Homemade from Fabric, Paper, Felt, Wire & More
If you want ideas and tutorials for making your own unique hanging mobiles, wind chimes and chandeliers, you have come to the right place! Below you will find fantastic ideas for decorations to hang from your ceilings, including those made using found objects, paper, clay, knitted ornaments, felt, fabric and leather.
Hanging ornaments can really set a scene and can be a beautiful focal point in a room. Usually, individual ornaments are hung from yarn, thread or string from a central frame like a branch or wooden ring, or they are hung at different levels using lengths of balanced wire. Great designs can be created including scenes such as 'under the sea' (with sea creature and seaweed ornaments) or the sky (an example of which you can view below).
I hope this page gives you lots of ideas :-)
CLICK HERE for instructions on folding your own paper cranes.
Photo and mobile by Radiant Reflections.
Materials, Ideas & Themes
Introduction To Mobile Making
A type of home décor people normally associate with baby nurseries, mobiles now come in many different styles and forms, from modern designer pieces to personalized photograph displays. No matter which room you want to make an eye-catching ornament for, there is a DIY on this page to help you.
Mobiles are usually lightweight with a frame made of wire or wood. There can be a single frame at the top (a popular design is a horizontal hoop or a cross), or there can be several levels. Modern designer mobiles often consist of many carefully balanced wire levels, whilst traditional designs have less.
Materials you can use for the actual hanging ornaments sections are almost endless; from old cutlery to clay charms, paper pieces (e.g. origami or folded paper objects), paper mache shapes, mini stuffed toys, wood cut-outs and naturally sourced items like shells, driftwood and sea glass. If you can imagine it, you can make it!
My favorite way of coming up with an idea is to think of a theme first. This will depend on the room it will go into, and who it is for. For instance, take into consideration the décor style and the color scheme of the room, plus the age and taste of who the mobile is for. You can make a mobile based completely on just the colors of the room, or you could incorporate the colors into a theme.
Here are some themes to get your creative juices flowing!::
- Pop art
- Black and white
(could incorporate photos and keepsakes)
- Farm animals
- Desert island
- Jewels and diamonds
- New York
- Rock concert
I have also seen some amazing mobiles which are completely custom made around a person's favourite hobby or pastime (for instance, guitar playing, cooking, golf etc.) and using someone's personality as inspiration makes it more thoughtful and unique.
Here are some excellent mobile kits which would provide a fun weekend activity, and you'll end up with something lovely for your home.
DIY Hanging Decorations
- DIY Paper Birds
Instructions for folding birds from paper.
- Sky Scene
Paper cloud, sun and butterfly design.
- Seaglass Pebbles
Beachy decoration made of driftwood and sea glass.
- Dreamy Butterfly Mobile
Punch out butterflies from freezer paper and hang them from a hoop.
- Rubber Origami Shapes
Coat any paper shape in Plastidip to make durable ornaments you can hang up.
- Hoops & Birds
Use embroidery hoops to hold handmade birdies in the air.
- Mathematic Mobile
Cut out platonic solid shapes for a more educational design.
- DIY Paper Rainbows
Super simple but they look spectacular over a dining table.
- Natural Leaves
About as easy as it gets!
- Woven Hot Air Balloons
Use the free template to create colourful 3D balloon ornaments.
- Clay House Mobile
Whimsical miniature house ornaments.
- Ruffled Ice-Cream Cones
Learn how to make dreamy ice-cream cones in pastel colors.
- Wood Veneer Trees
Very simple to DIY but I love the natural look of the end result.
Paper Streamer Chandeliers
CLICK HERE for instructions on making these fun paper chandeliers.
Photo and mobile by Becky Farley.
Shell & Driftwood Windchime
Homemade Mobile Tutorials
- Bird Cage
Fabric wrapped circle and bird decoration.
- Paper Pacman
For those into gaming or all things retro.
- Halloween Bats
Using a lampshade frame for the base.
- Felt Butterflies
Felted beads and cut-out butterflies make up with pretty mobile.
- Paper & Wire Birds
Beautifully delicate flying birds with wire hangers.
- Fabric Mobiles
Get the lowdown on creating mobiles from fabrics with this detailed tutorial.
- Lace Jellyfish
Delicate and whimsical items you can use to create a mobile.
- Mini Model Mobiles
Fun mobile making great use of mini people models.
- Fruit Slice Mobile
DIY baby mobile with colorful felt fruit charms.
- Photo Globes
Crafty way of displaying photos within your mobile display.
- Modern Himmeli Mobile
Made using just black drinking straws and thread.
Bird House Mobile
Hanging Ornament How-Tos
- Suspended Christmas Tree
Awesome idea using lots of green baubles.
- Beautiful Boats
Paper mache boats would look fantastic hanging from the ceiling in a fleet.
- Honeycomb Baubles
A quick and easy make which would be perfect for parties.
- Eames Elephant Mobile
Cute designer-esque mobile you can make with a free template.
- Printable Owls
Print your free owl designs in a range of rainbow colours.
- Sheep Mobile
Free pattern for creating a cute sheep mobile out of felt.
- Happy Raincloud
With glittery threads holding gorgeous glass gems.
- Ribbon Bow Mobile
Very easy idea and very cute.
- Pom-Pom Cloud
Bulbous and bubbly cloud with white pom-pom snowflakes.
- Geometric Origami
Paper pyramid shapes make up this smart dodecahedron mobile.
How to Make a Cloud Mobile
This simple mobile is designed to be mounted onto a wall indoors, or be hung by string if it's lightweight enough, and incorporates painted wooden clouds hanging from a branch.
What You Will Need:
* A straight-ish tree branch; how long it is is up to you. This will be the heaviest part of the mobile so if you don't want to have to mount it onto the wall with screws, you're probably best using quite a short and thin branch. Or you can use a length of driftwood which is very light.
* Wood (for the clouds); I would recommend a nice natural wood (pine is relatively cheap), at least 1/2" thick for the nicest look, however you will then require a scroll saw to cut the cloud shapes out. If you don't have access to a suitable saw, you can buy all kinds of laser-cut wooden shapes online or in craft stores. You could also find a woodworker or laser-cutting company to cut out the exact shapes you want if desired.
* Saw (optional - see note above)
* String/thread/ribbon/yarn; this is what you will string the wood shapes onto so what you choose depends on how heavy the wood shapes you're using are and what look you want. Regular string would work well, or if you want a prettier option, ribbon or handspun yarn is possible.
* Materials to hang or mount or your mobile on a wall
* Paint; you can use any wood paints, or even wood stain if you are using a natural wood. I am using 2 different paints for this example.
- If you haven't had them pre-cut, first cut the cloud shapes out of the wood. In my example I am using 9 clouds.
- Drill a hole near the top (in the center) of each cloud. For 6 of the clouds, also drill a hole near the bottom which lines up with the hole at the top.
- Sand the edges smooth and clean off the sawdust so the pieces are clean.
- Paint the clouds in the colors you want to use. In my example I have painted just the fronts of 6 of the clouds, and left the rest natural wood.
- Leave to dry.
- Take a length of string/thread (approx. 20") and double it up so there is a loop at one end. Pass this loop through the hole in the top of one of the clouds, then take the tails of the string and feed them through this loop. Pull the tails tight to secure. Do the same for each cloud (just for the holes at the top of the clouds).
- Arrange the clouds on the floor in the order you want to hang them in.
- Tie the top 3 clouds to the tree branch with the loose string tails. Then attach the 2nd row of clouds to those above them by tying a knot through the pre-drilled holes at the bottom of the shapes. Then attach the 3rd row in the same way.
- When everything is connected you can hang the mobile up.
TIP: If you don't want to work with wood, you could also make shapes using polymer clay, or perhaps sew soft shapes like shown here.
Laser Cut Wooden Shapes
This selection includes cloud shapes, which are perfect for the above project, plus a few other useful shapes that would be perfect as components in hanging mobiles. Because they are made in unfinished wood, you can stamp your personality on them by choosing what colors to paint them, if you want to draw on any doodles and designs etc.
Kawaii Crochet Mobile
Photo and mobile by Rachel Mackin.
CLICK HERE to download the free crochet pattern for this adorable rainbow mobile from Coats Crafts.
Wind Chimes & Dreamcatchers to Make
- Summer Time Chime
With really pretty painted bamboo chimes.
- Shell Chimes
With the individual strings wrapped in embroidery thread.
- DIY Floral Dreamcatcher
Make a colorful dreamcatcher from scratch, using flowers and beads as embellishments.
- Seashore Windchimes
String lots of shells together for a beach themed idea.
- Doily Dreamcatcher
Super delicate doilies in wood frames.
- Neon Feather Dreamcatcher
Making use of embroidery hoops as the frame.
- Yarn-Wrapped Dreamcatcher
Made with wire and beautiful feathers.
- Doily & Twig Dreamcatcher
Beautiful and rustic version using some natural materials.
'Themis' Geometric Mobile
DIY Photo Mobile
Outdoor Decor Ideas
- Hanging Garden
Hang plants to a tree branch to create a mobile.
- Springy Mobile
Using industrial springs and aluminium strapping.
- Romantic Chandelier
Made with a decorative wire basket, candles and jewels.
- Beach Driftwood
Perfect outdoor idea for a seaside location.
- Flower Garden Mobile
Decoupage flowers onto tree branch slices.
- Garden Bling Chandelier
Recycle colanders, marbles and crystals from thrift-store finds.
Clay Heart Mobile
CLICK HERE to see how you can make your own clay heart and driftwood mobile.
Photo and mobile by She Likes Cute.
More Ceiling Décor Ideas
- Glass Bubble Display
Stunning hanging display made up of hollow glass baubles.
- Bird Branches
Gorgeous balancing act mobile with bird softies.
- Paper Blossom Branches
Lovely décor for a nature theme.
- Nepali Fringed Décor
Fringed tissue paper hangings you can make in any colour combo.
- Copper Disc Mobile
Modern and professional looking creation made using twisted copper discs.
- DIY Origami Mobile
Fold your own paper fish and suspend them from wire hangers.
- Felt Hot Air Balloons
Charming baby mobile made of 3D brightly-colored balloons.
- Modern Geometric Mobile
Wooden cubes and colour blocking make an awesome ornament.
- DIY Geometric Lanterns
Hanging diamonds created with crinkled tissue paper.
Driftwood & Sea Glass
Wire Sculpture Mobile
Top Mobile Making Books
Books are brilliant resources for project instructions and inspiration.
I think this paper plane mobile by Julia Manchik is my favourite.
Ideas & Inspiration
- Hanging Vases
Fab display of teardrop vases and flowers.
- Recycled Plastic Bottles
An example of how you can re-use your trash.
- 3D Paper Scenes
Brilliant examples of what you can create with just card.
- Sunny Day
Adorable sunshine scene made with felt - perfect for a baby.
- Sputnik Mobile
Just replace photos with christmas ornaments on a shop-bought mobile.
- Cute Mobiles
I especially love the houses one!
Floating Feather Mobile
Chandeliers & More - Chandelier Style Creations, But Without Lighting
- Recycled Chandelier
Recycle card and plastic bottles for a glam decoration.
- Paint Swatch Chandelier
I love the shades of pastel pink used on this one.
- Straw Cluster
Striking chandelier made up of drinking straws!
- Faux Capiz Shell
Imitate the look of shell discs using wax paper instead.
- Rock Candy
Buy pre-made rock candy or make it yourself.
Beautiful Butterfly Orb
Made from paper butterflies and flowers, plus silver colored wire.
Photo and mobile by ButterflyOrbs.
If you would like to buy an orb, click here to browse the shop.
DIY Mobile Videos
Please Leave a Comment!
oliviagonzalez099 on September 10, 2013:
I read a lot of lense and I've found that it's hard to find quality writing. I'm so happy I found this lense because it's renews my faith in good writers. This is awesome!
RANADEEP on August 20, 2013:
very great lense,thanks for sharing!!
ToolHire LM on July 18, 2013:
Excellent ideas! Your lens just made my day! :-)
SofiaMann on September 02, 2012:
I like all of your mobiles. Congrats.
anonymous on March 28, 2012:
Love, this is really GREAT thanks so much
wadsworth lm on March 11, 2012:
Very cool, love the Wire Sculpture Mobiles.
PamelaU on March 07, 2012:
I used to be really arty and creative when younger, then career and children got in the way. Having moved into a new house last year, I'm scouting around for DIY projects and ideas. Might bust out the old salt dough soon!