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Calder-Inspired Cut-Paper Mobile Project

Time: 2 Class Periods
Difficulty: Moderate
Cleanup: Soap & Water

Annealed Wire
Sharpie Black Marker
Sharpie Neon Markers
Smooth Bristol Paper
Circle Template or Compass
Wire Cutters
Craft Knife or Scissors
Flat Nosed Pliers
Loop Pliers
View Project Video

Create a Calder-Inspired Mobile! This project also has an instructional video available!


  • Step 1
    Use a stiff paper like 100 lb. smooth bristol paper. Make 24 circles; 2 each of 12 sizes. Cut out the circles and color them. The circles used in this example are as follows:
    Black circles - 1-3/4", 1-5/8", 1-1/2", 1-7/8", 2" and 2-1/4"
    Fluorescent circles - 7/8", 15/16", 1", 1-1/8", 1-1/4" and 1-3/8"
  • Step 2
    Using 20-gauge dark annealed wire, cut six wires in the following lengths: 6", 8", 10", 12", 14" and 16". Make a 1/4" bend on the ends of each wire with flat nosed pliers.
  • Step 3
    Attach the 2 smallest fluorescent circles to one end of the 6" wire and the 2 smallest black circles to the other end of the 6" wire. Do this by placing the wire between the two circles and gluing the two halves together. The "L" shape at the end will keep the wire from turning once it is glued.
  • Step 4
    Burnish both sets of circles to flatten and lock the wire in place between the two halves.
  • Step 5
    Repeat this with all 6 pairs of circles and wires as follows:
    Black 1-3/4" with fluorescent 7/8" on 6" wire (this is the first set and should already be complete)
    Black 1-5/8" with fluorescent 15/16" on 8" wire
    Black 1-1/2" with fluorescent 1" on 10" wire
    Black 1-7/8" with fluorescent 1-1/8" on 12" wire
    Black 2" with fluorescent 1-1/4" on 14" wire
    Black 2-1/4" with fluorescent 1-3/8" on 16" wire
  • Step 6
    Make a loop in the center of the 6" wire.
  • Step 7
    Find the center of the 8" wire and make 2 loops approximately 2" apart. Repeat with the rest of the wires, gradually increasing the distance between the 2 loops. The space between the two loops on each wire should bend 90°. This will stabilize the mobile so it hangs correctly.
  • Step 8
    Make jump rings with loop pliers and connect the pairs together with the jump rings to finish. For complete instructions, watch Calder-Inspired Mobiles - Projects #65 & #44, on our YouTube Channel, UnitedArtandEd.

Products Used