Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Making A Musical Tree

Once upon a time I read a little story in a magazine about what "cool parents" do.  I can't remember the exact publication now or even when it was released since it was a hand me down.  They suggested lots of outlandish things like creating a huge outdoor obstacle course so your children never had to touch the ground!?  Not exactly for me but I did come across the idea of the musical tree, so we decided to do it.  I just happened to have a huge broken wind chime that was left here when we moved in.  It must be fate! 

 I dismantled it and hung it's chimes throughout the tree with a few pieces of hemp. If you haven't been blessed with such a treasure, don't panic.  You can hang anything that will make a noise when it is hit. Metal pots, bars, pans, plates, bowls, silverware...  Get creative ladies like I know you can!  This tree is not very big so I tried my best to make sure the chimes were far enough apart that it can be enjoyed by more than one child without incurring a concussion :)

Next there comes the question of what you will use to make the chimes produce a sound.  I knew right away I had to have wood as I have neighbors on either side of me and that keeps the noise a bit more muted than, say, metal.  We started with a few sticks but always lost them when we were done in the grass and had to find new ones each time.  So I took a gander in the wood pile and an old chair was there, all broken to bits.  I Immediately removed the legs and any nails on them. 
TA DA noise makers!

But of course I had to make them pretty!  And what do you think you would find inside the holes from it's original assembly.....?

This is so tiny and it was pretty hard to get in there but I just couldnt' stand the thought of leaving this little nook unloved!  Isn't she cute?

This tree has many uses actually we also ripped up an old shirt and made it into tiny strips to tie onto her branches for blessings, wishes, making statements etc.  So if this is something you're interested in adding on you can first cut some little divots in the fabric at even spaces.  I did about 2 inches.


And then let the little one tear them apart for you.   It's a nice project for small hands.   My son loves anything that involves destruction.  What's a mama to do?

When we have something we need, or a prayer to "solidify" to the earth herself, or someone we need to send our thoughts to, whatever we feel like basically, we tie one on her branches.

Tying is a new skill for him and takes a bit of concentration.

Though it takes a long time, it's so worth it when you see how proud it makes him.  He just wished for a trampoline.  That's what he ALWAYS wishes for.  Who can blame him they are super fun!  One day we will have to break down and buy him one.

Then you just let them go wild!

Banging and clanging to their hearts content.

It's a beautiful sound and it's so cool to watch them go!

Even the baby likes it.

He may not be able to create a tune , but he's just the right height for grass eating.  Yeah I know it's not exactly the best for the digestive system but if I truly tried to stop him every time there's no way I could do anything else during my time outside.  So, he's building immunities ladies, relax!

And the paint makes these a million times easier to find in the grass when crazy kids discard them anywhere in the yard they please.  See it's not just frilly, it's functional.

So ladies I am open to suggestions for things I can hang to create more noise.  There are only so many broken wind chimes in storage around here.  Though I do have the frame for an old metal chair I am going to drill holes into and add but how about something that adds a bit more "personality"?   Also I would love to keep my fabric strips on the tree somehow, any ideas? You are the crafty girls to ask for such things...

If any of you decide to give this a try please let me know, I am excited to see what you come up with!



  1. That is such a great idea, I love it.
    The pic of your baby is beautiful, and I love the 'bangers'

    Not sure if you have access to a kiln, but pottery bells sound divine. -even just shapes made out of clay and fired then strung up.


  2. Ooh, i love this! i saw this idea somewhere too and ive totaly wanted to make one except sadly we dont have any trees:( (well except baby fruit trees that would fall over with one hit!)
    If you keep an eye out in opp shops im sure youl find all sorts off great things for it. Old metal tea pots would be awesome! Love the little ladybird in the hitty stick:) Cypress looks so content munching on grass, hes such a cutie

  3. Wow what a GREAT idea! I love it!. Your backyard looks nice and big ... perfect for a trampoline ;) Tell you what Free, I'll share my trampoline if you share your wonderful music tree.

    How about some old spoons and forks? You could bend the prongs around so they weren't too 'stabby'.
    Bamboo would make some nice earthy sounds too.

  4. Fabulous ideas ladies! My husband is a glass blower so access to the kiln is a no brainer, I have lots of left over bamboo from my fail attempt at wind chimes, and man I would definately be the coolest mom on the block if I hung some tea pots, how random! I will definately post about this again when I get a bit more added. Thanks a ton!


  5. Your music tree is awesome!! beautiful photos.

  6. Kat, these pics are lovely (and a bit of grass eating never hurt anyone lol)
    I am awaiting a tree in my little garden. nearer the autum were are having a big fruit tree planted in our chill out area! so hopefully we will soon have somewhere to tie ribbons and make music!

  7. Is he sitting in the grass nekkid?? How freaking cute!

    I just found your blog through shakti mama's self portrait challenge. I'm thinking about joining since I try to post a lot of self portraits on my blog but the extra kick in the pants would help. lol

    I love the idea of this musical tree. I love how thrilled with it your son looks :-)

  8. This is such a great idea! We were just at a science Museum that had a music play yard all made out of recycled things, like hub caps and metal dust was so great!! The kids had such a fabulous time banging on everything! i really want to create something like that here.
    Loved all the pictures! Thanks for sharing.
    Btw, i thought i'd replied to you on my blog..only to realize i send a message to noreply-comment. ha ha...oops.
    Anyhow, my husband specializes in marbles, he just started blowing pipes again...after not making them for about 5 years.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog, i look forward to checking out your blog.

  9. great idea! and your baby is so beautiful:) as are you!

  10. This is such a beautiful idea. What a creative mama. You kids will have so many fun memories. Your pictures are magical!


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