How to Make a Crib Mobile

September 6, 2010

Chris and I spent most the long weekend with his parents in Huntsville, but we intentionally set aside Sunday afternoon and today for some much-needed time at home. We had a list of the projects a mile long {as usual}, and we managed to finish about eighty percent of it.

One of the projects Chris came up with for Mackenzie’s room was hand-making a crib mobile. For the longest time, Chris and I were at an impasse as to what to put over Mackenzie’s crib. I wanted this mobile from Land of Nod, and Chris wanted something with lights, music, and image projection. We just couldn’t seem to come to a compromise.

On the way to and from Huntsville, we listened to the audio lessons for our Financial Peace University class and talked about our financial goals as a family. Then, after a visit to Popo in Nashville, we were both re-inspired to create a sustainable, quality environment for Mackenzie. Thus, the idea for a handmade mobile was born.

We pulled the idea for the cutouts from our inspiration fabric. The mobile is bright and colorful, and it moves simply by spinning one of the rings. I think it’s perfect. (Follow the jump for a simple tutorial.)

Chris and I are both really pleased with the end result. At a total cost of less than $10, the price tag doesn’t hurt, either. Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to make your own mobile:

  • 2 wooden dowels (we used 3/8″ dowels from Michael’s)
  • Drill bit to match width of dowel
  • 1 1″x1″x24″ square wooden dowel (found at Home Depot)
  • 2 embroidery hoops (we found the widths we wanted at Michael’s, but Joann’s offers larger sizes)
  • Felt or heavy-weight paper for cutouts
  • Embroidery thread
  • Zip ties
  • Small eye screw
  • Paint, if desired
  • Sand paper

*If you have drill bits on hand, we found it’s easier just to buy dowels that match the bit you already have. If not, the drill bit will be the most expensive part of the project and will cost between $8 and $14.

1. First, determine the height above the crib that you would like your mobile to reach and determine the length you would like the arm of the mobile to extend over the crib. Cut your dowels to these two lengths.

2. Cut the square dowel into three pieces. Cut two 1 1/2″ (or measure to square) pieces for the bottom and end pieces of the mobile. Then, cut a third, longer piece to stabilize the joint. Determine the length based on the diameter of your dowels. Our dowels were 3/8,” and our joint piece measured about 3 1/2″.

3. Drill a hole approximately mid-way into each end piece. Then, drill a hole about 2″ deep into the bottom of your joint piece. Then, drill a hole into the side of the joint piece about 1/2″ from the top.

4. Fit the longer dowel into one end piece and the bottom of the joint piece.

5. Fit the shorter dowel into the side of the joint piece. Place the second end piece on the end of the second dowel. This section forms the “arm” of the mobile.

6. Attach the eye screw into the bottom of the end piece at the end of the mobile’s arm.

7. Sand any rough edges and paint the mobile if desired.

8. Discreetly attach the mobile frame to side of the crib using two zip ties. We used white zip ties to blend in with the color of our crib.

9. Remove the outer hoops (with the screws) from the embroidery hoops. Use only the inner hoops, without the screws.

10. For each hoop, tie two equal lengths of embroidery thread to opposing sides of the hoop. Floss the thread threw the eye screw and tie to the other side of the hoop. Balance the hoops and hang them at the desired height.

11. Create stencils of your desired shapes and cut the shapes out from your heavy-weight paper or felt. Or, you could create other elements to attach to the mobile.

12. Use embroidery thread to attach the cutouts to the mobile.

Simple, sustainable, and beautiful!

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  • Reply Jessica De La Cruz Bravo May 13, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Great post, thank you sharing! May I ask where it was that you purchased that gorgeous crib as well?


    Dee Reply:

    Hi, Jessica! The crib was a gift. Sorry I can’t be more help!


  • Reply Andy October 28, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Crib seems to be from Land of Nod:


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