Recycled Wind Chimes

You can make these eye catching wind chimes out of soda cans and washers. They make a light tinkling sound, and the metal shimmers in the sun.


You’ll need three or four empty soda cans. I used a variety of cans so my chimes would be more colorful.

You’ll also need a butterfly shaped punch. These are made by several manufacturers and you should be able to find them at craft or scrapbooking stores.

You’ll need some metal washers. These cost about a dollar a bag, but you probably already have some in your toolbox.

How to:

First you need to cut off the top and bottom of the can. You can use scissors or a knife, but be careful not to cut yourself, as the jagged edges could snag you. Discard the ends of the can, then cut it down the middle so it can lie flat.

Trim the edges so that they are smooth. Wipe down or wash the inside of the can before you begin.

Now use your punch to make butterfly shapes. You’ll need two shapes for each completed butterfly. I had 14 butterflies on mine, so I punched 28 altogether.

Use your hole punch to make a hole in the center of each butterfly.

Now it’s time to work with the thread. Clear thread can be tricky to work with, because it’s hard to see. But that’s exactly why we’re using it, because it will make your butterflies look like they’re floating. If you’re having trouble threading your needle, try using a permanent marker to color the tip of the thread.

We’re going to thread needles on BOTH ends of our thread, because it will make the thread much easier to keep track of. When you thread the needles, knot the thread right onto it. That way you can be sure that it won’t slip off, and you won’t have to bother with re-threading.

When adding the butterflies to your strand, put them so that the pattern is facing outward. Hold them together and thread the needle through the center hole. Tie a basic knot. It’s best to tie two knots, because if a butterfly came undone later, it would be very difficult to replace it on the middle of the strand.

You’re going to add the washers the same way. I’m using two different sizes, as they make slightly different sounds when they chime together. Try to space them an even distance apart.

You’ll need the center strand to be extra long.  Then plan on having about four strands of medium length, and three that are short. The short ones will go on the outer ends of the branches.

Once your strands are completed, you can give the butterflies dimension by folding their wings forward.

I’m using twigs to hang my windchimes, but you could also use an embroidery hoop. If you’re using twigs, trim off the branches.

I’m going to tie my twigs together with a little bit of twine. You could also use yarn. Criss cross your twigs in a star shape and tie together in the center.

Tie your longest strand to the center of your twigs, and the shortest to the outer ends. Finally, tie a loop of clear thread around the center for hanging.

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32 thoughts on “Recycled Wind Chimes

  1. Amber Edwards says

    WOW! Those look SO CUTE! Hard to believe it is SO simple! I’ll listen for them blowing in the breeze next time we walk passed your house :)

    • Roberta Miller says

      I liked your butterfly wind chimes I am saving soda cans and ordered a Fiskers punch punch thinking it had different design plates to make a butterfly punch. All it was is a punch to make 2″ round circles. Can you tell me where I can find a punch big enough for butterflies. I have searched every place I can think of’. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. ayesha hameed says


  3. Dandelion Renee says

    I kinda question the reuseability of the punch. But oh how cool and need it for my play yard. Very cool.

  4. Emmak says

    Great Idea – Thanks

  5. Tara says

    My question is where do I buy a punch with butterflies?

    • says

      Martha Stewart makes a pretty one. Check Michael’s craft store, or you can find one on Amazon.

  6. Anonymous says

    Love Butterflies one proyect to do for summer ;)

  7. shannelle says

    May I ask where you purchased your punch and after time does this dull it? thank you

    • says

      Hi Shannelle! I believe this is a Martha Stewart punch, purchased from Michael’s craft store. This actually sharpened my punch!

  8. shannelle says

    Thank you!! Can’t wait to start making some!!

  9. Lynne says

    I love this! Definitely trying to make one soon!

  10. sandy briggs says

    can i also get on your mailing list, there is so many things i enjoy that i can make, i sell at our farmers market,and i make jewelry and i’m getting bored and would love to try this and any more of your crafts, thanks for reading this and happy crafting to all .huggs sandy

  11. angiestanton says

    I was looking at this and I really like. Where do you get a butterfly punch ar? I’ve never seen them before.

    • says

      Check at Michael’s Craft :)

  12. Victoria says

    I am looking for projects to make with the grandkids, and this is ideal. I have a punch similar to the one used and it’s a Fiskars brand.

  13. Rachel says

    I made some and using a marker and my own cutouts. Very cool! TRACE YOUR OWN DESIGN!, It can be a flower or a star, or even letters for words

  14. lisa says

    wouldnt fishing line work just as well and then you wouldnt have to deal with threading a needle and it would last longer than thread, just my observation.

    • says

      Sure Lisa, fishing line will work! I just found that it’s easier to use a needle when tying knots, as nylon can be slippery and hard to see.

  15. Royd Bisiwasi says

    looks good o also do bottletop recyling

  16. judi flora says

    I recently retired after working 35 years. Am getting bored and looking for easy DIY projects I can do for family gifts

  17. Jill Elliott says

    If you dont have a punch what would you suggest I use to cut the metal can please , I live in the uk x

  18. KAREN NEALS says

    these butterflies look larger than our Michaels has I bought mine at Walmart it is larger

  19. KAREN NEALS says

    what size is the round hole punch and where did you get it

    • says

      I think it’s a 1-inch, purchased from Michael’s.

  20. Claudia says

    Love the Butterfly wind chimes. I a high school art teacher and this will be great for my class to do as a project.

  21. Vicki says

    What size is the butterfly hole punch you used? Thank you

  22. Vicki says

    What size is the butterfly punch

  23. Kathie says

    Can’t wait to try.

  24. Sug says

    I use a large pin to make the hole, hole from a paper punch to large

  25. Mandy says

    How do you keep the edges from being sharp on the butterflies?

  26. L E Payne says

    I will be doing this, thank you

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