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Terra-cotta pot wind-chimes
Spring is almost here! As this week's kiddie craft, we're making mini terra-cotta wind-chimes. I let my boys make them because we're giving them to grandma and great-grandma as Easter gifts, and I guess it wouldn't really be a kiddie craft if I took over.

Still, the temptation was there, because I think I could have made something really beautiful (yeah, yeah, my kids did a beautiful job too!). So, even if you're not working with kids, I hope you'll try this one, and craft a hand-painted wind-chime for yourself or a friend.

If you are working without children, you could use larger pots and a strong rope to hold things together. The bigger the pot the less "chimey" the sound, but I think the heavier sound would be cool too. Anyway, enough daydreaming about what I could have done with this project. It is a kiddie craft, and a great one at that, so here it is... after the break, of course.

making your wind-chimes(click thumbnails to view gallery)

MaterialsPaint the potsCareful!Keep on painting!Let them dry


Materials
  • Terra-cotta pots
    We used the smallest size (2") to make mini-chimes, but any size will do. If you go any bigger than 4" in diameter, you'll probably need larger beads and a stronger lacing material. Originally, we intended on hanging them five pots long, but two broke, so we only did four. This seemed sufficient, but five probably would have been better. Pick up a few extra just in case.
  • Plastic craft lace
    Available at any craft store, in a variety of colors. This strong lacing will run through the pots, holding them together.
  • Beads
    Any beads will do; what you see in our pictures are 6x9mm pony beads.
  • Acrylic paint and brushes
    Choose some acrylic paints in spring colors. Check the packaging to make sure that it is both waterproof and intended for terra-cotta.
  • Scissors
  • Bells
    This is the fun part. Go to the craft store and ring all the bells until you find the perfect sound. We chose mini cowbells.
  • Stencils and other embellishments
    We just used paint, but you could use stencils or other embellishments to decorate the pots.
Now that you've gathered your materials, and broken a few pots, you're ready to get started. Follow along with these steps in the gallery.
  1. Paint the pots
    Paint the pots any way you like. We chose to use Easter colors, letting the boys freehand the designs.
  2. Let the pots dry
    The pots dried surprisingly quickly, especially with the thick layer of paint slapped on by my kiddie crafters. They should be ready to handle in about 30 minutes.
  3. Thread the lace and attach the bell
    Thread the lace through the drainage hole in the bottom pot. Attach the bell inside.
  4. Add the rest of the pots
    Add the rest of the pots with about 5 beads between each. This will hold them apart just enough to sway in the wind, making them chime.
  5. Make a loop at the top
    Alternate beads and knotting to form a decorative loop.
  6. Hang your chime
    Hang your chime by the loop in an area where it will easily catch a breeze.
I'm thrilled with how our chimes turned out, and my boys are very excited to give them as gifts this Easter Sunday. This is the perfect way to celebrate the coming of spring, and enjoy crafting together.


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