Sunday, 8 July 2018

Working on a chain gang

Did you sing that line? I did, while typing it out. "Workin' on the chain.... gaaayang!"

My house has a hip roof, meaning it has four sides, not just two. The eavestrough runs all the way around but there are only two downspouts, both at front corners. And (of course) one of the back corners always drips where there is often standing water in it. It is annoying. I don't want to spent a ton of money getting them redone so I decided on a DIY solution.

Did that surprise you? LOL!!

I decided to make a rain chain for that corner. I looked at lots of different ones online. Really liked one made of a copper chain with clusters of copper leaves hanging on it, but buying one was a bit pricey. I did find a DIY site on how to make one, but it involved making the chain from copper tubing, and the leaves from copper sheeting, which is definitely doable but also time consuming and I wanted something put up quickly as we've been having a lot of rain storms in the past few weeks.

(isn't it pretty?)

I found one that I thought looked cute and functional, made with galvanized chain and tiny galvanized metal buckets from a craft store. I bought 5 - 4" buckets and made holes in the bottom, strung them along the chain, spaced equally, and secured the handles with wire. My idea was for it to look something like this:

To make it a little more interesting, I bought galvanized letters to spell out R A I N in the place of every second bucket. So I made the holes in the bottom of the buckets and strung them on the chain but it was so noisy! This chain will be on the corner of the house closest to my bedroom window, and it is often fairly windy here (you know, on the bald ass prairie, there is nothing to slow the wind down ~ this part of Manitoba is as flat as a table top) so that wasn't going to work. So I opted for using just the chain and the letters.

At the bottom, I put a tall planter made of recycled rubber. I drilled a few holes in the bottom on the side away from the house for the water to drain away from the foundation. The patio block it sits on is slightly angled away from the house as well. It is weighted in the bottom so is stable, and is year round durable so I can leave it out in the winter. That bit will be important during the spring thaw when the snow melts off the roof and drips down this corner. I am going to fill it with river rocks (to be purchased from the local hardware store) as pea gravel is small enough to plug the holes I drilled and I want to make sure unimpeded drainage is maintained.

So what do you think?


  1. That's an awesome and fantastic functional sculpture! I love it! Practical and Artistic! Great job! The spacing of the letters to spell rain is perfect! It draws the eye downward along the chain, the way the chain draws water down. Congratulations on a fabulous project well done!

    1. Thanks, Eros! I am hoping it does the trick. No rain yet to test it out.

  2. I love it! Such a clever idea.
    And yes, I did sing your title!

  3. Of course I sang the words! LOL I hope your chain works, too. We have a spot likt that here, too, but for some reason, this house, and others around here, were built without gutters, so no downspouts, just a a bit of metal that diverts the water off the front entry to the sides. The rain just runs off the roofline onto the garden! I'm not a DIYer, so at some point, we'll have to have gutters installed! xoxo

    1. You come across the odd house here without gutters, but it is not the norm. I have seen houses with mud splashed all over the walls from the water pouring off the roof and into the garden below. I hope you don't have that mess! The problem with gutters, especially here with four seasons, is the fall leaf litter and spring seed litter means they require several cleanings per year to keep the water flowing properly. I am not adverse to going up the ladder to do it but I don't like getting on the roof at all, as my house has a fairly steep roof slope. xoxoxo

  4. Excellent solution! A building here also uses rain chains and it works very effectively. Well done!

    I have "a friend" who has been known to re-arrange letters in Christmas mantle displays (e.g. NOEL to LEON). Those letters are very tempting to become IRAN...


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