When I was growing up, I was always amazed at the amount of carpentry materials my dad would collect and add to hand-labeled soup and coffee cans in the garage. He has since graduated to making his own labels, but I can’t help but miss the old handwritten pieces of paper taped onto the cans.
I never thought of my father as an up cycler, but now that I think of how he reused the recycled cans, and created things for the house out of found objects, I suppose he was more resourceful than I ever realized. He even renovated my parents 30-something year old coffee table by removing the middle pieces of wood and adding smooth rocks that he spent months collecting and sealing them with grout.
Get Your Kids Involved
Today my 4 year old preschooler helped me make a handmade recycled material wind chime from found materials around the house with the exception of the steel wire. We started with a recycled aluminum can and used an awl to poke holes at the top to hang it and at the bottom to hang the chimes. Now, I must preface this green craft by saying it is more an adult craft activity rather than for kids. I would only allow my 4 year old to help put the materials on the wire, which is a great motor activity for her, but I was concerned about her cutting herself trying to form the wire herself.
I started with the can, some random materials from the garage, a few bells, and some beads. I also picked up some 16 gauge steel galvanized wire from the hardware store and found my (husband’s) wire cutters in the tool box.
This is how I wrapped the wire around the tools, especially the screw, so they wouldn’t fall off. I added bolts, washers, and beads from the top after I had the screw or jingle bell attached at the bottom.
I used wire cutters to cut the wire. **PLEASE NOTE: Make sure these are not left unattended near children. Also, be careful to cut wire as shown in photo, otherwise the wire can become a projectile!**
To attach the wires for the chimes to the aluminum can, I used one hole poked in the can and created a loop-shape so the chimes can swing freely against each other.
After I assembled all the pieces, I cut a piece of wire to hang the wind chime outside. I formed an “s” shape on both ends so I only had to poke one hole on each side and the wire is contained inside without worry of getting caught on anything or cutting anyone while handling the wind chime.
The Finished Product
Here is the finished product! Today would have been a great day to hang it outside as it’s pretty windy, but I haven’t found the perfect spot just yet. I’ve always loved wind chimes on warm summer nights and this will be so nice to listen to this year, especially knowing all I had to purchase was the steel wire to make it! Inexpensive AND eco-friendly! That’s the best kind of craft!
It’s a great way for kids to see how different materials will make their own unique noises too!
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