your replacement string, lay the wind chimes flat on a surface. Remove all of the pieces of string that need to be replaced by holding them and gently pulling through the openings in each hole. Then, carefully put everything back together in order.
It’s best to restring the whole set of wind chimes even if only one part of the string is damaged. The right type of string helps ensure that each sound piece hangs evenly on the top ring.
Thread, Weave, Measure
Take a needle with a large opening, and thread the string through it. You can do this by using a needle-nose pair of tweezers to pull the string through with your fingers, or if you don’t have any at hand, fiddle until you find something similar.
Next, thread the string through the holes on each of the chimes you are restringing. Then, measure twice to ensure that each chime hangs evenly at a consistent distance from the top ring.
Tie Tiny Knots
Once you’ve restrung all of the chimes, make sure they are secured with a knot. Nimble fingers might be best for this task, but even if you aren’t handy, don’t worry about it; using glue to secure the knots will do just fine! You want this string to last!
Conduct A Pitch Test
After reassembling your wind chimes, test their sound by tapping them with a small tuning fork or spoon. Once you’re satisfied that each pitch is sounding properly, restringing work is complete.
Hang Your Wind Chimes Outdoors
Now that you’ve finished restringing your wind chimes take them back outside. Hang the chimes in an area with less exposure to weather as well as direct contact.
Whether you live in a windy area or wish to protect against future wear and tear, it’s wise to take your wind chimes indoors before any heavy weather.
Ideal String To Restringing Wind Chimes
Wind chimes should be lightweight and simple enough for anyone to string. This makes them a good beginner’s project. To last, though, the string material needs to be quality and reliable. Here are some of our favorite options:
A polyester is a good option for wind chimes because of its elasticity and low cost. Polyester also can withstand strong winds and cold temperatures without breaking.
More durable and easier to waterproof than polyester, nylon won’t break down from temperature fluctuations. It costs more money.
It is synthetic and often made from plastics such as nylon or polyethylene. Long-lasting but more expensive, monofilament options are better for their thin diameter.
Wind chimes may be made of natural fibers, like cotton or yarn. These materials are not ideal for restringing and should only be used as a temporary solution.
String For Wind Chimes Buying Guide
The best wind chimes need to hang perfectly with the right string. There are many types of string on the market, and it’s easy to buy a bad product if you don’t pay close attention.
However, if you take some time to think about the features of a string best for wind chimes, it won’t be too hard to find the right one.
The string on your wind chime must be durable enough to sustain the tension because otherwise, it will fray and break too quickly. This isn’t ideal, as the other pieces will start to fall or come loose shortly after.
Beyond durability, the string must also be waterproof. That means it won’t fade or break down under climate conditions. On wind chimes, this matters because most versions are hung outside in a variety of weather conditions.
The best type of string for wind chimes usually is made out of materials such as heavy-duty nylons, cotton, or polyester. These types are typically coated to increase their resistance.
Length And Width
You have to choose the right string size for your wind chime, depending on what material you’re using. You might need something long or short. Fortunately, they are available in all lengths and widths.
Smoothness And Flexibility
Wind chimes string should be flexible and durable, as well as easy to use. They also need to have enough stiffness so that you can tie knots quickly and easily.
The most advantageous strings are versatile. You may buy those that suit one project and end up using them in several other projects, so look for quality versatile strings.
With leftover string, you will make and repair wind chimes or other projects with ease.
Look at the weight of strings. You’ll need lightweight strings, as they’re easier to work with. Plain cotton is among the lightest out there; heavier wind chimes require you to purchase a slightly weightier product.
How To Build Your Own Wind Chimes
If you’ve restrung a few wind chimes, then constructing one from scratch should be easy for you. Here are some steps to building your own:
Gather Your Materials
Collect all the supplies you need is the first step to crafting and stringing a wind chime. You can find them in local hardware stores or craft stores, or online retailers.
You’ll want to gather nylon string, a real solid scrap piece of wood and aluminum, or another high-quality metal tubing. Alternately, you can use some other materials to get started.
From your toolbox, you’ll need a jigsaw, a hack saw, a ruler or tape measurer, a pen or pencil, and/or scissors. The drill bit must be slightly wider than the nylon cord used.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when selecting string for your chime: nylon is a good bet! Though it may be exposed to the elements, nylon holds up well.
Create Your Structure
You’ll need to create the general frame first by measuring and sketching out the different components needed to rebuild it – a top mount and a bottom mount. You can choose any shape you want; however, shapes based on circles or hexagons often work best.
Once you cut your pieces out, sand and smooth them down.
Drill Holes For String
Next, you’ll need to drill holes into the top piece for string. A center hole plus three more little holes are needed for a wind chime with metal rods or tubes hanging from it. For a single bell version, you will only need one central hole in the smaller piece.
When you are using stain as a waterproof sealant, do it now.
Cut The Metal Tubing
You can use different materials, like metal tubes. However, we give an example of using a metal tube here.
Now we’ll cut aluminum tubing into music-making parts for your wind chimes. These tubes, which are themselves two inches in diameter, can be trimmed at slightly different lengths for an organic look. You’ll want to use one-inch tubing for the best results.
How long should you cut each tube? Variation is key, but we recommend the longest piece to be around 19-21in. Each piece can then be about 1 in shorter than the next.
String Your Wind Chime’s Top
One of the most important steps in restringing a wind chime is starting from the top and working your way down.
Ready three pieces of string, 9 to 12 feet in length. Tie a knot at one end of the first piece. Thread it through the top mount and tie another knot on the other end with that same piece of string. Repeat for each remaining string, then thread them through their respective mounts and tie ends to secure.
Finally, the three strings should form a triangle and hold up by the hook.
String Your Wind Chime’s Bottom
Next, you’ll need to use the remaining holes in the top mount for suspending the hanging chimes.
Tie a knot on one end of the string, and then weave it through the hole in the smaller wood piece. Your chime should have both an upper piece and a bottom now.
Thread The Chimes
String the chimes, longest to shortest. Thread one cord through one of the holes on top and tuck it below the end of one edge. Allowing it to drop down, thread the cords through chimes, and then back up. Allow the sound tubes to dangle naturally. The tube should also be connected to the next by string.
Complete these steps for each remaining wind chime, making sure to keep them all a different length. You may need to adjust your work by cutting or adding more string every once in and while. When you’re finished restringing the other chimes, they should have an uneven variation in lengths that will give it a classic look.
How To Cleaning Wind Chimes Parts
Cleaning Wood Wind Chimes
Clearing debris and bird droppings from a wind chime is the first step to ensuring it remains safe for use. A common tactic to clean them is using lemon oil cleaner like you would with other wood furniture such as tables and chairs. To avoid attracting too many insects, care should be taken not to over-clean your wood chimes too often – give them occasional cleaning sessions instead.
Cleaning Aluminum Wind Chimes
To clean an aluminum wind chime, you can use soap and water. Any kind of soap will do the job, but other cleaning products may be necessary if there are different materials involved (glass or stone).
Cleaning Metal Wind Chimes
First, clean the chimes by removing dirt and cleaning them with soap and water. Make sure they are completely dry before starting anything else to avoid any rust. You can also spray lubricant (WD-40) onto the chimes for extra protection from further damage. Finally, you can use varnish for additional protection from weathering of different outdoor elements such as saltwater or other debris common in coastal areas.
List Of Cool Wind Chime Ideas
Macrame Wind Chime
If you’re looking for a cute, store-bought wind chime look, then these DIY macrame chimes are what you need. Just be aware that you will need to buy some materials and invest in the project to get an elegant appearance, but it does create a unique product in the end.
Seashell Wind Chime
Wind chimes are always a welcoming piece of home decor, and seashells make for an excellent decoration. Wind chimes typically have many complex measurements that determine their sound quality, making it difficult to restring wind chimes without the right knowledge.
Tin Can Wind Chime
This is such a great example of how tin cans can be used to create beautiful art. I love making crafts from tin cans for this reason!
Driftwood And Colorful Glass DIY Wind Chimes
This colorful and beautiful wind chime is made of driftwood and sea glass. It’s a very inexpensive project for creating your own wind chime. It’s a great idea to make a wind chime – a tree branch, drill, and some holes make. Find the sea-glasses; round the edges of them – that hang with that drifts’-woods). your beautiful wind chime is done. It’s an easy and beautiful idea to create homemade wind chimes.
Driftwood is a wonderful natural craft supply. Pieces are beautiful looking, and each piece is unique! Restringing driftwood can be quiet but nice sounding.
Bottle Cap Wind Chime
This is a perfect project for any bottlecap junkie! If you collect them, this would be a great way to display your caps.
Restringing Wind Chimes FAQs
Where Should I Set Up My Wind Chimes?
The best place to hang your wind chime is outside, where the wind is strongly available. Hang it on a garden, tree, or front porch if you want the best experience of its sound.
What Can I do to Stop My Wind Chimes from Breaking Again?
There are many different ways to prevent your wind chimes from getting damaged, but prevention is always the best way. Most of our wind chimes are highly resistant to bad weather and high winds, but it’s always best to protect them. For instance, if severe weather is forecasted for your area, it’s best to place your chimes indoors when there is a problem.
Proper hanging placement is an important measure to save time and money. Wind chimes shouldn’t hang near areas where the wind will hit them from open doors or other hard surfaces. Windchime hooks are an important part of wind chimes that help ensure the safety of the instrument.
Should I Hang My Wind Chimes From A Tree?
Hanging wind chimes from tree branches is a great way to make your outdoor space more appealing, but here are some tips to keep both trees and wind chimes safe.
Take care to find an object, like a branch, whose natural shaking won’t cause too much motion in the wind chime. When choosing branches for hanging or attaching metal wind chimes to trees and other vertical surfaces, make sure you’re not covered up with leaves. Keep away from any branches that can easily cause damage to your metal wind chimes in low-hanging branches or smaller objects – it’s no fun if they end up hitting you.
Where Can I Get Replacement String For My Wind Chimes?
Manufacturers don’t make string available to be purchased by their customers, so polyester fiber is commonly suggested as an appropriate replacement for string. One benefit of a synthetic string is that it does not fray as easily from the weight and wear on the tubes, nor will it rot or become weakened by exposure to the elements.
Archery supplies stores carry strings that can handle more than 100 lbs. of force and are well suited for our heavy chimes. A fishing line can be used as a cheaper alternative, but you’ll want to use a stronger fishing line rated for higher loads.
How Do I Repair My Wind Chimes?
While varying types of wind chime strings can prove to be the perfect fit for your needs, getting them tied securely and correctly at a pleasing length is an entirely different task.
Wind chimes are usually hung in a balanced formation, where the top of the tubes is at an equal height. A large portion of wind chime restringing will be measuring mixed with some trial and error. When repairing your wind chime, make a temporary knot in the string that could easily come undone when adjusting the size.
Now try testing it yourself by hitting the striker on the tubes – make adjustments if you notice anything off. Once you are satisfied with the sound of your newly repaired wind chimes, tie a knot and secure it so that it will not slip.
What Material Makes The Best Wind Chimes?
As for the sound, aluminum is the most popular material. It can even be tuned to specific tunes, and it’s incredibly durable. Several metals make up aluminum: steel, brass, and copper.
Wind chimes are made of either metal, bamboo, or wood for the calming, soothing nature-like sound. However, wind chimes can also be made from shells which produce playful sounds.
How Do You Make A Beautiful Sounding Wind Chimes?
Your preference for the sound of a wind chime will vary depending on what materials it is made from. You might want to experiment with different materials and see which one best suits you.
Finding the right way to restring wind chimes shouldn’t be an insurmountable task. You might have a little patience and caution, but it requires nothing akin to wizardry.
The important part is how much you will enjoy the sound of your chiming chime again. Once you start listening to the beautiful chiming sounds from a hammock, then you’ll know that it was worth it.
Like all outdoor accessories, wind chimes will need regular maintenance. If you find that your wind chime needs restringing, use our guide above and renew it. You won’t regret it!