Young children love the movement and sound of mobiles. Bright, glittery decorations make mobiles glint and gleam in light cast by the moon or nightlights. If you make them in metal or tough ceramic materials, they will tinkle and chime when they are moved by breezes or by hand. Mobile-making is inexpensive, especially if you recycle some materials already in your home. Spend 30 minutes to an hour constructing your own mobile and save the cost of buying one ready-made.
Items you will need
- Two metal coat hangers
- Wire cutters
- Two pairs of pliers
- An awl
- Small steel hook
- 3 or 4 meters of any silver-colored chain (with links of approximately 1 cm diameter)
- Craft wire
- Used Christmas decorations and other glittery/colorful recycled materials
Make a Hanging MobileStep 1
Take a metal coat hanger and, using the wire-cutters, cut off the hanging loop at the top just below where it begins to curve.
Slot the coat hanger you have just cut off in through another metal hanger at right angles.
Twist craft wire around the coat hangers where they meet at the top to join them securely together. Use more wire to join them where they cross in the middle at the bottom. Also tie some around the straight part of both handles so that they are bound tightly to each other.
Make a small indentation in the ceiling with an awl.
Push the end of a metal hook's screw into the indentation and turn clockwise while continuing to apply force. Soon the screw will grip into the ceiling material. Keep going until the hook is firmly established and is not wobbly or loose.
Use two pairs of pliers to start taking smaller lengths from a long (3 or 4 meter) piece of chain. Use the pliers to pull links apart, thereby splitting the chain. Make the shorter chain sections of varying lengths.
Take a chain piece with no opened links and hang it from the hook by its end. Use a section that will allow the coat-hanger frame to hang from the bottom at your preferred height.
Hang the rest of the chain pieces from your coat-hanger frame. Hook the opened links around the hangers and then use a pair of pliers to close the links again. Hang the lengths of chain on both hangers and, once they are all used up, move them around until the mobile structure hangs level. Use wire to secure the chain pieces into position.
Attach recycled decorations and recycled shiny/glittery materials to the lengths of chain and the coat hangers with craft wire. Place them where you think they look good. Spread them out randomly but fairly evenly. Adjust them where necessary to keep the coat-hanger frame hanging levelly.
Tips & Warnings
- If the ceiling is made of crumbly material, you may need to drill a hole to take a suitably sized rawlplug for you to screw the ceiling hook into.
- Look for small bells and pieces of jewellery at garage sales for additional decoration (and sound) for your mobile. Used CDs look pretty on mobiles as they reflect light in rainbow colors.
- Hang the mobile out of reach of children and out of the way of people moving around the main parts of the room.
- Jeffrey Hamilton/Photodisc/Getty Images