The Art of Making Wind Chimes

So Make Something Monday has been successful thus far in that we have actually made A Thing every Monday.  It does not necessarily always go according to plan, but we get a result in the general category for which we were aiming.  Take, for example, this most recent Monday.

The project was making wind chimes out of washers (you know, the flat metal discs you get at the hardware store).  I don't even know how many months ago, when I was prepping for summer the way a squirrel preps for winter, buying extremely random shit on the internet and confounding the crap out of the FBI ("...I don't know what she's doing, Jed, but this has got to end in a bomb"), I picked up all the stuff we'd need for this project and tucked it safely away in my Summer Craft Preparation Location.

Here's the thing about Craft Preparation Locations.  All the contents of said highly organized and carefully chosen location always, always, always magically move themselves.  But never en masse.  As far as I can tell, each individual item gets massively drunk, grows a pair of tiny legs, and then stumbles off in whatever direction the last guy didn't go.  Thus, I announced it was craft time and then spent about an hour emptying every bookshelf, storage bin and crafting bag I own while the kids sat on the couch avoiding my crazy-eyed fervor.

Also a thing you should think about:  if you make a 4-year-old wait an hour for you to get your crap together and you actually expect that he will still be on the same page with you when you're ready to go, you're on drugs.  The 6-year-old was gung ho, but the 4-year-old opted out immediately.

"But there's paaaaaaiiiiiiiint," I tried enticing him with a sing-songy voice.

"I have Batman.  I'm okay," he assured me in his own flat tone.

Thus, I was a pinch-painter until he wandered by the table 15 minutes later and went, "Oooh!  You're painting!  I want to paint!"  LIKE IT WAS ALL A BIG EFFING SURPRISE.  ANYWAY.  Between the three of us, we managed to coat 239,482,376 washers in all manner of paint.

Please note our extremely detailed precision work.

Break for lunch to let them dry, then flipped them over and coated the backs.  The first round of tears hit around this time because unless one is exceptionally careful, it's nigh on impossible to keep the paint from seeping a bit onto the other side of the washer (you know, the one we SO SUPER CAREFULLY just painted half an hour ago) and apparently if pink squiggles mix with blue splotches it is literally the worst thing that has ever happened to your kid ever (barring that whole "toast for breakfast" episode because apparently you can't figure out how to buy eggs, god).

After we got ourselves back together, it was time to wait for them to dry so we could clear coat them (because objects painted with acrylic + outdoor elements = sad).  Then it was time to wait for them to dry again so we could clear coat the back.  Want to get a kid to be interested in a thing?  Tell them they absolutely cannot touch it for 20 minutes.  By the pitch and duration of the wails they emitted, it's a fate worse than waterboarding.

To keep them from throwing themselves into traffic to escape the boredom of actually waiting for paint to dry, I attempted to institute clean up.  It is amazing how Pavlovian a child's need to poop is when they hear the words "clean up".  Once they were finished "pooping" (kid pooping is similar to husband pooping, I've noticed, in that there are many extracurricular activities going on in that bathroom, none of which involve the actual act of moving one's bowels), they rolled around on the floor a while, poked at the water cups I wanted them to empty...and then they discovered if they smashed paper (or their hands) into the palettes, they could make art they were actually interested in.

Super glad I put so much planning into this activity.

Finally, the thing everyone had been waiting for, it was time to assemble.  Suddenly my help was gone.  They could not even deal when the paint was drying or the clean up was happening because we just want to make beautiful tinkly wind chimes that tinkle beautifully OMFG, but NOW?!  WHEN THINGS ARE ACTUALLY HAPPENING?!  In hindsight, I should have tried to take a nap.  Ain't nothing brings my kids to attention like the sound of my eyes closing.

So whatever.  I put them all together myself, Little Red Hen style.  My wind chimes look awesome.  Final analysis:  I totally recommend this craft to other parents.  Of dogs.


  1. You have my permission to make me this for Christmas. Love.


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