Happy First Day of Spring, everybody!
In the spirit of the season, this week’s project has a fun, flowery motif: a spring mobile!
The idea came to me when I was walking around the Cheap Joe’s Outlet Store, looking for inspiration, and I stumbled upon these beautiful assorted paper packs!
The Shizen Decorative Paper Packs are awesome because each pack has a variety of papers with different designs, but all of the designs share a common color scheme. As well as being handmade and acid-free, they’re also made from 100% recycled materials and the paper making process is pollution-free!
I went with a mobile because they are a great, inexpensive way to brighten up a dull corner in your room, hang something stimulating over a baby’s crib, or even create a centerpiece-chandelier!
But, the best part? They’re very easy to make! And they look pretty impressive once they’re finished.
Can’t you picture it? Your friends come over, see the mobile, and say, “Oh, wow! Where did you get this?”
You laugh and modestly reply, “I made it.” Suddenly, you’re the big kahuna of crafting in your town. Monuments are erected in your honor, the mayor is asking your opinion on social issues, even the animals have respect for you.
Yes, that is how much power a mobile can give you.
For this project, I used a pack of Shizen Decorative Paper, a single sheet of Strathmore Bristol Board, some Yes! Paste, acrylic paint, an embroidery hoop, a shape puncher, and some string (The last three can be picked up from a local crafts store, if you don’t already have them or something to substitute).
I kicked off the project by painting the inner 12-inch hoop to match the paper I bought:
While that dried, I began punching my shapes into the decorative paper.
I chose this flower shape in a 2-inch diameter, but you could really do any shape and size you wanted!
After I got a handful of them punched out, I laid them around the (not-painted) outer hoop just to get an idea of how many strands I would want to hang.
…11 looked like a good amount.
Since the decorative paper comes in packs of 6 designs, I decided to arrange them in a gradient and do 2 rows of 3 designs, letting the remaining 3 designs taper down.
Not including what I’d have to do with the bristol board, this added up to about 200 punches. So I put on some energetic music and dove in!
I made 11 piles of decorative paper punches in the orders in which I wanted them to hang, and then started in on the bristol board–which would go in between the 2 pieces of paper and act as a backbone–and that was another 100 punches.
I have to say, that shape punch was a real life savor. Can you imagine cutting out over 300 shapes by hand?! That would have taken this project’s time frame from an afternoon to about a year and a half, assuming I didn’t stop for breaks.
To hang the shapes from the hoop, I went with some colorful “friendship thread” that I had stockpiled from my bracelet-making days. I was lucky enough to have a color that fit the scheme I was working with, but if you run into trouble with matching colors, you can always use fishing line!
With a front shape, back shape, and bristol board insert laid across my table, I was able to gauge how much string I needed per strand.
Starting from the bottom of my strands, I glued one paper shape onto the bristol board shape. Once those two were lined up, I flipped them over, dabbed a bit of glue onto the bristol board, carefully placed the thread onto the glue, and sandwiched it with the other paper shape.
With my first strand finished, I took to the now-dry hoop and hung it up to admire my work!
Okay, so I still had a bit of a ways to go, but I was thrilled with how well it was coming together!
After a couple hours, all of my strands were finished and hung from the hoop, resulting in this:
I am so pleased with how it turned out!
I was even able to hang it in a formerly-dull area of my living room, next to a window that would project plenty of light onto it and even make it sway once it gets warm enough to let a breeze in!
This project was so fun and easy, and it can be translated in a multitude of ways!
You can use smaller or larger hoops, or punches that vary in shape and size, and there are countless kinds of papers!
You can hang more or fewer strands that are longer or shorter, you could even hook the shapes together with little links rather than string! I think you see where I’m going with this…
So, celebrate the big spring defrost with something that inspires you!
In fact, you could even win a prize for doing just that!
That’s right, our annual Spring Art Contest has finally begun!
All you have to do is paint and submit your “flowery” artwork, and you’ll be entered to win either a $500 Gift Certificate or one of two $100 Gift Certificates to Cheap Joe’s!
For contest details, click here! But hurry, the contest ends June 1st!