How to Make Your Own Rain Chain

Rain chains are widely used in Japan as an attractive alternative to downspouts.
They're frequently made from a series of cup-shaped, decorative metal cones, but a simple chain is as effective at carrying the water from the gutter to the ground. Your chain can serve double duty as a water feature when it rains and as a method for collecting water for use in your garden or to water your lawn.

Step 1

Measure the distance from the gutter to the ground and subtract 1 foot to determine how many rings and how much copper wire you'll need. Choose the size metal ring you want to use, and divide its diameter into that distance. You will need one 6-inch length of copper wire for each ring you join to another.

Step 2

Cut a 6-inch piece of copper wire.

Step 3

Set two metal rings next to each other and loop one end of the copper wire around both rings to hold them in place. Twist one ring so that it's at a 90-degree angle to the other.

Step 4

Wind the copper wire around the loop holding the two rings together twice. Wind the rest of the wire through the two rings where they're joined. Wind the wire so it forms an attractive coil.

Step 5

Continue attaching rings together this way until your chain is the desired length.

Step 6

Attach a screw hook to the eave of your house where it meets where a downspout would normally be attached.

Step 7

Slide one end of the chain over the screw hook. Check the distance from the end of the chain to the ground. There should be a 1-foot gap. Shorten the chain if it's too long by removing rings. Add more rings if it's too short.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 3- or 4-inch metal rings
  • 15 to 20 feet of copper wire
  • 1 round screw hook, 4 3/8-inch

About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.