Summer to me is all about the beach and I love reflecting that in my summer decorations. I guess it’s the island girl in me that draws me to all things beachy and bohemian. So when I started seeing beach themed wind chimes all over Pinterest, I knew I had to create a Summer Beach Bead & Shell Wind chime to hang outside.
How to Make a Summer Beach Bead & Shell Wind Chime
- bag of wood sticks (JoAnn)
- hemp twine or any other thin twine
- sisal rope or any other rope
- small eye hooks
- bag of various shells (I used 30 various sized shells)
- scroll saw or saw (use eye protection if using a scroll saw)
- lots of various beads (there are probably 500+ beads on mine)
- drill with 1/16 & 1/4 drill bit (size of drill bits will depend on the size of the string used)
- pliers (optional)
The wood stick I am using measures 10″ long. I used a 1/4 drill bit to drill holes that are one inch in from each end of the stick. This is where the sisal rope used to hang the wind chime will be threaded through and knotted.
How far you space your wind chime strings is up to you. I marked and drilled my holes about 1/2″ apart on the center of the wood – use a 1/16 drill bit for the bead/shell string holes. Note – I did make an error and ended up with an extra hole that was slightly off, but I used it to make an ‘eye spy’ type of beaded string that you’ll see in the finished product.
Time for the shell prep work. Use a 1/16 drill bit to make holes in your shells. I broke a few shells and there may or may not have been some curse words, but I kept on drilling until I had enough shells for my wind chime.
Tip: Some shells are delicate and only need a little pressure to create a hole, while other shells need a lot of pressure.
Cut one of the wood sticks into three 1 3/4″ pieces and sand the rough edges. Use the 1/16 drill bit to make a small starter hole on one end of the cut wood pieces and add a small eye hook. Do not drill the entire hole or the eye hook will be loose. Screw the eye hook into the wood piece, using a plier if needed. These wood pieces are added to ends of the outer and middle bead/shell strings.
Tip: You can also buy bags of small driftwood pieces to avoid cutting the large pieces of wood.
Now that the hard parts are done, it’s time for something a little more fun – the stringing of the wind chime beads and shells! I started by placing a single bead onto the hemp string and tying a knot. Next, cut the string to a length of 20″ long. Pull the string through one of the drill holes on the wood piece, making sure the bead is on the top of the wood. Then tie a knot at the underside of the wood and start adding your beads and shells in a pattern that you like. Just an FYI – my beaded strings vary in length from 9 1/2″ to 16 1/2″ in length, not including the added wood/shell pieces on the ends.
Tip: Add knots between every three to four beads to help keep the beads from sliding down the rope during beading.
Tip: For larger bead holes, use a double knot to hold the bead in place.
This is my ‘oops’ eye spy string that I needed to add to cover an extra drill hole. If you do not have enough beads or want to keep the cost of the wind chime down, use knots to create spaces between the beads. Of course, you will want to add more beads than this to help keep the strings from tangling onto each other.
Here is a close-up of the Summer Beach Bead & Shell Wind Chime strings. I did not follow a set pattern and just randomly added beads and shells.
Tip: Space shells out on each string so they are not hanging right next to each other.
And there you have it – a Summer Beach Bead & Shell Wind Chime that reminds me of the gentle sounds of being at the beach in Hawaii.
More Summer projects