This mobile is a great way to bring some mid-century modern into your home for less than a buck. Yep! I said a buck. In fact, if you work from materials in your stash, or your recycling bin, your only expense will be the two pennies you use to weigh the mobiles down. I used two main colors for the two sides of the mobile, plus a couple accent colors , so when the mobile hangs freely in the air, the pieces rotate gently and the look of the mobile constantly changes.
This mobile is inspired by this print by artist Jenn Ski, and I created this project with her permission. Because this design is based on another artist's work, please do not use these instructions to sell similar items.
Step 1: Materials
But don't worry if you don't have an electronic cutter. You can do this project without one. You can even do it without a printer. I'll tell you how to do it no matter what tools you have at your disposal.
But first, the
- 2-4 pieces of 12x12" card stock, $.50 each
- (OR) recycled cardboard like cereal boxes, on hand
- Page of text, (like newspaper, love letter, book page, etc.) on hand
- Fishing line or thread, on hand
- 2 pennies, $.02
- Craft glue, on hand
- Clear tape, on hand
- Scissors, X-acto knife, or electronic cutting machine, on hand
- (optional) Computer printer
- (optional) 2 rings (like binder rings) for mounting, $1
Total: $.02 to $3.02
Step 2: Get Template
1. Get the template. Choose your template from this list:
- Electronic Cutter Users: Download the .svg file
Mobile Template for Electronic Cutters
- Print & Cut: Print each of these templates on 2 colors of 8.5x11" cardstock (PDF files)
Mobile 1 template
Mobile 2 template
- Freehand: download the templates above if necessary, and refer to templates to draw your shape templates on cardstock, or trace through plain white paper directly onto your monitor (gently!)
Step 3: Cut the Shapes
2. Cut the shapes out of cardstock. Cut each shape out of 2 colors of cardstock to make double-sided mobile pieces (I used black and tan).
Electronic Cutter: Use 2 pieces of 12x12" cardstock with your cutter
Print & Cut AND Freehand: Use 4 pieces (in 2 colors) of 8.5x11" cardstock. Print with printer (or freehand), and cut all pieces out with X-acto knife or scissors.
3. Using your preferred method, cut at least 2 shapes out of accent color (I used red and printed text).
4. Lay mobile pieces out in desired order, putting like shapes of different colors together.
Step 4: Adding Weight
5. Cut an 18-24" length of thread or fishing line for each mobile.
6. Glue or tape a penny securely to the inside of the bottom piece of the mobile. Leave a little space around the perimeter of the piece so you can glue the two sides together. Securely glue or tape the thread starting from the penny and coming out of the center top of the piece. You might want to burnish the tape against the thread to make sure it is secure (especially for fishing line, which is slippery).
Note: It is NOT illegal to use US currency as craft material, but if you have a problem with it, you can substitute washers for the pennies.
Step 5: Continue Assembling the Mobile
7. Continue taping/gluing pieces of mobile (make sure you tape onto the wrong side of the pieces, if you care what side of the cardstock shows) onto the thread in order.
8. For Mobile #1, you will take a small piece of thread and tape the bottom piece to the bottom of the large shape. You will then take the long piece of thread and tape the circle (with the penny in it) inside the cut-out section of the large piece, and extend the long thread out the top of the large shape (I didn't do this in the photo, but I should have). The circle will then be free-floating inside of the large piece.
Step 6: Finish & Hang the Mobile
9. When all the pieces are taped onto the thread, glue the corresponding pieces (in the different cardstock colors) to the taped pieces, covering up the tape and the threaded part.
10. For mounting, you can tie the thread at the top of the mobile to a ring if desired and hook the ring on a ceiling-mounted hook. I just stapled mine to the ceiling. Here's a photo of it in motion.
For more cheap & creative craft ideas, come visit me at DollarStoreCrafts.com.