Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Washer Windchime

Well, I don't know why I keep calling this thing a "windchime"... I think it would take some seriously strong winds to get it to "chime" all by itself. I got this idea from my Family Fun magazine, and I thought it was so cool! They call it a "Backyard Melody Maker". I guess that makes more sense. We also saw a similar idea at the Children's Museum when we were there last month. After we saw it there, I knew I had to come home right away and rip this page out of my magazine so my hubby could get the supplies to make it for my son! :) He went to Home Depot, got all the supplies he needed, and made it right there in the store! It only took seconds to put together... and he said it cost less than $15 to make! Awesome! I bet it could possibly cost less than that if you already have some of the supplies in your garage! Even better! :) My son loves the noise the washers make as they're spinning down. He also likes to imitate them, and starts spinning around the room! We haven't decided where to hang it yet... so right now we just take it out every once in a while to play with it.... don't want him running around the house with this potential "weapon", although I'm sure it would make for an interesting day! ;). 

You can check out Family Fun's article on how to make this cool instrument here. They also have a good illustration here. Or, you can just follow the directions that I got from my magazine. :)

What you'll need:
1/2-by 4-inch threaded eyebolt
Teflon (plumber's) tape
1/2-inch coupling nut
1/2-inch all-thread rod, 24 or 36 inches long
10 to 15  1/2-inch washers
1/2-inch locknut

What to do:
1. To prevent the metal pieces from unscrewing over time, wrap a piece of Teflon tape around the end of the eyebolt (the threaded part) and both ends of the rod. 

2. Starting at the top, assemble the pieces in order: Eyebolt, coupling nut, rod. Finish by sliding the washers onto the rod, then threading the locknut. 

3. Hang the rod with a rope or cord. 

4. Enjoy your homemade instrument! :)

By the way... can you tell my son loves this thing? His little hands were caught reaching for it as my husband was holding it up so that I could take this picture! :)



Tania @ Larger Family Life said...

That looks easy enough to make!


Anonymous said...

That's such a good idea!

Congrats on being the first sits commenter today....wanted to let you know it's only Wednesday.

Dreamgirl said...

That looks so cool! Good work mommy and daddy...

I do hope you have a great Wednesday. I have a week left of my vacation so I'm trying to squeeze the max out of every minute. Going to the beach today;)

See you around!

Kimberly @ RaisingOlives said...

This looks like a fun toy, although you are right, if a child were to be running around the house with it that would make for an interesting day. :)

Kimberly - Mom to 9

Multiple personalities.. said...

That is very cool! It's like a metal version of Didgeridoo. Thanks for sharing that! I just love reading about all your crafty ideas! Oh, and congrats on being the first for today's roll call at SITS... :-)

Debbie said...

That is a great idea. I love Family Fun. We've been getting it for years and years.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! My little guy is always looking for a good project. And I like that name...Backyard Melody Maker. Perfect!

Jocelyn said...

Wow, that's really cool! :)

Just want to tell you that you're one of the winners to the I SPY A to Z book giveaway on Hip Mama's Place. Congratulations!

Please send me your full name and mailing address for your prize via

Thanks and best!

Tammy said...

Hey Mama Mel! This looks pretty cool! I bet little boys would especially love it, since it is mainly hardware.

How would you like me to send you the code for my Love Button for you to display -- if you would like one for your blog!

Mommy Bear said...

That looks so cool! I will have to get Daddy Bear to make one for Mikey Bear. Thanks for sharing!

Gabrielle said...

I love that chime I have a couple of boys who would love to make one and maybe add some bottle tops for and interesting sound! Thank you. I love your sites!