What is a rain chain? Here’s how rain chains prevent erosion and 12 DIY rain chains you can make from recycled materials!
Rain chains are like downspouts, only prettier! A well-placed rain chain will direct the flow of water from your roof, keeping it from eroding the ground underneath or pooling next to your foundation. You can direct your rain chain into a water feature, a gravel bed, another downspout, or a rain barrel, and you should definitely put it someplace where everyone can appreciate how pretty it looks as it does its job.
Inspired? There are a ton of ways to make DIY rain chains, and you can use the elements that appeal the most to you. Here are 12 tutorials to get you started.
1. chain and basin. In this project, the rain chain itself is simple, but leads into a basin that you can make as elaborate as you like.
2. chain of tiny plant pots. These DIY rain chains are freakin’ adorable, and the wee plant pots are especially serviceable in heavy downpours.
3. cookie cutters. If you’ve got a stash of so-so metal cookie cutters, this gets them out of your pantry!
4. copper. Check out your local Restore for surplus copper wire and tubing.
5. copper and stone. If you’re feeling extra fancy, add polished stones to the copper links of your rain chain.
6. funnels. Here’s another DIY rain chain whose supplies you’re likely to find at your local Restore.
7. galvanized buckets. This rain chain is probably the easiest to make, with just a single trip to the hardware store for supplies.
8. plastic cups. Thinking of switching your dinnerware from plastic to glass, but don’t want to add a bunch of plastic to the waste stream? This project is a great way to upcycle the plastic cups into DIY rain chains.
9. scrap metal. Rivet pieces of scrap metal together to make a found object rain chain.
10. spoons. Wire vintage spoons into an antique-appearing rain chain.
11. watering cans. Instead of buying new watering cans for this, hit the flea markets for vintage ones.
12. yogurt cups. This one probably doesn’t have a ton of longevity, but it’s a great way to include kids. They can rinse yogurt cups as they use them and punch the holes, and you can hang it for them from a tree branch or railing so that they can explore with a watering can or the garden hose.