Your Vacation Sea Shell Windchime

Your Vacation Sea Shell Windchime

Making a seashell wind chime is a great way to bring a part of the beach home with you. When you have your wind chime set up you will be able to be reminded of the time that you spent at the ocean whenever you look at or hear your wind chimes. Seashell wind chimes make for a great craft because they do not involve any complicated steps to assemble (unlike traditional wind chimes that can be made to be very specific, with each pipe specifically cut and tuned to create a specific sound when hit). All of the materials that you will need to assemble your seashell wind chimes are materials that you likely already have in your home.

What you’ll need

Naturally, you are going to need some seashells in order to make your seashell wind chime. Take time to gather shells that you can use specifically for your wind chime. You will want to keep such things in mind as aesthetic appeal and the sounds that various shells of different sizes and shapes make. You will also need to use your imagination when it comes to finding a material that the shells will hit into to create their sound.

Just as you need a mallet to get the right sound from a xylophone, you will need some sort of a material that makes a sound when hit by the seashells. This element is sometimes called a dangler. While some people like to use a bell or a tuned piece of pipe in the center of their wind chime, other people find the clacking of the shells to be a soothing sound. Simply increasing the number and position of the shells can create a very different sound. Other materials that you will need include a drill, thread or wire, and something to hang the chime up with (i.e. a wire hanger, a store-bought hook, etc.)

Put it together

Weight and balance are two huge factors to consider as you are constructing your wind chime. Your wind chime will need to be light enough to be moved by a gentle breeze and level or balanced enough to be able to hang on its own. You will need to drill a hole in each seashell so that they can be suspended by thread. Trim the thread to different lengths to produce a wider range of notes. You can test the tones by suspending each with a string and striking it with the dangler or mallet you plan to use.

Once you have all of your shells attached to string (it is ok to have several shells at different points on the same piece of string), make the base for all the shells to hang from. Examples of this base material include a circular piece of cardboard or a paper plate. Drill holes around the edges of the base. You will need one hole for each string of shells. Connect the seashells to the base. If your seashell strands are longer than about a foot, you may want to use a secondary base about halfway down the chime. This secondary base is attached to the chime much like the primary base and it will help the individual strands of shells to remain untangled.

If you are using a dangler, make sure that you suspend your dangler from the center of your base and that the strings of shells are aligned so that they hit the dangler when the chimes are blown. You may need to lengthen or shorten the string of shells until they are positioned in a way that is most fitting with the sound and look that you are going for. The more closely the shells are positioned to each other, the louder their sound will be. Use string and a hook to suspend your wind chime from your porch or use it in a doorway.

For more kids crafts, visit http://www.makeplaydough.com.

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