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We have rain chains for four of our rain gutter downspouts, and we love them! A rain chain is a simple way to add visual texture and intrigue to your home with something that is also functional and soothing. If you love the sound of rain, imagine the tinkling waterfall cascade that a rain chain can create right by your porch or near your garden.
Rain Chains and Rain Barrels
We have one at our front porch entry and two at our rental cabin, also off the front porch. The two at the cabin flow into rain barrels where we collect water for gravity irrigation of the plants in the beds surrounding our foundation and in the lower section of our yard. We also use passive water collection to water our garden, but that’s not attached to the rainchains because it’s in the back anyway.
We got our copper rain chains years ago and they have since turned a dark patina. These days they come in all shapes and styles. We have the lotus blossom style.
If you want to see our rain chains in action, you can see rain chain videos in summer and winter scenes here.
DIY Rain Chain
You can buy nice non-copper gutter chains that—like the decorative copper rain chains—come in various styles. Some are larger loops in different shapes, including circles and triangles, and some have multiple rings at each link.
Or, if you’re into DIY and want to make it yourself, you can just buy some heavy chain from your local home store, if you don’t already have some extra lying around. Just check the pricing of the chain in the amount you’ll need to end up with because sometimes DIY ends up costing more than if you were to just buy it ready made.
Check your prices because sometimes DIY ends up costing more than buying ready made.
You’ll want to measure so that it hangs from your awning gutter opening to just above the ground. Average lengths are around 8′. Or, if you’re funneling your rain chain into a barrel, you’ll want it to hang down slightly into the opening, so measure accordingly.
You could even try braiding three thinner chains together for a unique look, but of course, it would cost more. Then all you need is an approximate 8′ length of heavy chain from your local home store, and a gutter hanger. You can make your own using a coat hanger, where the hook side hangs down the hold in your eaves and the base of the hanger is clipped and attached in the gutter area.
DIY Rain Chains – Materials
- 8-10′ of heavy chain
- Gutter hanger or heavy wire coat hanger