When I cleaned out my closet the other day, I found a pair of jeans that I haven’t been able to pull over my ever-spreading laptop butt for about 10 years. Yeah, I know. I should have tossed them out or recycled them ages ago, but they were always my favorite 😉 Soft, comfy, the right length and not too tight around the waist. Either way, it was finally time to upcycle them and make this denim wind chime for my bestie.
Fortunately, most of the beads I used for the denim wind chime came from one of my chunky necklaces that broke many moons ago. Don’t you just love the combination of faded denim, beads, and silver charms?
It’s like dressing up a pair of jeans with diamonds and pearls. Okay, before we get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need
- Pair of old jeans
- Empty tin can
- An assortment of beads and charms
- Fishing Line
- Drill or sharp metal skewer
- Needle and thread or fabric adhesive
- Crimper/ long nose pliers
- Crimp tubes (optional)
How to make a denim wind chime with beads and charms
Unlike our jelly mold wind chime and the fairy wind chimes, this one does take a while to put together, but it’s so worth it in the end. To make things easier, I’ve divided the tutorial into two parts:
- Creating a cover for the tin can using an old pair of jeans
- Joining and hanging the beads and charms from the tin can to make the wind chime
Covering the tin can in denim
Decide which bits of denim you’d like to use to cover the tin can. Since the pocket and zip detail on these old jeans have so much character, I decided to use them. Save the scraps to make this tin can barrel bag planter. Lay the tin can on its side and wrap the jeans around it. Position those interesting bits where you need want them to go and cut accordingly. Make sure to leave a 2″ seam allowance when you cut the fabric.
Trace around the bottom of the can. Add an extra 1” and cut out. We’ll use the circle a little later to finish the wind chime and neaten everything.
Place the denim you cut earlier around the tin can and hand-sew the seams together. You can also use fabric adhesive or extra-strong glue.
I cut an extra bit of denim and frayed the edges to wrap around the bottom of the tin can and neaten everything up.
Adding the beads and charms
On the bottom of the tin can, mark off eight equal segments on the outside and eight more kinda halfway inward. Drill holes as shown below.
Time to figure out which beads and charms need to go where 😉 For the denim wind chime to be visually appealing, I needed to find a balance between the different beads I had in my stash and distribute them evenly between the 17 holes I drilled in the bottom of the tin can. Play around with your bead collection before deciding what goes where.
I choose to hang the beads in layers, short on the outside, medium in the middle, with a single, longer strand in the center. The beads are all strung onto the fishing line, and I used crimp tubes to space the groupings of beads.
If you’ve never used crimp tubes before, here’s a great video that will show you how easy it is.
All-in-all, the beadwork probably took an hour to plan and string. Just make sure to leave enough fishing line to attach the beads to the tin can. A significant portion of the fishing line will be hidden inside the can.
Once all the beads have been strung, you can thread the fishing line up through the holes you drilled earlier. Adjust the length of the beads and charms, and then use crimp tubes and glue to secure them in place.
To hide the hot mess on top of the tin can, glue the denim circle you cut earlier. Finally, cut strips of denim and tie them around the belt loops to hang.
And that’s it. The denim wind chime is all done 😀
The silver keys and leaf skeletons make the most amazing tinkling sound when the wind dances around the chime.
And every now and again, that large crystal at the bottom catches a sunbeam too.
I was fortunate to find a whole bunch of porcelain shell beads too. The colors worked so well with the denim.
One day I’ll figure out how to make those silver leaf skeletons. Aren’t they gorgeous? We’ve used them before to make this dainty concrete fairy light.
If you like the idea of upcycling a tin can and making a denim mobile with beads and charms, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing is caring 😉
Now I need to find myself another pair of comfy jeans 😀 Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
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And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.