make a mobile/lampshade for a jungle themed room- or any theme for that matter, using mostly free materials.
Step 1: Materials List
Any colored paper will work but I prefer paint swatches because they are so vibrant and come in a wide variety- as well as a free variety ;) Just go to any hardware store and ask if they are discontinuing any colors, they are usually more than happy to give you a whole bunch of them.
You will also need glue and string or thread and something to make the lampshade portion out of. Initially I used wire but it was pretty flimsy and so I went with a wood and wire frame instead, using popsicle sticks (because the rest of my supply of wood is frozen to the ground and buried under a couple feet of snow right now). but that works alright because I like using leftover/free materials and I happened to have some on hand.
Step 2: Making the Animals
On the back side of the swatches (or whatever paper you use) draw the outline of the animals, plants, and whatever else will be in your mobile. as you can see in the pictures, my drawings weren't perfect but for me they just served as a guideline. When you cut them out be sure to double up the paper so that you have two mirror images of each other to hide the back of the swatch.
draw any details you would like on the animals like eyes, stripes, etc at this point (you can do it after you glue them together but I find it easier to do it now)
glue the two pieces together with the end of a piece of string about 8 inches in length in between them(see the third picture). now you are ready to attach them to your lampshade
Step 3: Making the Lampshade
how the lampshade attaches will depend on the style of light you have and the type of shade you want to make. I have the kind that screws on underneath the lights and I wanted to make a drum shade, so I made pieces that came in from the outside to fit on the center piece that screws in, but I have seen some where they simply make tabs and attach it to the ceiling which works regardless of the type you have. I measured the size of hole I needed and drilled it out (very slowly since popsicle sticks aren't very strong) making sure it was big enough to fit over the bolt but small enough that the nut would hold it on. then I measured the circumference and made two wire hoops that size, one for the top and one for the bottom.
luckily the sticks were just the right size so all I had to do was make some notches and put it all together very easily, but you may have to get creative if yours is a different size...
since I'm doing a jungle theme I wanted my lampshade to look like leaves. I cut out leaf shapes in the remaining swatches and began gluing them to each other and to the wire frame (I used strips of paper on the backs to add stability). I found that doing one piece at a time was easier than doing the whole row all at once even though it's slower going. I did three rows to give it a nice layered look and then I let it dry before handling it much.
Step 4: Attaching the Animals
now all that's left is to tie on the animals and put it up. be sure to keep them evenly spaced and adjust the height so they aren't in the way.
And that's it! it was easy and even if I didn't have all the materials on hand it still would have been cheap. What I like most though is the versatility, this can be adjusted to match any kids room. I think next time I will try an outer space theme... I hope this all made sense and I hope you enjoyed it!