My good friend Courtney had a birthday recently. I decided to make her a paper mobile. There is a company called Frazier & Wing at makes these and sells them, so the idea is not original. I found out about them through Daily Candy, which is a fun email I subscribe to for random inspiration, sales, new products/clothes/accessories, trends, and all sorts of other fun things.

Courtney and I share an appreciation for things that are home crafted, home-baked, and sustainable. We also are not as impressed by an expensive gift as we are by the gift of another person’s time, as in the time spent making a gift, or time spent together as the gift itself.  I was inspired to try to create a gift for her using things I already had around the house. I nearly succeeded, but couldn’t find my fishing line. I gave in and went to the store, spending just under $2.00.


For such a simple concept, I was actually surprised at the trouble I ran into. I had no idea how many paper pieces I would need nor how far apart to place them on the string. I also had not decided what I would attach them to at the top of the mobile.  Even the size of the pieces is difficult to decide on – 1.5 inches? 2 inches? All the same or varied? I used a thumbtack to poke the holes in the paper pieces, and often found that a double figure 8 knot would still slip through the hole. This required final touch ups with tiny dabs of glue on the knots that weren’t quite big enough.

I used the clear disk that comes on the top of a spindle of writable DVDs to join the strands into a unified mobile. I saved time by using my Cricut Expression, a birthday gift from my parents on my big Three-Oh! I was able to cut out a lot of different shapes that I don’t own individual paper punches of.  While the Cricut did its work, I punched a ton of circles with my 2 inch punch, and John looked for his DVD spindle to see if it still had a clear disk on top.

The finished product came out great! I love the textured white paper and the shiny metallic charcoal. Courtney decided to hang it in her gorgeous entryway for everyone to see it (flattered!) and mentioned she may be painting the wall behind it a nice brown color to help it stand out even more!  I had the nerve to recommend blue instead, but she is planning to do blue in another area. 🙂 What can I say, I love blue!

What was the most difficult part of the project? Fitting the entire bundle into the small box. I could have given up and made a custom envelope for it, but I was out of time, and had my heart set on the box I had already decorated. If you’re trying to do this project, I recommend setting the entire thing on a surface such as a table; I used the floor. Start with one strand and gather it up starting at the top, one piece on top of the other, loosely into a messy stack that is not any bigger than the size of the disk. You should be able to hold the gathered strand right up against the underside of the disk. Continue with each subsequent strand, layering one piece on top of the other, until the strand is gathered and can be held up against the previous strand. My previous and more ‘neat’ attempts did not turn out well, but with this method I was finally able to fit the mobile into the pretty box without bending any paper pieces.

I admit, I’m also a sucker for store-bought gifts. I also got Court a shirt from a delightfully inappropriate and sarcastically charming website, Locher’s.  The package was delivered via Air Mail from Paris, and had a cute blank postcard included. All I needed to add was a chocolate grosgrain ribbon and a bit of tissue paper inside. Voila!