- Length of chain the distance from your gutter to the ground. (Chain is available for purchase by the foot at many hardware stores.)
- Metal strip approximately 12” long, ½” wide. It needs to be thin enough that you can bend it, but sturdy enough to hold the weight of your chain.
- Spool of wire
- Wire cutters
- Bag of medium-sized decorative landscape rocks
- Optional: Decorative bowl, bucket, or barrel
- Optional: Decorative objects
1. If you are not attaching decorative objects to your chain, jump ahead to step 5.
2. If you are attaching decorative objects to your rain chain, lay the chain out and decide how you want to arrange your items and the amount of spacing between them.
Pro tip: Once you know the layout of your items you can temporarily hang your chain from a hanger and attach them. This way you can assess the overall look as you go.
3. To attach objects, loop wire through the hook, through the object if there is a natural hole, or wrap it around the object. Use enough wire that you will have two even lengths left to loop through a chain link in the next step.
4. Loop the wire through a link and twist the two wires together until you have about a half inch of twisted wire. Snip the two ends off then tuck and wrap the remaining wire in towards the chain link.
5. Before attaching your rain chain to your gutter, if you have a downspout attached you will need to remove it.
6. Create a bracket from the metal strip by bending it first into a “v” shape. Next bend each side so that the ends are long enough to securely rest on either side of the downspout opening. (Rain chain gutter clips can also be purchased online.)
7. Rest the bracket across the gutter with the “v” placed down through the downspout opening.
8. Attach the rain chain to the bracket through the underside of the downspout opening using sturdy wire, an “S” hook, or slide the chain onto the bracket.
Traditionally rain chains are secured to the ground in a shallow pit filled with decorative rocks, but you can get more creative.
Attaching Decorative Objects
You could create a whimsical rain chain for a poolside cabana or a playhouse roof by attaching plastic items such as fish, flying dragons, or rubber ducks. Screw small eye-hooks into the plastic to create a hanger.
Seashells are a fun, natural decoration for a rain chain that go very well with the water theme. To attach them you’ll need to carefully drill a hole through the shell to insert a wire. Try adding a bead for extra color or a little sparkle.
Pro tip: If you are thinking about attaching small trinkets along your rain chain consider using metal wire Christmas ornament hooks instead of a spool of wire. They’re simple to attach and the wire is easily bent to secure your items.
If you love the rain chain look but can’t replace a drain spout to hang one, consider making one as garden decoration and hang it with an “S” hook from a wall bracket attached to a shed or garage, or hang it from a shepherd’s hook in the garden.