Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIY Paper Mobiles

The origin of this idea came from here.

 I think I said this in my last post, but I'm going to say it again.  Sewing with paper is ridiculously easy.  I loved not having to deal with fabric stretching or bunching up.  I used to do a lot of paper crafts [used to meaning when I was 10], but kind of quit as I grew up and, along with it, grew less creative.  These mobiles might have sparked some of my inner childhood creativity...we'll just have to wait and see what comes of it.

Okay!  So here's how this thing went.

  • lots and lots of cardstock paper in your choice of colors
  • a ruler
  • scissors or a paper cutter
  • a working sewing machine
  • thread
  • paper clips
  • thumb tacks or tape
  1. First off, some math [sorry!].  If you care about how long you want you mobiles to hang, you will have to do a little math. Each mobile I made was a total of 44 inches long, using 26 strips of paper. If you want them shorter, use fewer strips; longer, you'll need more.  For the sake of simplicity, I will run this tutorial using my measurements as standard.

  2. Cut your paper into the same size strips, using either scissors or a paper cutter [if you have one].  I did 1x6.25 inch strips because I was using cardstock that came 4.5x6.25 inches.  You are more than welcome to choose your own dimensions - just make sure they are uniform.

  3. Keep cutting until you have enough strips of paper - for me, I made 7 mobiles x 26 strips = 182 strips of paper. Oh yeah, and make sure you have the same number of each color :)

  4. I arranged my stacks of strips in the order that I wanted to sew them together.  This made sure that all my mobiles were the same, and also made the sewing process go quickly.

  5. Machine time - Give you mobile about a 10 inch tail of thread before starting to sew the paper. I recommend tying the bobbin and top threads together at the top of the tail, in order to prevent tangling issues.  This tail will be what gets taped or tacked to the ceiling.

  6. Sew! Center your paper on the maching foot and go for it.  I gave about 1/8 inch between each strip.

  7. When you're done with all your strips, end by making another thread tail of about 4 inches.

  8. To hang on the ceiling, use either tape or a thumb tack.  I used thumb tacks because we have the crazy pebbly ceilings that make tape impossible to use.

  9. The paper clips can be clipped to the bottom tail to give you mobiles some weight, so they don't fly around when the A/C turns on.
*Note: if you run out of thread in the middle of one of your mobiles [like I did], don't fret.  All you need to do is get more thread in your machine, and then start sewing again on the paper over the last couple of stitches.  After you've finished, you can go back and cut off the excess thread.*

Total cost of this project - nothing.  If you already have colorful cardstock floating around and access to a sewing machine, you are golden.

[Sorry about the poor resolution. Quick camera phone picture, you know?]

Just like the banner, I was pleased enough with myself to actually save my mobiles.  Two are hanging in Kiddo's bedroom, and the rest are in storage for potential use at another shindig. Speaking of storage, the mobiles store beautifully.  They just happily went into a manilla envelope, nice and flat and safe :)


  1. Very pretty! love all the colors!

  2. Im having a little issue. I cant get my reader to pick-up your rss feed, Im using yahoo reader by the way.

  3. I'm sorry to hear that - have you tried using the RSS feed widget on the sidebar? I just tried it with my own Yahoo account and it seemed to work.