An easy kid’s craft idea, these kid-made garden wind chimes are a sweet way to decorate your garden and explore an exciting new painting technique. Ella and I recently made these garden wind chimes as a present for her Nana’s birthday.
Flower Pot Wind Chimes Craft
Ella has developed a love of gardening which has everything to do with her grandparents and nothing to do with me! (I kill every plant… even the super sturdy ones that the people at the nursery insist that no one can kill.)
I originally thought we’d do some pour painted pots for Ella to plant some flowers in to give to my mom for her birthday, but something about the shape of the overturned flower pot made me think of making wind chimes. (And honestly, given my track record with plants that visit my home – that was probably for the best.)
Ella loved making leather lace and bead necklaces as part of our North American unit study, and it’s a great fine motor activity allowing her to practice her pincer grip and precision. Embracing your child’s interests makes crafting and creating so much more enjoyable for both of you – and it’s a great way to segue into trying something new that they may have otherwise been a bit apprehensive about.
I thought I’d provide some sweet hand-painted beads for this craft, but Ella was only interested in using her new pony bead collection. It would also be fun to provide found objects with natural holes or holes drilled into them, like washers, nuts, etc.
We had never tried pour painting before this activity, but my girl loves any opportunity to create and get messy. More mess-averse kids don’t need to use their fingers like my daughter did – they can let the paint drip naturally, or use a popsicle stick or paintbrush to help encourage the paint to swirl and drip down the sides of the flower pot.
Garden Wind Chime Materials:
- Old gardening pot
- Water-proof string (we used leather lace)
- Assorted beads
- Paint (we used up some almost-empty bottles)
- 2 washers
- Kitchen tray – we always use these to contain mess and keep clear boundaries on “project space”
- Waterproof sealer spray, optional
Note: It would also be fun to provide found objects with natural holes or holes drilled into them, like washers, nuts, etc.
How to Make Garden Wind Chimes Using a Flower Pot
I provided three lengths of string and Ella took her time adding beads to it. As long as she put the tray up whenever she wanted to take a break (to keep the toddlers out of it), I just let her add beads to her strings whenever the mood struck.
For me, part of having an activity be truly child-directed is giving them as much freedom over the creative or inquisitive process as possible. While it wouldn’t be “wrong” to encourage a child to do an art activity all at one time, if you have the time and freedom to allow them to come and go as they please, that can make it a more positive experience and allow your child to feel more connection and ownership over their final product.
(We prefer taking this “project” approach and start our crafts well before we need them to be finished, rather than feeling pressured to complete it all in one short span of time. I’ve found that if I try to ask too much of her when we’re doing a more intense craft like this, that I end up having to finish it by myself!)
I first read about this pour painting technique on the Artful Parent, a gorgeous and inspiring arts and craft blog. You simply pour paint over top of an object, and then pour a second layer of paint right into the center of the first puddle. (It’s a technique we also use to create our gorgeous rainbow cake!)
The paint will drip down in layers, creating a wonderfully dramatic effect – just take a peek for yourself!
Ella is a huge sensory seeker, and always wants to get her hands into any messy activities we do, but finger painting the actual pot would take away from the cool pour effect, so I instead encouraged her to swirl her finger along the top of the pot to help the paint pour down the sides. (This is not a necessary step so don’t worry if your child doesn’t want to do it.)
(Also, I provided bottles of paint that I was okay with her using the entire bottle up of, so that I wasn’t hovering or trying to get her to stop pouring – interrupting the creative process. If you didn’t have any nearly empty bottles, you could put the paint into small bowls or containers for this pouring technique.)
After the paint has dried, you can take the flower pot outside and spray with waterproof sealant. It’s not 100% necessary but if the wind chime is going to be placed somewhere where it will be exposed to the elements, that sealant will prevent it from fading or chipping.
Once everything is dry, tie your bead strings securely to your first washer, leaving a few inches free at the top, and then poke the strings through the top of the garden pot and tie them securely around a second washer.
Tie all of the strings into a knot toward the end of the strings, forming a loop to hang the wind chimes.
Grab your free printable for this awesome kids craft and be sure to pin it for your future garden crafting!
I hope you liked this easy kids craft idea for a homemade garden wind chime. I love how process-based this craft project was and Nana loved her beautiful, handmade gift!
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For more fun process-art based kids craft ideas, check out our Starfish Canvas Art Project or our Alice in Wonderland-inspired Painting Rainbow Roses project.