How to Make A Gutter Rain Chain

Rain chains are a decorative way to replace your downspout and add beauty to a part of your house that was formerly just functional.

Originally from Japan, rain chains allow water to flow down a chain into a container or onto a collection of rocks, rather than splashing out the bottom of a downspout, creating an almost Zen design. The gentle sound adds to the ambiance, and the look is a great home improvement from your old gutter extension.

Remove the existing downspout from the gutter. Measure the distance between the gutter opening and the ground. This will be the length of your chain. Inspect your gutter fastening thoroughly, making sure that it is securely fastened to the building.

Create your chain. You can use any number of materials, such as binder clip rings or shower curtain rings, to make the chain itself. If your area gets heavy rainfalls, double the chain links. If you wish to make a decorative cup rain chain, purchase metal votive cups and add them every foot or so along the chain, using heavy duty wire, through a hole that you drill in the bottom.

Slip the chain onto a U-shaped strap fastener, and fit it into the gutter opening. This will allow the chain to hang towards the ground. Attach the stake to the other end of the chain and stake it into the ground to secure it from high winds. Surround the end of the stake with decorative rocks. Alternatively, you can submerge the chain into a rain barrel or other water collection device, if you want to save the rainwater for recycling.

Things You Will Need

  • Chain
  • Stake
  • Decorative rocks or water collection container


  • If you don't want to create your own chain, you can use a chain that you purchase at a hardware store. Copper chains are especially popular, and age to a green patina.

About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.