A rain chain works by reducing the surface tension of rain dripping from your gutter into the rain barrel.
Rain chains have been used instead of the usual downspouts on houses in Asia and Europe for centuries, to stop the water from being flung against the side of the house in a torrential rainstorm.
The water clings to the chain and is guided to the water capture system.
Why stop there – make the rain chain the focal point of your system by the addition of those glass light fixtures that were so popular a few years ago, resembling old time Victorian gas lights.
I use one or several salvaged from the recycle center, thrift store or garage sale to make my rain chain more beautiful.
As an added benefit, they attract the tiny pacific tree frogs that make my garden home.
Many times I’ve seen the green or brown frogs nestled into one of the fluted edges to wait for their next insect meal. I initially thought I would have to take the rain chain inside for the winter as the light fixtures are glass, but they survived beautifully, even after being covered in snow and ice.
Now I don’t worry about them, and they do the most incredible job of guiding the rainfall into the rain barrel.
Attaching them with copper wire was a stroke of genius, as the copper will gradually get the patina of verdigris and turn a pale green colour.
I’m continually making up new ways to recycle rustic salvage - sometimes things that other people don’t even see - to make wonderful and funky garden crafts like these rain chains.
Keep your eyes open, and maybe you’ll find some treasures to use in your rustic crafts too.