Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How To: Make a Paper Insect Mobile

I was delighted when More Ways to Waste Time reader (and fellow blogger) Colleen Casey of Marietta, Georgia wrote in to share her homemade version of the pretty paper mobiles for sale on Etsy that I featured last week.

Not only are Colleen's mobiles wonderful, but I was charmed and touched to discover that someone was inspired by something she saw here, and that she used that inspiration to create a beautiful thing for her home.

Here's how Colleen did it:

* One day during a thunderstorm, Colleen and her two young daughters "set about doing what we do best: Making a mess and calling it art."

* They started with a lonely window, then found an old thrift-store book and began tearing out the pages.

* Colleen used a die-cutting machine (available at fabric and craft stores) to create several identical insect shapes at once from the book pages. (If you don't have a die-cutter, you could simply fold the pages in half and use scissors to carefully cut out shapes for butterflies, dragonflies, birds, or any other creatures that strike your fancy. Or, even easier, you could order one of the die-cut insect kits this crafty mom put together for others who want to try a similar project.)

* She then cut crochet yarn -- though any fine twine, string, or yarn would work -- into 60-inch lengths, folded each of them in half, and tied a knot one inch from the fold, creating a loop.

* Colleen used a small hole-punch to make two petite holes in the insects, and then she and her daughters began stringing several insects onto each doubled-up length of yarn, being careful to keep the loop at the top.

* Once that was done, they left the strands of yarn as they were -- but you could also tie pretty beads or buttons onto the bottoms to help weigh them down a bit.

* Finally, they laced a tension rod through the loops at the top of each length of yarn, mounted the rod in a window, and have been enjoying the insects fluttering and twirling gently in the breeze ever since.

Thanks so much for showing us this simple and lovely project, Colleen!

Have a DIY project of your own you want to show off? I'd love to share it here. Just e-mail me a snap or two, plus simple, step-by-step instructions.


the glitter fairy said...

Great project! As a serious bug lover, I can't wait to make one, (and of course, add some glitter to the critters!)
Love your blog.
The Glitter Fairy

business card cutter said...

Wow, that really is a great project and for anyone of any age. Because it looks so easy I was considering making my own really big mobile to hang in front of a window, much like yours. I think that should create some interesting light and shadow effects, especially in the morning... :)

snappybritches said...

My butterflies look woooonky. Waah.


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