Simple projects that look like they took hours to make are my favorite kind! This Paper Lace Mobile looks very complicated but the reality is you can make it in about 30 minutes….shhhhh don’t tell anyone….
If you’ve been following my recent posts you’ll know I’m going through a mobile obsession right now….last week I shared our Recycled Bird Feeder Mobile here. The idea for the Paper Lace Mobile originated when I made paper lace following instructions from The Best of Making Things: A Hand Book of Creative Discovery. I loved the look of the paper lace but couldn’t figure out a good way to show it off. Then my mobile obsession began and I realized paper lace would make a fabulous hanging mobile. I can see these as party decor or a quick little project to brighten up a baby or child’s room. They have a little Tord Boontje garland feel to them as well; okay I might be reaching a little on that one but his lacy garland pendant lights are one of my favorite designs ever…
This post contains affiliate links to products I love and recommend to my readers!
Paper Lace Mobile
- 6 sheets of double sided Origami Paper or colored paper cut into 6″ x 6″ squares
- 8″ Diameter Embroidery Hoop
- String or Ribbon for hanging the mobile
- Colored Tape to decorate the embroidery hoop
- Cutting Template for reference, shown above
- Step One To make the paper lace, begin by folding one of your sheets of paper diagonally to create a triangle. Fold it again diagonally to make a smaller triangle.
- Step Two Using the cutting template above for reference, cut slits across the triangle, alternating the side you are cutting, kind of like a maze. Stop cutting about 1/4″ from the edge of the paper. I left about 1/2″ in between slits. No need to be precise with this; I eyeballed the cut lines.
- Step Three Carefully unfold your paper. The cut edges will want to stick together so don’t unfold it too quickly or you will rip the paper.
- Step Four Repeat this with the other sheets of paper until you have a total of 6 paper lace pieces. You can fold and cut two sheets at a time to make the process faster.
- Step Five Pinch the center two triangles together and pull up on the paper to unfurl the lace. You will also need to gently tug on the bottom of the lace.
- Step Six Open your embroidery hoop. Make six equidistant marks around the circle.
- Step Seven Tape the pinched center of one of your paper lace pieces to the outside edge of the inner embroidery hoop ring.
- Step Eight Repeat taping step with your other paper lace pieces.
- Step Nine Cut three lengths of ribbon from which to hang your mobile. I cut mine about 18″ long.
- Step Ten Tape one end of each ribbon piece to the inner embroidery hoop ring at three equidistant spaces around the circle.
- Step Eleven Fit the outer ring of the embroidery hoop around the inner ring. Tighten.
- Step Twelve Gather the three ribbon pieces at the top and tie into a knot with a loop OR tie a knot around a book ring to hang the mobile from.
- Step Thirteen (optional) If you are a design snob like myself you can add tape to the outer (and inner) rings of the embroidery hoop to dress it up a little. I used bright yellow electrical tape on mine. Be careful when applying the tape, though, you don’t want it to stick to your paper lace!
- Step Fourteen It’s time to hang your mobile! Gently tug on the ends of the paper lace to unfurl them again. At first the paper may not want to hang well so you may want to temporarily add a couple of paper clips or book rings to the bottoms of each paper lace section to weigh them down. If you use paper clips leave them overnight on the paper. If you use the book rings, about 30 minutes should be enough, if you leave them too long they will pull the paper lace too much and it will look droopy.
Here is our finished mobile, complete with a behind the scenes shot of my son in our “photo studio” AKA breakfast nook with white foam core backdrop!
Then we moved the mobile into the bedroom for the baby’s viewing pleasure!
Fill your child’s life with more art, design, and science!
Subscribe to our free newsletter and check out our FB page where I share tons more creative ideas and resources from around the web.