Thursday, February 3, 2011

DIY: Mobile

I've always been a Do-It-Yourself kind of gal and with the little one's arrival getting ever closer my inner crafter has been reinvigorated. Projects strewn across the living room with yarn and fabric at our feet is something we're happily growing accustomed to.

As a family we strive to live simply, without overburdening ourselves with so much that we just don't need. I have read several "must-have" baby lists and honestly most of it does not seem that must have. Of course we want the babe to be safe as well as inspired and engaged by what he or she is surrounded with, so I am making my best effort to separate what I think will actually be useful to us and the little one and what is wasteful.

The mobile was one of the first projects that came to my mind when baby craft daydreaming. Obviously they are not a necessity, but they are a beautiful way to spruce up a wee one's room and give him or her something charming to catch their gaze and lull them off to sleep. I'm not much for "themes", but a mobile can also be an easy way to establish the look of a little one's room as it is typically one of the first things that catches your eye.

I guess you could say our look is turn of the century- elegant, yet simple- with a splash of the natural or something along those lines. Basically I want the room to be a calming, classic environment. So when thinking about the mobile I knew I needed to keep it simple, but still playful. Big cartoon animals are quite adorable, but not exactly my cup of tea. A few days after scheming on the initial idea I watched a video on origami and instantly knew how I wanted to make the mobile. Origami birds hanging from floral wire (recreating branches) just sounded so lovely in my head that I hoped I could do it justice.

The whole process ended up being much easier than I had originally thought. We did however hit a few bumps along the way, with the mobile falling on my husband's head after the first hook we put in wasn't deep enough to hold the weight. I suppose it was a little heftier than we had planned for. I mean, how heavy can paper be? Heavy enough. It is much better though that it fell on us than our poor, frightened baby. After some tweeking and a bit of ingenious floral wire work on my hubby's part the mobile was completed and very secure.

I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. It brings me so much joy and calm to walk into the baby's room and see it gently rocking back and forth, catching the light streaming in through the window. I hope the little one enjoys this sight as much as I do.

If you are interested, below are step by step instructions for the origami bird baby mobile.

How To Make An Origami Bird Baby Mobile

What you'll need:

Eight pieces of paper either purchased or cut to be perfectly square (the video below shows you how to do this). Think about the colors that you want the mobile to be. I didn't have any colored paper, but like most people my office was full of plain, white computer paper. I simply decorated the paper with sidewalk chalk and pens to give it a more colorful and interesting look.

Floral wire. The width isn't really that important. Gauge what you find the most attractive, but still sturdy.

A needle and thread. Again take into consideration the color of the thread as it will be visible in the finished product.

Step 1: Make eight origami birds. You could use any animal in fact, I just love paper cranes. Below are several instructional videos. Don't get frustrated. It might take you a few times to get it down, but once you do it's a piece of cake.  
How To Make A Paper Crane
Origami Crane Instructions
How To Make An Origami Paper Crane

Step 2: Place the paper cranes to the side for now. Take 4 pieces of floral wire and loop them at the ends. Lay the 4 pieces of floral wire crossed on top of one another at the center into eight points with the loops facing down. Cross the wire over one another in the center so that all the wire is held together while retaining it's eight points.

Step 3: Thread your needle and take it through the top (back) of one of your cranes. Tie thread above the back and cut thread however low you'd like the crane to hang. Repeat this action with each crane. The mobile is best balanced by different lengths of thread, so that the birds fly at varying heights above the crib. 

Step 4: Tie each thread (attached to individual cranes) to an end of the floral wire.

Step 5: Attach to ceiling at center of wire via hook. We needed a little bit more support than this so we created a floral wire hanger between the windows are hung the mobile from that. Hang your mobile in whatever way makes the most sense and will be the strongest hold above the crib.

And that's it!


No comments: