When I save junk, leftover items from projects (like tequila bottle hummingbird feeders) or things that I find in my neighbor’s trash, I have to stop and ask myself these questions — Really? Should I keep that? Am I ever going to get around to making something with it? Well, when then?
I recently went through my stashes to gather things for a found-object wind-chime-making class I taught at my favorite art school. I went through boxes in the basement, cabinets in the shed and the leftover scrap bin in the storage closet. I found plenty of items for the class, plus I went to the thrift store and bought $7 worth of wire baskets, metal pieces, and kitchen utensils to use for the hanging structures. Participants were encouraged to bring their own found objects and to be creative! I was so inspired by some of the creativity in the class, I decided to come home and make my own wind chimes with the leftover pieces.
First used to ward off ill omen, the wind chime’s origin in Southeast Asia goes back to around 5,000 years ago. They were made from shells, bone, stone, wood and bamboo. Found objects! While the anatomy of a wind chime has evolved over a few thousand years, it is fun getting back to its early roots to make a found object wind chime of your very own. Just search your house for things that are clanky, dangly or jingly, string them together in an artsy fashion, hang the finished piece inside or out, and enjoy.
If you like this idea for upcycled wind chimes, you’ll love these other creative upcycles for outdoor spaces!