how to make a mobile.

Here are some ideas for making your very own mobile. I’m currently working on a wooden one but following the principles of the abstract mobile in terms of construction. I want it to look similar to the fish one here.

Alexander Calder said, “To most people who look at a mobile, it’s no more than a series of flat objects that move. To a few, though, it may be poetry.” That’s what I’m aiming for, but it’s not as easy as anticipated. Here’s to a crafty challenge. Keep in mind that the challenge varies depending on the materials you use. If you use felt or fabric, you’ll have less difficulty achieving balance.   xo, m

Abstract Mobile

From Popular Science, 1954.

Cut abstract shapes from cardboard or light-gauge sheet metal.

Cut abstract shapes from cardboard or light-gauge sheet metal.

2.  For the arms, bend the ends of soft 16-gauge wire into loops and attach the cut-out shapes.

For the arms, bend the ends of soft 16-gauge wire into loops and attach the cut-out shapes.

It's all about balance.

It's all about balance.

Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump with a few of his kinetic mobiles and sculptures, c.1963.

Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump with a few of his kinetic mobiles and sculptures, c.1963.

Instructions from here.

Felt Mobile

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Materials
Wire coat hanger or other wire
Pliers with wire cutters
Wool rovings in a range of colours as well as undyed
Bowls with hot soapy and cold water
Wool felt
Needles and cotton, including one very long or ‘doll making’ needle
Beads or other embellishments
Fishing line or strong thread
Hot glue gun

Instructions here.

Bird & Twig Mobile

Bird & twig mobile. This one's fairly self explanatory in terms of construction. I think you need to find twigs of that are of similar weight, or at least balance out each side.

This one's fairly self-explanatory in terms of construction. You need to find twigs that are of similar weight or balance out each side with birds.

Basic instructions & bird template available here.

Paper Mobiles

Fine craft paper, fishing line, and wire at the top.

Fine craft paper, fishing line, and wire at the top.

Notice how I started out ambitious at the top of this post? These require very few materials but are painstaking to construct because of the delicate nature of the materials. Fabulous for party decorations, I’d say.

Lastly, general tips I’ve been trying to follow:

THE SECRET: START FROM THE BOTTOM AND WORK TO THE TOP. There are many ways to design a work of hanging sculpture, and as many materials, but the assembly is always the same: start from the bottom.
1. SELECT & ARRANGE THE PIECES: Find, create the shapes you wish. Lay them on a large piece of paper. Draw lines connecting the bottom or end pieces.
2. BEGIN WIRING THE PIECES: Starting with the small end pieces first, then connecting the middle size systems together.
3. BALANCE THE TOP: The top bar is last. Connect the middle systems to the top bar, balance, and hang up your new creation.

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3 thoughts on “how to make a mobile.

  1. Pingback: A Trip to Sotheby's to see Jewelry by Alexander Calder | Loves Food and Art

  2. Pingback: Gedachten bij diefstal in de politiek. Naar een nieuw evenwicht in de lokale democratie | George Knight

  3. Pingback: Terug naar een nu al archaïsch lijkend Nederland zonder Newspeak van VVD’er Zijlstra die in 2012 de kunstwereld op z’n kop zette | George Knight

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