I was given this challenge by my wife today: make a high-contrast mobile for our new son using only things we have in the house. Here's how to make a baby mobile on the cheap from items you have around the house. All you need is an internet connection, some extra wire hangers, some duct tape, cardboard, glue and some string. Its very easy to make, and much cheaper than buying one from a store.
Step 1: Obtain High-contrast Templates
The first thing I did was to check and see if anyone else had built something like this already. I didn't find anything I liked, but I found a few projects that I pulled ideas from. During my search, I found these great templates for the actual objects suspended by the mobile. The templates can be found at http://crafts.sleepingbaby.net/mobile.html You can download the templates as .pdf
Print the file, and cut out the images. Warning: this will use a lot of black ink.
Step 2: Prepare Wire Hangers
You are going to need 3 wire hangers. I used the kind that make a full triangle, but I suppose you could use the kind that don't have the wire on the bottom with a few modifications. You need to flatten the triangle to form a upside down "V" shape forming 2 legs. You should bend all 3 hangers in this manner.
Step 3: Tape the Hanger Legs
Using duct tape, cover the legs of the hangers in a spiral motion. you are going to want to leave a little of the end of the hanger exposed, so you can thread string through the created hole.
Step 4: Twist and Tape the Top of Each Hanger
The top of the hanger needs to be twisted around a few times to tighted up the top of the hanger. Once the wire has been twisted, it can be taped up as well.
Step 5: Combine the Hangers to Form the Mobile Structure
This step can be a little tricky. I found it easier to tape 2 hangers together, and then to tape the 3 hanger together, instead of trying to tape all three of them together.
I also straightened out the hook parts, twisted them together and taped them up.
Step 6: Making the Dangling Objects
There are lots of different ways to do this step, and I tried a few different ones myself. I found it easiest to glue the paper cutouts to the cardboard and then cutting them out after they dry.
From here, you can poke a hole in them and hang them, or you can add some more of the cutouts to the top in the shape of a "T" like I did.
Step 7: ...and You're Done!
Poke some holes, tie on some string and you're done.
The final, final step is to suspend it over your baby. You can do this in many ways. We re-formed the top back into the shape of a hook and attached it to an old floor lamp with a swing arm using some nylon webbing.
your homemade baby mobile is done...enjoy!