A place for ideas and happy stuff!

A place for ideas and happy stuff

March 29, 2012

Kids Room Mobile

Bird Paper Mobile
Pottery Barn Kids Mobile

For my brother’s baby shower, I was inspired to recreate a mobile I’d seen at Pottery Barn Kids, but with alligators.  

Alligator Mobile Tutorial


-Thick wire or Metal clothes hangers
-2 pairs of pliers (one pair should preferably be needle nose pliers)
-Clear thread or fishing line
-Cardstock (remember, you’ll see both sides when it’s hanging)
-Scissors (or a machine that cuts out shapes for you, like cricut, or a paper punch)
-Needle or sharp pin
-Glue (I used mod podge)

*optional: sandpaper & paint, ribbon, small beads 

Step 1 – The Base

To remove wire coating, make a cut near end and pull.
You can now grasp the wire with one plier and
the coating with the other to remove completely.
This is what you should have at then end of step 1.
Using the pliers, bend the wire into a circle.  I used a hanger which is approx. 42” long when unbent, creating a circle about 13.5” wide.  If using a hanger, first you must straighten out all the bends..  To straighten wire, grasp it with one pair of pliers placing it next to the curve you’re working on.  Then use the needle nose pliers to grasp the curve and slowly bend it to your desired shape.  Continue moving the pliers as needed to get desired shape.  The same strategy works when adding curve to a straight wire.  .....  Then place 3 straight wires across circle so they cross in the center and divide the space into 6 even pie sliced sections.  Attach the wire to the circle by bending the ends around the circle edge until tight.   .....    You can spray paint the wires at this point if you like.  If you used a painted hanger, you may want to sand it before painting.   .....     To keep each piece in place, you can use some mod podge (or other glue) to secure each section.

A.  Shows how to grasp wire next to curve.   B.  Use needle nose pliers to manipulate and bend wire into place.

Step 2 – The Paper

Find a design you’d like to use for your mobile and copy it onto cardstock or a manila folder.  Cut this piece out and use as your master template to trace all your pieces onto cardstock and then cut them out.  If you have a large punch you like or a cricut type machine, you’ll have a lot less work to do on this step.  Keep in mind the paper you’ve chosen will show both sides, so make sure to purchase double sided cardstock.  Tip: When looking for a design online, try narrowing your search to clipart to find images with a simple outline or try looking for animal shaped patches.
Step 3 – Poke a hole.

Use a straight pin or thumb tack to make a small hole in every piece of paper you’ve cut.  I recommend placing it at the top center of your image.  You can try one out before committing, to decide how it will hang.  If you’re using butterlflies, a hole closer to the center will make them hang at an angle.
Step 4 – Knot the thread

Cut a your thread longer than needed to allow room for tying knots.  You can trim excess when your done.  After deciding on the distance you want between layers, Draw a line on a piece of paper and mark the distance you’ve chosen for each layer.   I placed a knot every 2.75" and allowed 3" from the top cutout to the wire frame.  Then tape one end of your thread down to the paper and thread a needle on the other end.  This will allow more control as you tie your knots.  The easiest method is to place a small bead where you want the knot and tie a knot around it.   I didn’t use beads.  Instead, I made 3 french knots in each place to make them big enough that the paper wouldn't slide over the knots.  After each knot, string the next cardstock cutout before tying the next knot.  Once you’ve completed this, remove the end of thread that was taped and tie it to the wire base.  Then use some mod podge or glue to keep it in place. 

Tip:  You can stack the cutouts and use paperclips to hold each group together, preventing tangles while working or transporting mobile. 

Step 5 – Hanging

Cut 6 long threads and tie each one to the looped ends of the straight wires where they connect around the outside of circle.  I folded my thread in half, doubling it to give it a bit more strength before tying it on.  After tying on all 6 threads, bring them together over the center of mobile.  Adjust them until the mobile hangs straight and then knot them together to hold them in place.  I found it helpful to place a piece of tape on them before tying the knot to keep them from slipping as I tied the knot.  Tie a second knot an inch or two above the first.  You can hang your mobile at this point or tie the section of thread between the 2 knots around a piece of ribbon.  You can use the ribbon to hang the mobile or just add a pretty bow before hanging it.
Trim any excess and you’re done.

 Have Fun!

1 comment:

  1. This is adorable! Cheers to you for cutting out all those alligators by hand! :) Great job!
    Happy Day!


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