Rain Chains

Rain Chains

It’s the rainy season in Florida. Nearly every day brings us some precipitation, whether it be a stray afternoon shower, a pounding thunderstorm, or the all day frenzy of a tropical storm. This year, the daily rains have me thinking about rain chains and whether or not they could work for me.

Rain chains come from Japan, where they are often used in place of a downspout. They are sometimes purely practical, but often much more decorative. Their purpose, like downspouts, is to direct water away from the foundations of a building. Sometimes they are aimed toward a rain barrel or rain garden, while other times they are used to water plants that are hidden away beneath overhangs. They have become more popular in the U.S. in recent years, and come in a variety of styles, like these from Plow & Hearth:

Rain Chains PlowandHearth.comLinda Bumpus

Rain chains work on the principle of surface tension. They guide rainfall along the chain until it reaches the ground or container. The thing is, I’m not entirely sure if they could stand up to the kinds of torrential downpours so common in Florida. They certainly couldn’t be used to replace all my downspouts, but I’m considering adding just one as a link to a new rain barrel (I have one already but would love to add another). They’re so cool to look at, but I’m just not sure about spending the money. Of course, there are plenty of creative people out there who have made their own rain chains, so maybe I should try one of these projects:

DIY Ombre Rain Chain: Design Sponge

DIY Ombre Rain Chain Design Sponge

Wire-Wrapped Rock Rain Chain: Dollar Store Crafts

Dollar Store Crafts

Galvanized Bucket Rain Chain: Curbly


Silverware Rain Chain: I’m Going to Texas

I'm Going to Texas

What do you think? Have you ever tried a rain chain? I’d love to hear any tips or advice, as well as any additional DIY rain chain projects you may know about. Drop your thoughts into the comments below!

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.