What can be more comforting than listening to the blissful sounds of music emanating from the garden? Bells, wind chimes and mobiles are popular musical features that can be created easily from nearly any object, including a variety of everyday household items and added to your garden. From metal bowls, pots, pans, and utensils to wooden dowels, gourds, seashells, and coffee cans, there is musical potential everywhere you look.
Bells for your garden can easily be created with old metal cups, bowls, or pans. Use a drill to make a small hole in the bottom. Run a length of wire or string through the center hole and secure it with a suitable fitting bolt, leaving enough string out to form a loop for hanging. Attach a metal weight to the other end of the wire. Flip over and hang.
Wind chimes and mobiles come in many forms and are made from a variety of materials. These can be assembled with an array of metal objects such as pipes, nuts and bolts, electrical cover plates, eating utensils, knitting needles, etc. For example, try drilling a small hole into the center and along the sides of a flat metal object, such as a cover plate or piece of sheet metal. Just as with a bell, run a length of wire or string through the center hole and secure it with a suitable fitting bolt. Attach a metal weight to the other end of the wire. Place various lengths of metal pipes, knitting needles, etc. through the sides, making sure the center weight chimes are made with strikes against them. Hang your delightful creation and enjoy its soothing tones. Some metal tubing and scrap pieces of metal fashioned into decorative shapes. Note that larger items will emit deeper tones while smaller ones produce softer melodies.
Bottle-cap chimes can be created by drilling small holes in the centers of various bottle caps. Leave them as they are or dip them in colorful paint and glitter, allowing them to dry thoroughly. String the caps onto varying lengths of string, tying knot at each end. Attach the remaining ends to a metal ring or sides of a round piece of scrap metal and hang. Did you know that old knives, forks, and spoons can be transformed into lovely chimes as well? If you don’t have any extras on hand, these can usually be found at yard sales, flea markets, or perhaps even your attic. Drill a hole through the end of stem and bend the utensils into shapes or simply leave them as they are. Tie various lengths of string, wire, or fishing line to each one and attach them to the sides of a drilled-out saucepan lid. Another length of wire can be fastened to the lid handle for easy hanging. You could also choose to hand your utensils from a wire coat hanger as well. Do you have an abundant supply of seashells? These, too, can be incorporated into beautiful chimes. Find some medium to large sized shells that are somewhat flat. Drill holes in them and run various lengths of wire or fishing line through, securing with knot. Set these aside. Locate a good-sized conch shell or similar item and drill small holes around the outer edges and one through its center. Tie the lengths of shells to conch shell. Fasten and hang with a chain secured through the center hole.
The sound of wooden chimes is every bit as relaxing. Wooden objects of all sorts can be utilized for creating these pleasurable instruments. Wooden dowels of varying lengths and widths, pencils, chopsticks, bamboo pieces, and even gourds are just some of the items you can use. Hollowed-out pieces will amplify the tones; therefore, include a variety of small wooden boxes and containers or hollow out the pieces of bamboo and gourds. Bamboo chimes create soft, gentle sounds and are perfect for Japanese gardens. One example might be to cut various lengths of bamboo and drill a number of holes into each piece. Cut a circular shape out of a scrap of wood and drill a hole through the center and two more on either side. Run a length of fishing line through two holes drilled into the tops of each piece of bamboo. Attach these to the side holes while fastening a length of chain through the center hole for hanging.
Other interesting chimes can be put together with items such as small bells, beads, or stones. Pull pieces of nylon string through the centers of holes or tie the string around the object instead. You can also secure with suitable glue. Attach these to plastic lids that have small holes along the sides and knot firmly into place. Create a loop with string and run it through a center hole to hang. Create a sounder with thin metal or wooden strips. Twist the strips so they can catch wind and string together. These sounders are very similar to chimes, however, they produce a softer sound.