Free-hanging, in-the-round sculptures, mobiles take many shapes in the nursery. They can be sailboats, bicycles or winged keys. They can be made of glass, wood, fabric or paper. No one is quite sure where the original mobile came from, but we do know the man who popularized them: the artist Alexander Calder. Calder and other Surrealist artists showed the general public the beauty and transformative nature a mobile could have in a space.
A mobile isn’t just something to hang over a crib, a mobile is a moving piece of art that will calm and soothe your child when you lay them down for naptime or for a good night’s sleep. And fashioning your own mobile while you wait for baby to arrive will help you begin to form the bond you’ll have with the little cherub before they’ve even been born.
As a pregnant woman who loves crafting and outdoor activities, you’re going to find that some of your usual hobbies are off limits to you, such as oil painting, gardening and biking. Being somewhat limited in your activities, you’ll need to come by some other means of having fun and finding meaning in creative endeavors. Though you can’t help your partner paint the nursery, you can craft some of the nursery’s décor, such as the mobile. Decorating the nursery is how we nest. We want things to be ready for our child, and having their room set up with plush animals, colorful walls and a safe crib makes us feel safe. If we believe the nursery is perfect, maybe we’ll be a decent parent; every little bit helps, right?
Not yet aware of what our child likes or dislikes, going with a themed nursery doesn’t seem the best course of action, nor does basing the mobile design on their gender (bulldozers for boys and unicorns for girls). You want to create a unique, one-of-a-kind mobile for your child that will turn into a childhood keepsake long after they have grown up.
If you’re unsure which design scheme to go with for the mobile, that’s okay. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a gendered theme, nor does it have to be something readily recognizable as a leaf, butterfly or fish. To take part in the nursery design without the risk of ingesting toxins in the process, you can make a mobile using simple paper crafting techniques that don’t require toxic paint or glue. To keep things simple, let’s go with designing a mobile crafted of simple shapes, in this case, a circle.
- Pack of cardstock, assorted colors
- Measuring tape
- Compass for drawing circles (or a collection of round items to trace)
- Pair of scissors
- Roll of clear fishing line
- Embroidery hoop
- Command hook
- Select your color palette. Choose 4 colors.
- Draw 20 circles for each color in varying sizes. In total you will have 80 circles.
- On your flat work surface, arrange the colored circles vertically in 12 rows per pile.
- Measure and cut 4 5-inch strands of fishing line, 4 8-inch strands, and 3 3-inch strands.
- Lay these strands vertically on your flat work surface. Going from left to right, your measured strips should be lined out in this order: 8, 5, 8, 3, 5, 5, 3, 8, 5, 3, 8 and 3.
- Mark the tops and bottoms of your circles in pencil with a small dot.
- Puncture the dots you made with your pencil with your awl.
- Begin feeding the fishing line through the circles. The 8-inch lines should have 9 circles, the 5-inch lines should have 4 circles, and the 3-inch lines have 3.
A fairly easy crafting hour, this mobile can be rearranged and made fresh any time.