- Ideas & How-Tos
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Not all mobiles belong in kids' rooms. This grown-up garden-theme mobile adds a playful touch to a living room corner.
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Measure a pattern and cut enough 1/4-in x 1-1/2-in strips to length so you can arrange them edge to edge and cover the pattern. Repeat for the remaining patterns. (Also, cut five 7-1/2-in strips, four 5-in strips, and two 3-in strips to stack edge to edge for three round flower shapes above the petal patterns. Then cut out random shapes, such as the stack of six 5-in strips as shown above.)
Use painter's tape to hold the strips together for each pattern. Trace a pattern on a group of strips and use a jigsaw or handheld coping saw to cut out the shape. Repeat for the remaining shapes. Sand the faces and cut edges smooth using 120- and 180-grit sandpaper.
Remove the tape and apply a small bead of super glue to the edges of the cut strips where they'll meet. For an uneven look shown here, lay the cut pieces on a flat surface and raise alternating ends of each piece using the squared ends of scraps. Press the glued edges together with your fingers, hold them for one minute, then release and let dry. Repeat for the remaining patterns, but do not attach the flowers to the petals.
Paint the petals, flower shapes, and remaining objects as desired. For a fun touch, paint cedar or hardwood balls (available from craft stores) and glue them to the painted shapes. After the paint dries, glue the round flowers to the petals and add screw eyes where shown.
Drilling a pilot hole will help keep the screw eyes from splitting the wood. To make a super-small "bit," use wire cutters to snip the head off an 18-gauge wire brad. Fasten the brad in a drill chuck and use the pointed end at slow speeds to drill tiny pilot holes.
Starting where you'll have one shape hanging beneath another, cut 4-in lengths of monofilament cord. Place one end of the line through a ferrule, loop it through a screw eye, and then loop it through the other hole in the ferrule. Hold the ferrule against a hard surface and hold the flat blade of a screwdriver on the ferrule parallel to and between the holes. Hammer the ferrule until it grips both parts of the line; clip off any excess line. Repeat for each connection between the shapes.
From aluminum trim channel, use a hacksaw to cut two 28-in-long beams and file the cut ends smooth. Measure 3/4-in from each end, drill centered 1/4-in holes, and fasten eyebolts in place. Then cut monofilament cords and fasten the mobile shapes to the beams. (Don't hang the lower beam from the upper one yet.)
Suspend the lower beam and mobile shapes with the beam resting on a length of a 1/4-in x 1-1/2-in strip. Find and mark the balance point where the beam becomes level. There, drill a 1/4-in hole; attach an eyebolt. Using a line and ferrule, attach the lower beam to one end of the upper beam opposite the string of mobile shapes. Use the same technique to find and mark the balance point on the upper beam, and then attach an eyebolt to the upper beam to complete the mobile.
Cut a desired length of monofilament cord to hang the mobile from the ceiling, and attach one end to the mobile using a ferrule. Attach the other end to a screw eye. Then insert the screw eye into a ceiling joist for added holding strength. If that's not an option, insert a wall anchor.