How to Make a Mobile

Mobiles are free-moving hanging sculptures. They were invented by the American sculptor Alexander Calder in the mid 1900s. By the early 1970s, Calder's mobiles were famous worldwide. The mobiles were large and elaborate. Calder's idea was adapted to make smaller mobiles and, eventually, to be used as crafts for young children. The craft projects are for preschool, kindergarten and elementary-school children. Mobiles can be made out of almost anything, including simple materials found around the house. Here's an easy way to make a mobile.

Materials needed


  • Plastic drinking straws
  • Construction paper
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors

Here's what to do:

  1. Draw six shapes on the construction paper.
  2. Cut out the shapes.
  3. Make a chain out of five paper clips.
  4. Slip the chain onto the center of a plastic straw. The mobile will hang from this chain.
  5. Make another chain out of four paper clips. Make one more chain out of seven paper clips.
  6. Slip the chains onto the two ends of the straw.
  7. Slip a plastic straw into the second paper clip of the four clip chain.
  8. Make a chain out of three paper clips.
  9. Slip the chain onto one end of the second straw.
  10. Slip one paper clip on the other end of the straw.
  11. Slip a plastic straw into the fifth paper clip of the seven-clip chain.
  12. Slip one paper clip onto each end of the third straw.
  13. Clip one paper shape onto the end of each paper clip chain (including the single clips).
  14. Hang the mobile from the ceiling.
  15. Slide the straws through the clips until they're in balance. They must be balanced so they don't slide off.

[sources: Enchanted Learning, I Village]