Introduction: Creating a Crib Mobile

We got twins in january and since they started looking around very much and being interested in the world recently we wanted something to look for them in their crib. So we decided to build a crib mobile. My fiancé and I split up the project between us, I built the mounting device (mobile arm) while she made the decorations.

So I will split the description as well into two parts - it is totally possible to buy either the mobile arm or the mobile decorations in case you only want to build one part of this project.


Mobile arm
Materials needed

  • 4 Hex nuts (6mm)
  • 4 Hex bolts (6mm x 30mm)
  • 1 Hex bolts (6mm x 40mm)
  • Some scrap wood (we used an old palette)
  • Wood mobile, bought
  • Music box, bought (which also turns the mobile)
  • Wood glue
  • Wood clamp (optional)

Tools used

  • Table saw
  • Hand saw
  • Sandpaper (80, 120, 240 grit)
  • Chisel
  • Drill
  • Forstner bit
  • Wood drill bit
  • Circle cutter bit

Mobile decoration

Materials needed

  • Mercerized cotton
  • some Wooden beads
  • a String
  • Filling (eg. wool)

Tools used

  • Crochet needle (3,5mm)
  • Darning needle
  • Scissors

Step 1: Planning and Cutting

I started with some scribbles on how the arm should work and how the pieces should look like. I already had a wood clamp I could use as crib mount and some other spare parts. Still I will try to explain these parts as well even if I did not have to create them.

First, cut with the table saw 4 pieces of 30cm x 5cm x 2cm. If you have a wood clamp to mount something on the bars of your crib cut 2 pieces 5cm x 5cm x 2cm (piece A).

If you don't, just cut one piece 30cm x 5cm x 2cm (piece B) and additionally 2 pieces 30cm x 5cm x 2cm (piece C).

Sadly something went wrong with one bunch of the photos so I dont have photos for all my steps. But you can still see drawings of the steps in my scribbles here.

Step 2: Pieces a - Rounded Borders

Start by marking an 45° angle at both ends of pieces A and cut it with a hand saw. Then mark the middle and cut out a piece so the the next arm piece can fit into it.

Now round the 45° cuts with the 80 grit sandpaper until you have nice rounded borders.

Step 3: Pieces a - Drilling & Chiseling

Mark a hole centered at 2,5cm from the two sides but a bit closer to the end of the board (so it can turn smoothly around the bolt when put together and nothing gets stuck) of each rounded border.

Stick the hex bolt through one of the holes in your piece. Mark the hex form on the wood and then chisel out the form for the depth of the bolt head so it will not stick out in the end.

Step 4: Pieces a - Sanding and Finishing

Sand the pieces getting finer and finer with the sand paper grit. You do not want to sand the cut outs where the next arm piece will fit into since you will need much grip there. I did sand everything and ended up having to glue some cotton pieces into the cut outs because the knobs would not hold the pieces firmly enough so that nothing would shift.

After sanding varnish with the coat of your liking. I used a mixture of bees wax and food grade oil. Also here do not varnish the cut outs (again not to devour that abrasive surface).

Now glue the bolts in place using hot glue or wood glue. Do not use to much glue so you will not ruin the threads on the bolt. It would very likely hold in place even without the glue, but I was being extra cautious here.

Test that the pieces fit together with the bolt and are flexible at the knuckles.

Step 5: Piece B - Chiseling

First thing I did was to glue the 2 pieces together which in fact was a mistake, so lets improve and start with chiseling a spot for the hex bolt. Be careful to chisel not to much, it should fit tight like shown in the picture, we do not want the bolts head to be able to spin around.

Now put in the bolt and glue the pieces together so that the bolt cannot be removed anymore and the hole you created for the bolt is not visible anymore.

Step 6: Piece B - Sanding and Finishing, or Not :-)

If you do not need to make piece C

Drill a hole through the middle of the glued piece B so the hex bolt of your mount will fit trough. Then drill into the wood with a forstner bit so the bolt will be buried. Be careful not to drill to deep, if that happened you can fill with some washers.

Sand and varnish like we did with the pieces A. Again spare out a bit around the hex bolt for the extra grip.

If you need to make piece C

You are finished, piece B will be used in the next steps and glued to piece C.

Step 7: Pieces C (optional)

I have no pictures since I did not make these, but there is a scribble showing the steps of the pieces C.

The two pieces C are actually pretty much the same as the Pieces A just without the step of cutting an edge out before drilling - since we do not want to fit one part into another seamlessly.

Glue piece B onto the middle of one of the two pieces C. Sand and apply varnish like you did for the pieces A. Leave out a bit around the hex bolt of piece B and as well the "inner side" of the pieces C so you have more grip on the arm and the crib.

For mounting it you should also make 2 additional knobs and you will need 2 more hex bolts - the length you should measure on your crib / where you will be mounting the arm.

Step 8: Knobs - Cutting Out the Gears

For the knobs you need to cut out 2 different sized circle cutter bits, lets begin with the gear part ot the knob.

Start with a drill and your bigger circle cutter and cut only a bit into the wood, so you see where it will cut out the circle.

Use a compass to mark six evenly distributed holes. Set the compass to the radius of the circle and start the first two marks - you can put the compass anywhere on the circle. Use the marks as fix point for the compass and mark the next ones. Repeat until you have 6 markings on the circle.

Now use a normal bit to drill holes through the wood.

After that continue drilling with the circle cutter. Shortly before the end turn around the wood and drill from the other side so you do not get any tear outs in your circle. Now you have the raw gear part of the knob.

Step 9: Knobs - Halving the Gears

I did cut the gear into halves because it was to thick for my liking - since there is also the round bit of the knob this would be massive.

Step 10: Knobs - Sanding

Now sand the knob but do not sand one side with the finer grits since you want to glue the circle part of the knob onto it.

Step 11: Knobs - Round Part

I did have the round pieces already left over from another project so I only had to sand them and make the gear part of the knob.

Cut out the circle parts of the knob analogous this the gear parts except you do not need to create compass marks or cut holes into the circle.

Sand and create a cut out with a chisel for a hex nut like we did for pieces A. Glue the nut in place - be careful not to use to much glue.

Step 12: Knobs - Finishing

Now glue the circle part onto the gear part. Be careful to ensure the
hex nut side is in the middle and therefor not visible any more.

Wait until the glue has dried before sanding the whole knob with the finer grits of the sand paper and apply varnish like before.

Now test if a hex bolt will fit in the knob.

Step 13: Testing the Arm

Assemble the whole arm and test if the arm is working with the knuckles and the knobs. Especially if there is enough grip to hold the weight of the mobile.

If it does not, try to glue some pieces of cotton into the cut outs to improve the grip inside the knuckles - I had to do this, since I sanded the cut outs with the finest grit and did apply the wax & oil mixture.

Step 14: Heart - Crocheting

In the usual crochet tutorials there are following abbrevietions:

  • ch chain
  • chs chain stitch
  • Ch space chain space
  • dc double crochet
  • MR magic ring
  • sc single crochet
  • slst slip stitch
  • tr / treble (crochet)
  • dtr / double treble (crochet)
  • 1/2/3/4/etc. sc/dc/etc. in second/third/fourth/etc ch from hook

The little heart is done via following stitches:

MR; 3 ch, 3 tr, 4 dc, 1 tr, 4 dc, 3 tr, 3 ch, 1 slst.

2 Round: 2 sc into the space between the chst, 1/ 3 dc, 2/ 3 dc, 3/ 3 dc, 4/ 1 dc, 5/ 1 dc, 6/ 1 dc, 7/ 1 dc, 8/ in same stitch 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 9/ 1 dc, 10/ 1 dc, 11/ 1 dc, 12/ 1 dc, 13/ 3 dc, 14/ 3 dc, 15/ 3 dc, 2 sc in the space between the chst, 1 slst, 1 ch.

Step 15: Heart - Finishing

Crochet a second heart.

Now connect both hearts with a single crochet, exception - at the tip of the heart 1 dc. Before closing the heart leave a small opening and fill it. Then close it.

Step 16: Flower - Crocheting

The little flower is done by:

MR: 15 sc, 1 slst

2 Round: 3 ch, 2 skip stitch, then 1 slst - repeat until the end.

3 Round: 3 ch, in the ch space: 2 tr, 1 dtr, 2 tr, 3 ch, 1 slst - repeat until the end. 1 ch, pull the thread through, cut the thread (only for the first flower part) and tighten the MR.

Step 17: Flower - Finishing

Crochet a second flower.

To connect the flowers: in the ch space 2 sc; 2 sc, 1 dc (into the tip of the flower), 2 sc in the ch space 2 sc, 1 slst in preliminary round - leave a small opening and fill the flower. Then repeat until the end.

Step 18: Adding Decoration and Assembling

You can add many many more different decorations as you like.

If you have enough to fill the mobile, assemly it with the wooden beads onto a string. Repeat.

Step 19: The Great Assembly

Now you mount the arm onto your crib and assemble the music box, the mobile and the mobile decoration. If the mobile is skewed, try adding / removing beads until it is plane.

Now it is ready for the baby / babies to have fun.

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