How to Make a Bell

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Whether you consider it a noisemaker or a simple musical instrument, the humble bell is basic in structure, yet lovely in sound. Though often made of metal, the resonance of materials like porcelain or glass provides a delicate chime. You can make a simple bell from almost any small, handle-free cup. Add a homemade bell to your collection while recycling old dishes into new treasures.

Things You'll Need

  • Small, handle-free porcelain or glass cup
  • Metal jewelry chain
  • Beading wire
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Large glass bead
  • Quick-set epoxy
  • Large wooden dowel
  • Scroll saw
  • Black acrylic paint

Purchase a dowel with a width as close as possible to the bottom rim of the porcelain cup you wish to use for your bell (take the cup with you when shopping to get the best possible fit). Err on the side of a too small over too big so that the dowel can rest within the rim.

Measure the distance from the bottom of the porcelain cup to the middle. First, set the cup right-side-up and press the end of a short piece of string into this middle point. Pull the string taut, then grip the point in the string where it lines up with roughly the middle of the cup's height. Mark this point with magic marker.

Cut a piece of jewelry chain to the length you marked on the string and fasten it to the center of the cup's bottom using a generous dab of epoxy (about the size of a fingernail). Press the end of the chain into the epoxy while holding the rest of the chain's length up while the glue sets. Once the glue has set, tip the cup upside-down while it completely dries to prevent the chain from gathering inside the glue.

Loop the glass bead on a piece of wire. Thread the wire through the bead so that it protrudes from the beading hole on either side. Use needle-nosed pliers to twist small loops into the wire just outside the beading holes. Trim the excess wire.

Attach the bead to end of the chain in the cup; open one of the loops you just created in the bead's wire, thread it through the end of the chain, then close the loop again.

Glue the dowel handle to the base of the cup using epoxy. Let this dry fully before using the bell.

Paint the handle with black acrylic paint.

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