Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Crafty: A Snowflake Mobile

I decided a quick and easy crafty Christmas decoration was needed in my room. After all, the festive season is pretty much in full swing, most of my neighbours have their lights up and I've never, ever been able to fit a tree in my room (too small for a start!) - so I decided to look to the heavens, well, on the ceiling to be precise.

If you've got children who are feeling a tad bored at the start of their Christmas break or during, this is a fun task which should keep them amused for at least an hour. I'm an adult, and even I found this fun! As an aside though, unless your children are old enough to use scissors safely by themselves, you will need to supervise them, whether it's your own kids, younger siblings or the little ones you're babysitting! I take no responsibilities for any accidents, of course.

And what about using this as an all year round thing? The possibilities with this are endless - let your imagination (and theirs) riot!

You will need:

  • White paper - lots of it! Or if you feel like it, any recycled paper you like such as old newspaper, catalogues, wrapping paper, coloured paper, old drawings (ask the kids first if they want to recycle it before chopping it to pieces!), felt - up to you.
  • A cardboard box you don't mind chopping up (the Amazon cardboard envelopes are great for this)
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Holepunch or a special paper punch
  • A sharp pencil
  • Clear thin elastic or fine silver thread
  • Several sizes of small side plates, cups, glasses or ramekins (if you're posh or if you saved them from a previous M&S Dine In For £10 like we did)
  • Blu Tack or a hook to attach to the ceiling. 
  • Anything random you fancy attaching to the mobile, for example origami swans or flowers would look brilliant, same goes for glow in the dark stars (although you'll need to both drill a hole in the top and attach a jump ring to it for the later stages - best to leave that to the adult supervising I think!)
Firstly, gather your materials:

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Then get your side plate and draw around it on the cardboard. In the centre, draw a smaller circle which is equally spaced. Basically it should look like a big Polo mint. Stab a blunt pencil through the middle and cut the smaller circle out to make a halo.

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Oh, look, it's Pacman!

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Get some white or coloured paper, whichever you're using, and glue around the first side - stick it to the paper and press down hard - then get a blunt pencil and stab through the middle of the circle, and cut out all the paper, both inside the circle and around it.

Repeat for the next side.

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You know how to make snowflakes, right? Make loads and loads of them in various sizes.

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Yes, this makes an awful mess which is great fun to clean up afterwards! But, it's fantastic fun. Get your snowflakes once you're happy with the amount (of mess) you've made, and then holepunch a tiny hole on the edge of each one, so that you can thread the elastic/thread through them.

Then get your cardboard circle, and, using the holepunch or paper punch, make tons of holes around the edge, equally spaced.

Get your elastic and cut off a small length of it. Tie it, double knotting it to the first hole and then start tying on your snowflakes. Gentle is the operative word here. Repeat for the rest of the circle, using different amounts and lengths of snowflakes but leave four holes completely empty, equally spaced apart at quarters.

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Check this out!

Get your ribbon and tie it from one empty hole to the other. Repeat on the opposite side so that you get two ribbon handles in a cross shape.

This is what I mean, except I used paperclip chains which look pretty but are very hard to maneuver:

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Then you can hang your mobile up in your room. Blu Tack might be an idea to hang up lighter mobiles, but if you hang up loads of random and weightier objects, you may need a ceiling hook. Which you can buy at any good DIY shop. Just don't let the little ones install it, of course!

And then you can sit back, relax and enjoy the snow. Without it ruining your carpet, of course!

Other ideas I had for easy, fun mobiles you can make while writing this which might be a fun idea to try:

  • Buy a few cheap packets of parachute men from the supermarket or party shop and attach them, parachute-less, to a mobile - great for boys' bedrooms.
  • Make origami swans, butterflies or birds from recycled paper.
  • Print your favourite photos, double side them and use them.
  • Pretty pendants which might have fallen off a necklace, big colourful buttons, huge strings of sequins, cute beads. Really, anything goes with what you can put on a mobile as long as it's not too heavy.
  • Go on a wintery walk and pick up lots of clean leaves - this won't last for long though as the leaves will wither up but it's pretty for the week or so it's there.
  • For the strut (the Polo mint circle) you could also find two clean and lightweight twigs and then tie them at the centre, making a cross shape.

I am loving my new mobile, and I hope you enjoy having a go at making one too. Why don't you post a photo of your results and I'd love to have a look?


Remember - a mobile is for life, not just for Christmas.

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