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.
Installation can be as simple as removing a downspout and replacing it with the rain chain.
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 tutes to get you started.
12 DIY Rain Chains
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.
photo credit: rain chain image via Shutterstock
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
I had no idea that a rain chain will direct the flow of water from your roof, and keep it from eroding the ground. I have seen a few of these on houses, but never understood why they were there. We might have to look and see if there are any nearby that we can install.
I really liked your idea of making a simple rain chain out of used yogurt cups! I have 3 kids and I know that they would love to build and play with this. The fact that I can put the empty containers to good use is just a bonus.
The idea of added polished stones to your copper chain seems like it would look really nice. My mom is looking for a rain chain to buy but she hasn’t found a style she likes yet. I’m not quite sure how to attach the stones to the wire, so I’ll have to see if I can find an already made chain to show my mom to see if she likes it. https://www.monarchabode.com/collections/copper-rain-chains