Take to the skies with a two simple #KidCraft mobiles.
Mobiles are kinetic sculptures which rely on and play with the scientific concept of equilibrium and center of gravity. The pieces often spin and flutter with the breeze, presenting a constantly shifting face and focus to the observer. Some mobiles are motorized, such as the spinning toys hung over a baby’s crib.
Here are two very quick and easy ways to make spinning mobiles in your own home.
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Step 1: A Simple Mobile
A Simple Mobile
- Coat Hanger
- Hanging Hook
- Art Supplies, such as paint, markers, etc.
- Fishing swivel
- Hole Punch
In this version, attach the hanging hook to your installation space. I attached it to the ceiling in the makerspace, but you might have a cathedral ceiling, kid’s room or art room in your home you want to decorate.
This is the scariest picture in the world!
Design a variety of small art works, such as portraits, cartoon characters, etc and cut them out. Then punch a hole through the center and use a string to attach to coat hanger bottom.
Hang the coat hanger from your hook and admire!
Step 2: Swivel Mobile
The Fish Mobile (Easy Mobile #2)
- Hanging Hook
- 1/2” Dia. Pine Dowels
- Small Eye Hook
- Variety of Cardstock.
- Wire Coat Hangers.
- Small Weights, such as spare nuts & washers.
- Diagonal Cutters
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Hot Glue Gun
- Hand Drill with Finishing Nail as a Bit.
- Pull Saw
- As before, attach the hanging hook to your installation space. I attached it to the ceiling in the makerspace, but you might have a cathedral ceiling, kid’s room or art room in your home you want to decorate.
- To create the S-Hooks, snip the long wire off a coat hanger. Snip this wire into thirds, then use the needle nose pliers to bend the wire into an S-shape. Wear safety glasses and point the wire away from faces.
- Use the hand saw to saw the dowel into one 8”, one 16” and one 24” sections. Using the hand drill with finishing bit, drill a pilot hole in the middle of each dowel. Make sure to drill through the dowel.
- Hand screw the eye hooks into the dowels as shown.
- Secure the dowel, then use the pull saw to saw a kerf 2” down from each end of the dowel.
- Use scissors to cut out a design, then attach the design to the dowel by sliding it into the saw kerf and securing with a dab of hot glue.
- Assemble the mobile. Begin with a fishing swivel, then an S-hook, then a dowel. Repeat the pattern until each dowel is attached.
- Lift the assemble and hang from the ceiling.
- Attach small weights to the dowels as necessary to have the mobile hang the way you want it.
Step 3: Extension Questions:
Questions for Young Builders:
How does the position of the weights on the dowels affect the balance and position of the mobile?
Could we test to see if a section is stable before we hang it? How would we do that?
Can you make a dragon balance on a spot that is NOT in the middle of the stick?
Can you think of a way to make the mobile spin? Could we make it make sound?