By Elizah Leigh on June 11, 2012

A gardener's paradise begins with the peaceful sounds of the wind chime. Try these recycling tips for a one-of-a-kind garden accessory.

wind chime recycling

Going gung-ho for gardening is incredibly gratifying for a number of reasons: the fresh food, the fresh air, the agrarian life! However, those who regularly have dirt underneath their fingernails are not incredibly forthcoming about the main reason why they take the plunge.

Sure, it’s a stress reliever. Yeah, it really does wonders for one’s suntan. Granted, it also ensures an ever-diverse lineup of tasty, wholesome eats throughout the entire growing season. But truthfully? Digging in the dirt offers green thumbers an all-access pass to the wild, wonderful world of wind chimes.

Not that there’s anything wrong with accenting the fruits of our soil-coaxing labor with decorative accoutrements. Boosting the curb appeal and esthetic charm of our gardens with creative additions is certainly not a new concept, however, when it comes to dangly things that go bump in the night, wind chimes rank as one of life’s top guilty little pleasures. That fanciful Tinkerbell vibe probably has something to do with it.

Make the music even sweeter by adding a new generation of eco-friendly alternatives to your traditional sea shell and tin can lineup. Yes, even pencils will work in a pinch. Oh, you currently only have two wind chimes in your garden? Better scoop up some raw materials from your recycling bins, make a beeline toward your workbench, and get busy:

Tarnished or otherwise blemished holiday ornaments revamped with a coat of nail polish will bestow seasonal spirit to your porch or garden.

Old hard drives apparently make perfectly good new wind chimes, as do reclaimed copper pipes.

Create a rustic, earthy design with artfully arranged pieces of driftwood.

Vintage cutlery dangling from a silver-plated butter dish looks snazzy. Spoons and forks sliding south from a teapot? Quite possibly even snazzier. Oh wait, add a bundt cake mold, a bunch of chains and a few bells and you’ll create a spectacular wind festival! Here’s a basic tutorial to set your silverware-repurposing wind chime plans in motion.

Metal bottle caps look just as festive strung to a reclaimed tree branch as they do to an aluminum beer bottle.

Ever considered turning a decorative metal food tin into dangling eye candy?

Snip metal cans into elongated strips for a simple yet melodious eco-option.

An old wagon wheel and wooden scalloped table legs — two kinds of flea market goodies rolled into one.

Jingly-jangly teacups? I’ll drink to that!

Ensure that positive vibes blow your way with a recycled horseshoe wind chime or a lucky Chinese coin-studded chime.

Turn a worn-out rolling pin and several metal cookie cutters into a wind chime fit for the baking enthusiast in your life.

Suspend a bunch of glistening beaded necklaces from a wire-wrapped twig (don’t forget that old earrings work pretty well, too).

Put recycled plastic cups to work in a shimmery, Shrinky Dink-inspired display.

Jazz up graduating segments of bamboo with eye-catching, hand-drawn designs.

Kitchen tools that have suffered the slings and arrows of time can find a decorative new purpose when strung together and hung outside a window.

Reclaimed bicycle gears and chains are the ideal wind chime adornment for those who prefer enjoying life on two wheels.

As it turns out, ribbon-wrapped rocks are an affordable way to fulfill your DIY wind chime fix.

Does your old school, metal-tubed chime need a facelift? Try hanging it from a vintage doorknob/keyhole plate and tying a rusty key to the end.

An old xylophone can become a colorful new wind chime with a few quick modifications.

Upgrade a basic wooden branch wind chime support with random keys or create a spiral design.

Miniature clay pots decorated with a rainbow of colors and patterns — sounds like a DIY plan!

Everyone has access to a plethora of glass bottles or ocean-worn shards. Whether you string them au naturel, arrange them, slice them into rings, flatten them, frost them or adorn them, they’ll glisten in the sunlight for years to come.

Provide a laugh by gifting a "redneck”-inspired wind chime made of recycled beer cans.

For the mother of all recycled wind chimes, adorn a no-longer-usable bicycle with a hodgepodge of scavenged materials, place your creation on a platform and allow Mother Nature to work her windblown magic.

About the author

Elizah Leigh is an eco-inspired wordsmith capable of captivating readers in just the right manner to facilitate subliminal greenlightenment. If it hasn’t yet happened to you, dear reader, don’t worry... it soon will. She believes that walking on the green side of life isn’t so much about random actions like recycling household materials and eschewing bottled water as it really should be about committing to long-term lifestyle changes that naturally become effortless the more frequently they are practiced — and believe it or not, if you’re looking at the world through green-colored glasses, it’s never a chore.

Working as an eco-journalist for a number of online venues, including Ecorazzi, WebEcoist, WebUrbanist and Causecast, this self-confessed eager greenie and knowledge hound has become deeply entrenched in the world of green living and makes a conscious effort at all times to practice exactly what she preaches. Elizah feels that no one is an "expert" in this field as long as they continue to keep an open mind by acquiring new eco-feathers in their cap — something that she aspires to do with each new article that she authors.

Extremely passionate about greening perspectives as well as lifestyles one carefully selected word at a time, this eco-writer feels privileged to add the 1-800-RECYCLING audience to her increasingly expanding network of green-minded readers. When she’s not tweeting her ever-lovin’ greenie heart out or adding new eco-themed articles to her portfolio, she can be found frolicking outside or shooting the breeze with her menagerie of impossibly needy geriatric felines.

As for what Elizah hopes to bring to 1-800-RECYCLING? Believe it or not, she is convinced that we are all capable of carving out individual and collective legacies in which caring enough about what we do while we walk this earth ensures that future generations enjoy the same basic privileges that we currently do. Can collections of carefully crafted environmentally themed words help facilitate this lofty plan for eco-friendly ah-ha! inspiration? Stranger things have been done to honor Mother Nature. For now, that’s her eager greenie goal, and she’s definitely sticking to it.

Learn more about Elizah Leigh


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