Making mobiles is a craft activity that can be done by children of all ages, and you can make cool mobiles from just about anything. So pull out your craft box, and start hanging.

Mobiles are fun to make and can be adapted to suit any theme, inside or out. Perhaps make a mobile with your toddler for you and the new baby. All of these ideas can be interchanged based on what materials you have lying around the house, and what types of themes your child enjoys. Younger kids may need some help threading and securing their mobiles, but for the most part, mobile making is an activity that children of all ages can enjoy. Here are some great mobile ideas to get you started.

Button Mobile

Buttons are so trendy right now, and if you hunt around op shops or garage sales you can sometimes find whole jars of them for just a few dollars. Choose to use a random selection of colours, or keep to just one colour theme but use lots of different shapes and styles.

To make your mobile, start by taking the metal lid off an old formula tin, and punch holes all over it using a hammer and nail. You can make the holes in a specific pattern, or just punch them all over the place, making sure you have plenty of holes around the edge. This forms the base from which your button strings hang.

To hang your strings, thread a piece of nylon through a hole, and then tie a button to one end. As you pull the nylon through, the button will stop the thread from pulling right out the other side. Thread and tie on as many buttons as you like, and then repeat the process with the next string. Keep going until you have a string hanging from every hole.

To hang your mobile, attach 4 separate pieces of nylon around the edge at equal distances., and then pull them together into a knot. Hang the knot over a hook in your ceiling, and hey presto – beautiful buttons.

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Nature’s Treasures

You can make an awesome mobile for the garden by hanging all sorts of natural treasures onto a long piece of driftwood. Start by screwing eye hooks at equal distances along the drift wood pole, then tie a piece of fishing nylon to each hook.

Thread on all sorts of natural treasures to each string, making sure you keep the weight equally balanced along the pole. You could tie on shells, pumice, giant leaves, seed pods, and even interesting sticks and twigs.

To hang the mobile, screw in an eye hook at each end of the pole, and tie a long piece of fishing nylon from one to the other. This forms a giant loop which you can hang over a hook, or simply thread on the branch of a tree.

Picture Perfect

Cut out about 6 – 10 pieces of heavy cardboard about the size of a playing card. Give your child lots of magazines and brochures, and ask them to cut and paste their favourite pictures on to both sides the cards. When the glue is properly dry, cover the cards in clear book covering, and punch a hole at the top using a hole punch. Thread ribbon or nylon through the holes, and attach the pictures to a coat hanger.

You can make this project have a theme by asking your child to look for specific types of pictures. Themes like colours, animals, flowers, or cars are easy to follow, or make it really personal by using photographs of your family.

Clattering Wind Chime

You can make a great clattering wind chime using bits and pieces from around the house.

To start, find an old tin can to use as your base – the bigger the better. Carefully use a hammer and nail to punch holes all around the rim. Thread a piece of nylon through a hole, and then tie one end to a metal bolt. As you pull the nylon through, the bolt will stop it from going right out the other side.

On each piece of nylon, thread on bits and pieces that will clang together in the wind. Bottle caps, metal bolts, old cutlery and enamel camping cups make a great sound. You can choose to have a variety of objects, or just stick to one thing. A mobile made completely of bottle caps and cutlery looks terrific.

Quick and Easy

You can make a mobile from just about anything – you just need a sturdy base to hang everything from. Coat hangers, tin cans or container lids make great bases, and you can easily punch holes for hanging using a hammer and nail. Once you’ve made the base, use some of these quick and easy ideas.

  • Thread together a whole heap of old CDs or DVDs. They can be hung inside or out, but look particularly cool when they catch the sun.
  • Most kids have a swag of toys that they have gathered from kids takeaway meals, party loot bags, or lucky dips. Instead of having them sit at the bottom of the toy box, thread them altogether into a mobile for their room.
  • Cut out lots of different sized stars from heavy cardboard, and let your child decorate them with sparkly paints and glitter. If you like you could add the sun, moon and planets for a whole night sky.
  • Make an under the sea mobile by threading green and blue crepe paper around the outside rim of the mobile, and then hanging pictures and cut outs of fish in the centre. The crepe paper looks like water and seaweed, and the fish simply poke out from the middle.
  • Older children will enjoy making origami creatures which you can hang off a mobile. Your library will have some good origami books, or let them try to create their own unique folds. You will be surprised by what they come up with.
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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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