Most homeowners have rain gutters to move rainwater from the roof to the ground. But according to Crescent City Copper, homeowners in Asia have an alternative to these gutter downspouts.
They install rain chains. Like the gutter and the spout system, the rain chain helps encourage water flow from the roof to the ground during a storm. They’re so popular in Asia that you even find them on the front porches of temples.
They offer a gentle rain-removal alternative to the stocky rain gutter. If you’d like to replace your gutters with rain chains, here are 10 gorgeous rain chain ideas to get you started.
Before You Get Started…
And unlike gutters which can often look unsightly, these rain-storm beauties look like jewelry for the front of your home. While they’re often made from copper in true jewelry form, rain chains are not limited to it.
At least one of them is sure to complement the architecture of your home no matter what style of home you live in. The choice to switch to a rain chain seems obvious when put in that context.
However, many homes come already equipped with a bulky rain-gutter downspout system. You’ll have to remove the gutter pipes in order to install your rain chain. The video below explains how you can change out the old system and install the new one.
1. Mound and Chain
Houzz.com recommends that a traditional rain chain made solely from chains be accompanied by a decorative rock mound at the foot of the chain. This look is reminiscent of the Japanese gardens that inspired the rain chain trend. The rocks not only encourage further drainage, but they complement a yard decorated in Asian style.
2. Terra Cotta and Chain
The savvy DIYers at Design Sponge feature a lovely rain chain made from terra cotta pots painted a sky blue and connected together with a heavy chain. This solution counts among the more inexpensive ways to make a rain chain.
Your local garden store provides you with a ready supply of pots and even the chain. Just paint the pots, attach them to the chain, and go. And of course, you’re not limited to blue. Paint the pots any color you want.
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3. Broken Pots
What if you have plenty of planter pots, but they aren’t exactly in one piece? No problem. You can easily turn your broken shards into a rain chain. This counts as an alternative take on the rain chain above. Gather your broken shards, bits of old chains, heavy beads, and anything else that strikes your fancy.
Drill holes in the broken pottery and string everything together until your recycled wonder is long enough to touch the ground. Paint the shards to add visual interest to the shards and your DIY rain chain.
4. Cookie Cutter Rain Chain
If you love recycling, you’ll love the cookie-cutter rain chain by Home Talk. Because you use old vintage cookie cutters and chain to make it, this style of rain chain counts among the most unique.
If your home style leans toward the shabby chic, you definitely want to check this out. A bit of wire links your old cookie cutters to the wire. The cookie cutters add interesting shapes like butterflies and candy canes to the mix.
5. Recycled Bottles
Aside from being colorful, Home Talk reminds us that rain chains made from plastic soda bottles run on the cheap side, especially if you wind up drinking a lot of soda anyway.
To make these whimsical rain chains, cut the tops off of two-liter soda bottles. Fit them with plastic piping of assorted colors. Bind the pipe pieces together with colorful cord that you string through the pipes. The soda bottles form the upturned cups in this equation.
6. Wire and Decorative Rocks
Rocks have a beauty all their own, and nothing feels quite like finding a beautiful stone as you trek through the woods or along a beach.
If you regularly collect rocks, think about fashioning your rain chain from your found treasures. If not, you can collect rocks at your local Dollar Store and make a rain chain inspired by the Dollar Store itself.
Simply fasten your rocks to your chain with some wire. For a fancier chain, look for rocks like thunder eggs or polished obsidian to add to the chain.
If you fear the cost of having more expensive rocks on the chain, use them only here and there to break up the visual line of the chain. Use regular river rocks for the rest of the chain.
7. Mosaic Tile Rain Chain
If you loved those old-fashioned Tiffany lamps, you’ll love the mosaic tile rain chain by Bits and Pieces: The cups on these chains call back to an era when Tiffany lamps sat on the side table beside the sofa.
These are constructed from mosaic tile cups and heavy chain. As a bonus, the cut glass of the mosaic reflects the sunlight after the rain is through.
8. Bent Utensils Chain
With the advent of the Dollar Store, you can find almost anything on the cheap, and that includes utensils. While most people eat with their cheapie finds, your imagination requires more.
When that type of creativity strikes take a lesson from Best Plants. Pull those utensils from the drawer, bend them up, and fasten them together.
The resulting rain chain looks like something you’d find in Wonderland and is sure to put a smile on your face that’s bigger that the Cheshire Cat’s!
9. And Speaking of Wonderland…
How about making a rain chain from old teapots? This system requires requires a bit more work plus some surrounding walls to make it work, but the result is oh so magical!
Rain water falls down from the roof, going into the top of the first teapot in the chain and falling out of it via the spout in front.
This method of carrying water to the ground relies on perfectly positioned teapots. Each one catches the water from the pot above it and then fills the pot below it until all the water is removed from the roof.
For a uniform look, opt for teapots that match one another. However, if it’s Wonderland you’re after, then scout second-hand stores and antique shops until you find an eclectic assortment of pots.
Finally, teapots and teacups mixed together offer you another whimsical alternative. Drill holes in the bottom of the teacups to create the cups portion of the rain chain or hang them from the teapots to bring out the full Wonderland effect.
10. Stone and Driftwood Chains
Homeowners who gravitate toward wood and stone will love the stone and driftwood rain chain. It’s constructed from the driftwood and stones you find on the beach.
Your pieces of wood and stone get a small hole in the center via your drill, and then a piece of heavy wire connects them together.
For the sea lover, sea shells instead of stones make this rain chain a one-of-a-kind seaside wonder. Antique glass floats dispersed throughout the chain add to the sea-themed look of the driftwood and shell chain.
Adding Some Decor to Your Garden With Rain Chains
While rain chains may not remove as much water initially from your roof, they do have their advantages. Aside from being as pretty as a beaded necklace, they reduce the amount of pressure on your storm drains.
And because you make them yourself, a DIY rain chain allows you to fashion an item that matches the front of your home.
These 10 rain chains come in all different shapes and sizes and are sure to add a unique and useful touch to your front porch. And don’t forget to check out the video to learn how to install your rain chain once it’s done.