Upcycle Your Near-Sighted Scrap Pile Into DIY Droid Wind Chimes

The outdoor decoration you're looking for.

The refreshing breeze on a summer’s evening can make you feel like anything is possible. You might not have ever thought you’d hear Star Wars droids make music together, but that same cool wind can make it happen with this upcycled craft: Droid Wind Chimes!

Grab some tin cans from your recycling bin to create your favorite astromech droids, and then string them together to create a unique wind chime. Hang it on your porch and you’ll be reminded of some of your most beloved Star Wars characters year-round.

What You’ll Need*

  • Three clean tin cans
  • Acrylic paint: White, red, silver, royal blue, black, grey, orange, golden yellow, and glow in the dark
  • 6-inch embroidery hoop
  • Grey, white, blue, and black enamel dot stickers
  • Black string
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small Star Wars vehicle toy
  • Paint brushes

*The activities in this article should only be done with adult supervision.

Get Started!

A paintbrush and two embroidery hoops, one painted black, used in the making of homemade droid wind chimes.

Step 1: Begin by separating the two parts that make up the embroidery hoop; you only need the inner hoop for this craft. Paint it black and let dry.

R5-D4 inside the Jawa sandcrawler in A New Hope.

A tin can painted to look like R5-D4, next to an R5-D4 action figure, paint palette, and two paint brushes.

Step 2: To create R5-D4, begin by painting the entire tin can white, and let dry. You may need two coats to cover it completely. Next, use the red paint and silver paint to add the details, and let dry. Add three grey and three small black enamel dot stickers on R5’s head.

(If you don’t have enamel dot stickers, simply paint all of the details on the astromech heads.)

Star Wars - R2-D2

A toy R2-D2 next to a tin can painted to resemble him and eventually be part of a group of DIY wind chimes.

Step 3: To make R2-D2, paint the top fourth of the tin can silver, and the rest white. Add the details with the royal blue paint and let dry. (You can use a coin or bottle cap on the top of the can as a guide for the circular patterns for both R5 and R2.) Add one black, one grey, and one white enamel dot sticker on Artoo’s head once the paint is dry.

Star Wars Rebels - Chopper

A tin can, painted to look like Chopper, next to a paint palette.

Step 4: To craft Chopper, paint the top fourth of the last tin can orange, and the rest grey. Mix the grey and black paint together to make a dark grey. Use the dark grey and yellow paints to add the details on Chopper. When dry, stick two blue and one black enamel dot stickers on his head.

An embroidery hoop painted black with glow-in-the-dark specks next to a paint palette and paintbrush.

Step 5: While the droids are drying, dip the end of a paint brush in the glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint, and add stars to the black embroidery hoop for a little surprise when the sun goes down. Set aside to dry.

Tin cans painted to look like Chopper, R2-D2, and R5-D4 next to a hammer, black string, and a pair of scissors.

Step 6: Once all paint is dry, use the hammer and nail to make small holes in the top of the three droids. (Remove the nail after making the hole.)

A tin can, painted to look like R5-D4, lies on its side with string attached, next to a spool of black string.

Step 7: Cut three pieces of string all the same length, approximately twelve inches long.

Tin cans painted to look like Chopper, R2-D2, and R5-D4 are tethered by string to an embroidery hoop painted black.

Step 8: Loop one string around the black hoop. Push both ends of the string through the hole in the can you just made, and thread both ends through. Tie a knot at the bottom.

Step 9: Repeat for the other two tin cans, spacing them around the hoop so the strings don’t get tangled.

Step 10: Loop the other three strings around the hoop, tying them together at the ends.

A wooden clothing pin clamped onto black string, attached to a embroidery hoop painted black.

Step 11: Cut another piece of string, and thread it through the three tied strings not attached to a droid. Tie a knot it in to secure the three loops together and tie the other end. (Make sure the end is secure, as this is where the wind chime will hang.)

Step 12: Cut one more piece of black string. Wrap it around the knots where the three loops are tied together to give the chime a cleaner look, and lightly glue it down with the hot glue gun.

Step 13: Hot glue a small Star Wars vehicle or action figure to the wrapped string to add a little more of a galaxy far, far away to the wind chime.

A completed droid wind chime hangs from a hook attached to an overhang.

Your droid chime is complete! Clone troopers might hate the clanking sound of droids, but you’ll love to hear it every time the wind blows.

Tip: When hanging the chime from the top loop, move the tin cans around the hoop until it is balanced.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox, and take a look at her blog the st{art} button for more Star Wars art projects and craft ideas.

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