Recycled Crafts for Kids: DIY Key Wind Chime

diy key wind chime

Gifts, especially those created by kids, don’t have to cost a lot of money.  In fact, the perfect materials for a thoughtful gift may be sitting in your recycling bin.  Giving old items new life is not only green, it’s a lot of fun.  It is so cool to take something destined for the trash and turn it into something beautiful and useful.  And when we do a craft like this with our children, we are teaching them to see “garbage” in a new, creative light.  With little more than a handful of old keys, a piece of drift wood, string, and paint, my son and I created this DIY key wind chime.  It would make a lovely gift for anyone who has a garden or balcony, a birthday present for grandma, a house warming gift for a new neighbor, and of course Mother’s Day is just around the corner.

Want to know how to make your own?  It’s simple!

key wind chime

Old Key Wind Chime Tutorial

You’ll need:

  • at least 5 old keys
  • a piece of drift wood or stick
  • string or fishing line
  • optional: acrylic paint

How to:

how to make a key wind chime

  1. Optional: Paint your keys and stick.  Choose a few coordinating colors and have your child paint the keys and stick.  Our keys took two coats, let the first side dry before flipping and painting the other side.
  2. Tie a piece of string to either end of the stick so that you have a way to hang it.
  3. Tie a piece of string to each key.
  4. Tie the keys to the stick making sure that they are close enough to each other that they will chime when the wind blows them.
  5. Gift, hang, enjoy!

I hope this project inspires a little crafty recycling in your home.  I’m sure you and your little ones will love turning trash into treasure.  And whoever receives your thoughtful handy work is sure to be pleased as punch.  I know they make me smile every time I enter my garden.

Here’s to crafting and giving green! 


  1. super cute & fun….now off to collect some keys. 🙂

  2. Carla, I love this, what a fun idea!

  3. What a great idea and a great craft for the kids to do. This is something all my kids could do and finding something they all could do is hard since I have a ten year age span. Thanks for the idea. Like the others above, off to collect some keys for us. 🙂

  4. I´m gona copy this one, owesome. thank you

  5. Hey Carla! I absolutely love this idea! I’m a writer for Crafting a Green World and saw your this post on Pinterest. I’m doing a round-up on Friday, April 26th on eco-friendly ideas for Mother’s Day and I think it would be perfect for this round-up. If you are interested in me featuring your site, all I need is permission to use one of your photos from that post. We always provide a link-back to your site, a photo credit, and a short description. Our goal is to get our readers to check out your tutorial. Please let me know if this is something that interests you as soon as possible. Thanks!!

    -Bonnie @ Crafting a Green World

    PS- Normally I would email this to you, but I couldn’t find an email listed anywhere! 🙂

  6. I’m the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your awesome project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, we’d love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

  7. I will try using old keys that have various sizes. I think this idea will add beauty to my with chime..

  8. I wonder if washers would work too?

  9. Cool idea! This is fun to make! I will make this with my kids. I have a lot of extra keys. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Margie Greene says

    I was in the middle of making this key chime when I realized that the paint doesn’t stay on the keys. When they are scratched or clanked together the paint peels off. Is there a special kind of acrylic paint that I need? I just bought bottles from walmart, nothing fancy. But it is definitely acrylic. What am I doing wrong?

    • Margie,
      I’m not sure what is going on. I just used regular acrylic from the craft store. I just went out to check and one key has a tiny nick but overall they are good and just went through a thunder storm! We did do a few light coats with lots of drying time in between, so maybe that’s the ticket. I’m so sorry it’s giving you trouble. Good luck and thanks for stopping by.
      – Carla

      • Margie Greene says

        I am going to spray them with a clear acrylic maybe that will help. I love all of your crafty ideas. I’m trying to make cheap but cute crafty items to sale to raise money for a mission trip to Kenya that I will going on in December. I have plenty of keys laying around, as my husband works at a used car lot. The only thing I have invested is time and paint…$5.00….love your craftiness, what to do next???

        • Stephanie D. says

          I too had the same problem and could not get the paint to stick. I even sprayed them with an automotive primer (for metal) first and that didn’t stick. So I tried a different primer and then used regular acrylic paint (not spray paint, just plain craft paint) and I had to glob the coats on to get the paint to stick and they became so thick that when they were hung, they didn’t make a “clinging” nice like a wind chime.

          I’m going to try and spray them with a clear acrylic coat before painting them and see if that works.

  11. Elizabeth says

    Try spraying with clear acrylic.

  12. I run a locksmith service and like me I’m sure a local lock shop in your area would be happy to give you a big handful of keys out of the miscut scrap we always have lots of them:)

  13. I used fingernail polish in different colors and shades. Works so far!

  14. I am doing this today with my grandchildren. We are using Grandpa’s old keys so when they chime, we will know it’s Grandpa saying hello from Heaven!!

  15. Use nail polish! It works!! I’ve been painting keys for years with polish.

  16. What about the string/fishing line tangling together — any thoughts of how to prevent that?



  18. Super cute idea. Haven’t tried yet but put in my grand kids project bin. We have lots of old keys.

  19. This is so cool. Thanks for the idea

  20. How pretty! I can’t wait to try this with my daughter!

  21. I am off to find some keys so my grand son and I have something new to try

  22. I am doing this using rustoleum paint. I am thinking even making one with the glow in the dark paint. I know I am late in the game with this but just thought I would say Hi and thank you for the idea.

    P.s. The rustoleum paint comes in some awesome bright colors.


  1. […]  We loved the simplicity of this recycled key wind chime from which utilises paint, leftover keys, a branch and string to create something truly unique. […]