July 26, 2014

Scrapbook Paper Globe and Bird Mobile

In the months leading up to my due date, I had my heart set on making a mobile for my daughter's nursery.  I knew I wanted to make it with scrapbook paper to get some patterns into the room, and incorporate twigs or branches in some way.  I perused Pinterest to get ideas, and really liked these globe mobiles that cropped up in my search.  I also thought that birds would be a great way to tie the mobile to the rest of the forest theme in the nursery, and if I suspended these from a great branch we'd be in business.  I started making the globes and had them set aside, ready to suspend from a perfect branch I nabbed in the nearby woods one day, and then baby girl's early arrival interrupted things for a while.  Once I resumed the mobile assembly, some of my globes were a bit wonky and more pumpkin-y than I'd intended, but in my new mindset to accept the imperfect, I let it go and in the end, I think it all worked out just fine.  :)

I basically followed the globe instructions from this site.  I made the birds up on my own.  Here are step-by-step pictures for both.


  • Scrapbook paper (variety of sheets)
  • Brads (twice the number of globes you want, as each globe will use 2 brads)
  • Tape
  • String
  • Picture-hanging wire
  • Tree branch or bundle of twigs
  • Ceiling hook

The globes are really straightforward.  Cut 6-10 equal strips of scrapbook paper.  Hole punch each end.  Stack and run a brad through the hole at each end of the stack.  Fasten brad, then fan out scrapbook paper to form a globe.

I varied my scrapbook paper length and width.  This was one of my biggest globes, about 2/3 of a sheet of scrapbook paper cut into 1"-wide strips.  For others, I folded my scrapbook paper in half and made 1/2"-thin strips.  I think the variety is really important!

Hole punch each end.  My hole punch was weak sauce so I could only do a few strips at a time, then stacked them when all punched.

Put a brad through and fasten.  I was really happy to find these brads with the little jewels on them- perfect bit of sparkle to catch baby's attention amid all the patterns!

Now at this point, you can assemble your globe one of two ways.  

Way 1: Here, I fanned out the paper and then fastened, strip by strip, around the other brad.  After trying way 2 (below), I quickly abandoned this approach.  Still, I wanted to share.

Holding and slipping each strip over the brad.  Tedious.

Brad fastened.  The wrong way.  Gah!  Had to take it out and try to carefully slip it back through, sparkly-side-out.

Way 2:  Just put a brad through the punched holes at each end of the stack of paper strips.

Fan out strips to make a globe.  How easy is that!?

However you get to this stage where your globe is globe-y, you may end up with droopy deflated balloon-looking globes.  My secret is to tie a string from one brad to the other, shortening the gap between the top and bottom so you get a globe!

 The birds were fun to make, in my opinion.  They were also a nice way to make use of excess bits of paper.  :)

Start with two equal strips of paper, at least 1" wide.  Arrange with blank sides together.

Tape together at each end.  You actually want the papers nicely lined up- I just shifted them a bit here so you could see I was taping 2 pieces together.

Both ends taped together.

Next, insert a third piece in between your taped pieces- pattern facing up.  This piece will be the same width, but only about 3/4 the length of your other pieces.

Pinch the front of your bird, holding all 3 pieces of paper together.  Tape around the edges to hold at least an inch or so of paper in place where you were pinching.

Taped portion where I had pinched shown to the left.  My bird's beak!  Next, pinch the 3 pieces together at the other end.  Notice that you'll be curving the longer top and bottom pieces to make them meet the shorter middle piece.  This gets your bird shape started.

Tape small bit at opposite end to secure all pieces together.

This part is a little weird to explain.  Manipulate the excess paper so that your curve at the top is toward the front (left side) if your bird, making the head, and the bottom curve is toward the middle of the back, forming the bird's stomach.  Basically, this just means pinching the top 2 pieces of paper together at the middle.  Tape in place.

Side view when taped.

Next up- the wings.  Cut two hill shapes out of scrapbook paper the same width as the rest of your bird.

Arrange over center of bird's back and tape into place.

Fold down gently where wings extend past body.

Poke a small hole with a needle and thread with string to suspend from mobile branch.

When your globes and birds are complete, it's time to arrange on the branch!  For the globes, tie one end of string around top brad with a secure knot (or 2 or 5), then wrap other end of string around branch multiple times and knot in place.  Arrange at different heights.  Hang birds at random as well.

Wrap picture wire around one end of branch, extend to other end of branch and draw out a lot of excess.  Wrap other end of wire around other end of branch.  In the middle, twist wire and loop so it can go over ceiling hook.

Screw ceiling hook into ceiling.  Hang mobile!

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