Remember a couple weeks ago when I showed you the copper coil wind chime? Well I made another one so I could do a tutorial on it. I really like working with this copper coil and it was not too difficult to make.
The difficult part was trying to remember to take all the photographs at each stage. Here is what you will need. (I did remember to take that photo.) Actually, as with all tutorials there are quite a large number of photos. I used as few as possible so I would not bore you to death. But trying to explain some of the details can be difficult. It is simply easier to post a photo. I hope you are able to use this tutorial and if there are any parts you do not understand just leave a comment and I will certainly explain anything I might have missed.
I added some extra dangly things to this one. I originally wanted some type of stained glass sun catchers but could not find any that I liked, so I opted to try making my own from things I found at thrift stores.
First up was to find some transparent plastic beads in assorted colors. I also needed some kind of metal mold so I could melt the beads into fun shapes. Thrift stores are funny. One day you go and they have all kinds of things. Next time you go, you walk out shaking your head and wonder why it is that you can never find the things you need, when you want them. This was the case for this project. I did luck out and found some beads but they really were not my first choice in color. I also found a chocolate mold that would work but the star shape wasn’t my first choice either. But I bought them anyway.
I have never melted plastic before so that was a bit scary. But I did use some common sense and took the toaster oven outside so the fumes would not impregnate the whole house. It was pretty simple. Preheat the toaster oven to 375. Put some beads into the mold. Put the mold into the oven. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and take them out. Let them cool down. I did have to pry them out with the point of a sharp knife, but once you get it pried up in one little spot they pop right out. As you can see in the photo below I did make sure that when I put them into the mold they were stacked a bit higher than the top of the mold. I knew they would melt down considerably lower than the top level of the of the mold.
I then drilled the holes into the spots on the stars where I needed them.
I also had to find something so these stars could hang from. The largest one will be right inside the copper spiral but I wanted to find something so they could dangle from the bottom. I found an old brass incense burner.
I drilled some extra holes into the brass piece, one through the top and 3 more in the bottom for the stars. Once all the holes were drilled into the stars and the brass piece, I attached them with the chain.
Now onto the copper spiral! You will need something to cut the coil with. Simply said, 20 feet is way too long. Unless you are going to make a wind chime for your giant friends! I just used tin snips as it is very soft. I have a copper pipe cutter but that was not needed.
I measured 12 feet, marked it off and snipped. I also measured and marked where the half way point would be.
Starting at one end you will start to gently bend the end of the coil towards the center. You will want the end to be on top of the coil. You will have some excess but don’t worry you will be snipping that off later. It is soft but bending the very center parts can be tricky as it will want to crimp so go nice and slow. Just the heat from your hands will soften it up and make it more pliable.
In the photo above see how the end is on the top, sitting above the rest of the coil. That is how you want it to be. Now that you have the tricky part done it is just a matter of bending it into shape. I used my finger as a gauge for the thickness on how far apart I wanted it.
Do not start stretching it out yet. Keep it flat for now. You will want to keep bending it into a spiral till you get to your halfway mark. Then flip it over and do the same thing to the other end. Once you have it all coiled and bent, it should sit flat with both centers aligned with each other.
Your next step will be to snip the extra copper that is overlapping at the top. I trimmed off about four inches. The reasoning for this is because you will want a small amount to crimp and bend over. Do not take too much off or you will have a hard time getting the end to center again once you have attached the chain to it. Below you can see where I cut the excess off. Do that on both sides.
Next you will want to bend that area at the top and bottom with a pair of pliers. that is where the chain will fit into. Do not crimp it tight yet as you want to get a link of your chain in there first, then you can crimp it tight. You can see where I have bent it slightly in the photos below.
Now we are going to stretch it out. You could just gently pull this and hope for the best. But the easiest way to keep it uniform is to grab a piece of wood or something that is about an inch in thickness. Even a book would be fine. Set it into the spot where you have your half way marked off and start pushing and turning it while bringing it up towards the end of the spiral.
It kinda happens like magic. Flip it over and do the other side. Now it is perfectly aligned with equal spacing. It should look like this.
Next it is time for the chain. I added the star in the middle but you can leave that part out if you like. That part took a bit of work to get it evenly centered. It was just a matter of removing links in the chain, but it was still a bit of a pain trying to get it centered. The reason you want the chain down the center and attached to each end is so the weight of the coil with all the dangly things on it will not pull it down. Gravity takes over and it will look ugly all stretched out.
I did have to open up the link in the chain to get it onto the copper but the brass chain was soft enough to easily bend with a pair of pliers. Then I added my dangly stars and it was ready to hang outside.
Once your new wind chime is hung in place stand back and reap the rewards!