How To Make A Rain Chain

rain chain
contraption / Flickr (Creative Commons)

A rain chain isn’t just beautiful. It can help manage water runoff around the home and help mitigate soil erosion and water pollution caused by water pouring out of your gutters.

In this video, DIY guru Jason Poel Smith of DIY Hacks and How Tos shows you how simple it is to build a beautiful rain chain. If you have a gutter system on your home, all that you need are a few simple tools and supplies to turn those downspouts into beautiful, environmentally friendly details. He also gives some options to customize the project, depending on how you want your rain chain to look and how much water flow you’re dealing with. Check it out:

Written by Becky Striepe


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  1. I love the idea, but without a downspout as the traditional way to get water away from the foundation, wont these rain chains allow the water to go directly into the ground right against the foundation?

      • Oh okay, cause the video shows the rain chain being ran down through the opening where the down spout would normally go, and then it looks like the chain is anchored into the ground straight down into the ground.

    • Hi Verna,

      It’s easier to do with gutters, but you don’t have to have gutters on your home. I don’t have gutters on my house, either.

      Check where the water falls off the roof next time it rains. Those might be good places to try a rain chain.

      At my house, the water falling off the roof was wearing a hole in the patio tiles, so we put a cistern underneath. At another place, the water had killed the grass and was washing away soil. We planted a tough hedge under that one.

      Rain chains are pretty, but you’re right, they’re not the only option. We have to find what works for our situations.

  2. Hi.. does the chain have to be metal.. We live on the Gulf of Mexico where the salt rusts metal very quickly… We do have long plastic chain and wondered if that would work …Love the idea

    • Hi Dorothy,

      I don’t think the type of chain makes a difference to how the water runs off. I wonder if it would change the sound the rain chain makes. I don’t know. Try it and let us know!

  3. I absolutely love rain chains and would do this in a heartbeat. Purchasing a rain chain (because they are usually made with copper) is very expensive…thanks for a less expensive, but still cool idea. My mind is already spinning with ideas of how I can personalize these to my own liking.

  4. Re: hanging the rain chain in heavier runoff areas, you mentioned using 2 rings and incorporating a vertical wire in the middle. What would be the easiest way to incorporate the vertical wire in the middle? Thx, Laura

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