DIY mobile tutorial

DIY Mobile and Picture Gallery

And for my next trick, I will be making a DIY mobile! This one was really easy, but just took a little while, so patience and a tolerance for monotony is a must. Here’s what you will need:

  • an old lampshade you don’t mind destroying converting to something better
  • scrapbook paper
  • scrapbook paper cutter in shape of your choice
  • string
  • glue sticks

I think you see where this is going. So, first you just take the fabric off of an old lamp shade. If you want to buy a wooden ring (used for cross stitch) at Michael’s or something, that would work too. Full disclosure: I started with a lamp shade because I was originally going to make a capiz shell -inspired chandelier, but when I realized that would involve re-wiring a room in a house we are renting, I obviously scrapped that idea and switched to a mobile. (Don’t judge my manicure. When you’re doing project after project it doesn’t behoove you to mess around with perfectly polished nails.)

DIY mobile tutorial    diy mobile for nursery


***OPTIONAL SECOND STEP*** I would suggest getting a hot glue gun and wrapping/gluing ribbon around the metal shade first. I didn’t do this, but thought of it when I almost finished and it would look a lot prettier with the silver part covered with a nice ribbon.


After you have glued your ribbon (or not) the next step, is to begin cutting your scrapbook paper. I will warn you, this process takes a while because most of the paper cutters you will find cut only one paper at a time. So, strap in and get cracking. Be patient.I cut most of mine over a period of a few days, trying to cut 20 a night.

diy mobile tutorial for nursery diy mobile for nursery


When you think you have enough scrapbook circles cut out, line them up by color so you can make sure each strand isn’t uniform. (Unless you want that, in which case, you should still group them by pattern/color.) Lay out a piece of string cut to your desired length,  and space your cut-outs underneath the string, pattern side down, to the desired amount of fullness. (I did variations of 6-7 pieces.) Then, you smear your glue stick on the white side of the cut-outs so the string sticks and cover each of those cut-outs with another, so there is no white/back side of scrapbook paper showing.

diy mobile tutorial for nursery


You want to make sure to leave yourself enough string left on one end to tie to the lamp shade. And you’ll want to trim the string of the other end completely off. I trimmed the knots each time I hung a strand, which got more difficult the fuller the lampshade got. Once you have the shade filled to your liking. (Mine is fuller than your typical mobile, again, because I was planning on a chandelier.) I then just looped a ribbon through the top and hung it with a monkey hook from the ceiling.


mobile diy for nursery


The gallery wall was a no-brainer for me. Almost as soon as we found out I was pregnant I thought “Oh my gosh! And vintage children’s book illustrations can go on the wall!” I know the trend is names above the crib, but y’all know I like to do something different, so we did a gallery wall of children’s illustrations.

Just pick your favorite children’s books/stories and Google them. We used Eloise, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, Where the Wild Things Are,  Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. (There are sites where you can order prints, but trust me, my method was cheaper by a lot.)

gallery wall of children's illustrations  tutorial for gallery wall

After you select the pictures you want, upload them to your local drug store and print them out. (I printed 9 pictures and it cost no more than $10.) I ordered mine in varying sizes and then framed them in a matching set of 7 frames. You’ll see that there are two images from Alice in Wonderland in one frame. In that one, I added leftover scrapbook paper as matting, to tie in with the mobile.

gallery wall of children's illustrations for nursery gallery wall tutorial for nursery


As far as how to get a straight and well planned out gallery wall, I wish I had tips for you. I have certainly seen a lot on Pinterest, but I never use them. Sometimes I lay all the pictures out on the floor, but even then, they end up in a different layout on the wall. In this case, as with the gallery wall on our steps, I simply did what I thought would look good and then “eyeballed” it. (ie. I just guess and start hanging and it always turns out well.) We all have our strengths, and I guess that’s one of mine.

diy gallery wall for nursery


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