Paper Chain Mobiles

I’ll admit it… I have a total love/hate relationship with using crafty homemade pieces in home decor.  I find that while often fun to make, the finished product is not always something I’m proud to have as a fixture in my home.

This paper mobile idea actually sprung from a party decoration that I ad-libbed for my son’s second birthday party.  You can see it hanging sweetly in the background of this shot of the little guy getting ready to blow out his candles.

mobile2

I think the concept works equally well as a party decoration or a children’s room fixture.  And, while it’s surprisingly simple to make, the finished product is just so much fun!  Baby girl loves to run her tiny fingers along the strands each night before bed and watch the shadows dance along her wall.  It’s a little thing, but it’s magic.

I’ll go ahead and let you in on the secret to conquering this project in an afternoon or less: it’s pegboard.  You know… something like this that you can get at any local hardware store.  Usually used to create a less than attractive but super organized wall in a garage, pegboard is your perfect base for an awesome hanging mobile.  It’s holes are predrilled and precisely spaced, and the board can be cut to any dimension you need.  Also, I’ve found that when confronted with a simple smile and polite disposition the guys at the store are often happy to cut the board to your desired size right there free of charge.  Voila… no saw necessary for this one.

Next, decorate your board however you like (I used washi tape to keep things simple, but you could paint, too) and lace through all of the holes to create the spaces on which your paper chains will hang.  Don’t forget, since it’s a hanging fixture the back of the project will never be seen, so criss-crossing laces or a few too many knots are no problem at all.  You can see the washi and lacing here:

FullSizeRender

Now that we’re all laced up, you’re ready for the good stuff.  Create chains made of thick papers and plastic jump rings, both of which you can find at your local craft store.  I cut the squares by hand and used a 1″ round punch for the circles.  You could cut or punch any shapes you choose, though.  Punch two holes in each shape and you are good to go.  I’m pretty picky when designing things like this, so I laid out all of the pieces in order before building the chains to make sure everything looked just right.  Finally, fasten you chains to the pegboard using one last jump ring and the threads you’ve already laced.  Bam. Done. Finito.

Here are some variations I’ve considered (and think you should consider, too, if you’re going to dive in and make one of these bad boys for your kid’s room or for your next big party):

  • My girl’s mobile has two rows of holes in the pegboard with the chains alternating rows.  How cool would it be if it were 3 or 4 rows!?
  • Instead of randomizing the chain lengths, try creating a downward “V” shape with the shortest chains on the outside and longer chains in the center.  You can see this idea played out in the picture from the birthday party.  Super cute.
  • Why stick with a long rectangle pegboard base… what about creating a square paper chandelier of sorts!  I think when little lady is a big enough for a more glamorous party I may just have to make one.  With some glittery gold and silver papers.  Tiered nice and long in the center and shorter on the outside.  And twinkle lights rigged up in the center.  Yup.  Totally. Doing. This.

Alright, you get the idea.  Go get started and send me some pics of your progress, won’t you!

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