The holiday season is for getting together and having fun with the people you love. One of my family's favorite Christmas activitites is playing our handmade Christmas chimes. These were a gift to our family and we have had some serious memories and laughter playing these bells. If you want to add some epic Christmas cheer to your next party here is how you make these Christmas bells.
- 8 feet of 1/2 inch electrical conduit from your local home improvement store.
- Pipe Cutter made for conduit or miter saw with metal cutting blade. I used a metal cutting blade for my miter saw because it makes the cutting go much faster. I have used a pipe cutter and it is super easy. The pipe cutter is less expensive (around $5) if you don't have a saw.
- The measurement list
- Measuring tape
- 1/8 inch Metal Boring Drill bit
- String or twine
- Dry Erase Marker
- Washi Tape (Christmas Color)
- Number Stickers
- Printable Music
Step 1: Print off the measurements. Measure and cut the pipes. Use a dry erase marker to number the pipes. This is important that the pipe have the correct number because this how you play the bells.
Here are my pipes in order. The lower the number the larger the pipe. Notice the raw look of the electric conduit. You can use cleaner to get the blue off or sand it down a little. I chose to keep mine there. Whatever you do, don't spray paint them. You will lose some sound quality. Also, while copper would be really pretty it would not chime as well as the electrical conduit. These are a pretty decor to have out but the real fun is the game The game is all about the chimes.
Step 2: Drill a hole all the way through both sides of the pipe about 1/4 inch below the top of the pipe. I will say this is the only step I felt like I needed help. It helps to have someone hold the pipe in place while you drill.
There should be two holes each pipe for your twine. Again, the easiest way to do this is to drill straight through both sides of the pipe.
Step 3: Use the washi tape to wrap the bells.
Step 4: Place sticker of the pipe's assigned number on top of the washi tape.
Step 5: Thread your twine through the holes on the bell.
Step 6: Download and print your music. Your bells are ready to play!
How to Play
- Grab some metal spoons and pass a spoon and a bell out to everyone playing. You can use large metal nails but we have young kiddos so spoons are the better option for us.
- Pass out the music and choose a song.
- Give everyone in the circle a bell. The music has listed at the top what bells are needed.
- Hold the bell by the twine in one hand and the spoon in the other hand.
- There are no musical notes involved only numbers. Yes...this is great news for all of us non musical people. You hit your bell with your spoon when the number of your bell comes up in the music.
The chimes also make a pretty decoration...ready for your Christmas party.
I don't remember laughing harder at Christmas than when we play these bells. You find out quickly who is musical, who is musically challenged, and who in the group has their own beat...different than everyone else. Laugh, have fun and cheer loud when you make it through a song together. These are also great gifts to surprise your friends with when you go to their Christmas party. Have fun!