How to Restring Wind Chimes

Imagine yourself resting peacefully in a hammock with a warm breeze around you, as you are lulled into a deep state of relaxation by the melodious sounds of wind chimes. Doesn’t that sound dreamy?

A set of wind chimes can make your porch or patio feel like perfection. But if your chimes have already weathered a few storms, there’s a good chance that they could use a tune-up. Below, we’ll show you how to restring wind chimes to keep them in tip-top shape.

Why Restring Your Wind Chimes?

When the weather gets too windy or the temperatures turn too cold, your wind chime strings could easily tangle, snap, freeze, or break. And if you’ve got an antique set of wind chimes, the passage of time alone can be enough to cause some serious stress on the strings.

Either way, frayed or damaged strings mean that your wind chimes could come crashing to the ground. If that happens, the chimes themselves could break upon contact, depending on the material that they were made from.

If the strings of your wind chimes are worn-out, you don’t necessarily need to toss out your whole set. Instead, just follow a few relatively easy steps and you will be able to restring your wind chimes so that they once again sound like new.

Step by Step Guide to Restringing Your Wind Chimes 

1. Consider the Type of String You’ll Use:

To restring your wind chimes, you will need to use a strong and durable type of synthetic string, such as polyester fiber, nylon cord, or fishing line. Although your set of wind chimes might have originally been made with a natural type of fiber string, using a synthetic option as a replacement can help to protect your wind chimes from wear-and-tear caused by the elements.

Depending on your budget, you could purchase an archery string, which comes in varying grades. Some grades are able to hold up to 100 pounds, which is important for larger wind chimes made of metal.

Nylon cord or fishing line are also options. They come in different grades and can be less expensive. Be sure to choose a thicker grade for added strength, as long as it will fit through the holes in your chimes.

2. Remove the Old String

After you have your replacement string, lay your wind chimes flat on the table. Begin to remove each segment of string that you want to replace, by gently pulling the string through the holes in your chimes. (This might also involve scissors). Then, carefully lay the chimes out flat in the same order as when they strung together.

Ideally, you’ll want to fully restring the entire set of wind chimes, even if only one part of the string is damaged. Using a uniform type of string throughout your wind chimes will help to ensure sure that each of the chimes hangs evenly from the top ring. However, this is up to you.

3. Thread, Weave, Measure

Now for the main part of this DIY project: Take your string and thread it through an upholstery needle that has an eye large enough for your string to fit through. If you don’t have an upholstery needle, you can use a needle-nose pair of tweezers to help you pull the string through with your fingers.

Next, weave the string through the holes on each of the chimes that you are restringing, and then through the holes on the top ring, which links all of the chimes together. Measure twice to make sure that each chime hangs evenly at the same distance from the top ring.

4. Tie Tiny Knots

Then, carefully secure each chime that you’ve restrung with a knot. It helps if you have nimble fingers, but even a clumsy knot will do. Just don’t be afraid to add a tiny bit of glue to strengthen the knot. You don’t want this string to break!

5. Conduct a Pitch Test

After you’ve reassembled your wind chimes, gently test their sound by tapping them lightly with a tuning fork or spoon. Once you are satisfied that each pitch is sounding properly, your restringing work is done.

6. Hang Your Wind Chimes Outdoors 

Now that you’ve given your wind chimes a veritable “second wind,” take your wind chimes back outside. This time, you might want to consider hanging them in a different spot with less direct exposure to the elements.

In any case, be sure to always take your wind chimes indoors before heavy storms or cold weather. Taking additional measures to prevent future damage will further preserve the life of your chimes.

Alternative Options for Restringing Wind Chimes

If your wind chimes are connected to a solid, circular wooden block at the top, rather than to an open ring, the process of restringing your wind chimes will be different. With a top piece made of solid wood rather than an open ring, you’ll have no way of tying knots for each or any piece of string.

Instead, you will need to use a staple gun to staple the string to the underside of the solid wooden top piece which connects all of your chimes together. In this case, do not restring each chime separately. Rather, thread your string through the holes in each chime, then connect each loop to the underside of the top piece with a staple gun.

If your set of wind chimes contains a clapper, you can separately staple the clapper strings to the exact midpoint on the underside of the top piece. A clapper is a small piece of wood or other material that hangs between your chimes to produce or accentuate their sound.

Where Do Wind Chimes Come From?

It is believed that wind chimes originated in southeast Asia as early as 3,000 B.C.E. However, wind chimes have also been created by many world cultures throughout history using a diversity of materials, such as bamboo, steel, copper, wood, iron, and even seashells.

Today, you can easily purchase a set of wind chimes made with any of these materials. But to really keep your wind chimes in tip-top shape, be sure to apply a polish that is tailored to the specific type of materials in your wind chimes.

Restringing Your Wind Chimes: Wrap Up

Now that you know how to restring wind chimes, you’ll be able to keep your wind chimes in excellent working condition. In our opinion, wind chimes make are a wonderful accouterment for any porch, patio, balcony, or garden. By following this step by step guide, we know that your wind chimes will remain in good working order for many years to come!