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  • Calder-Inspired Embossed Mobile - Project #65

Calder-Inspired Embossed Mobile Project

Time: 1-2 Class Periods
Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced
Cleanup: None

Circle Template or Compass
Foam Board
Copper Wire, 16-gauge
Jewelry Tools
Copper Tooling Foil
Tooling Foil Modeling Tools
Punching Awl
Utility Scissors or Office Snips
View Project Video

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor known as the originator of the mobile. Use tooling foil and wire to make a Calder-Inspired mobile of your own! This project also has an instructional video available!


  • Step 1
    Using a circle template or compass, draw five circles on 36-gauge copper tooling foil in the following sizes: 2", 2-1/2", 3", 3-1/2" and 4". Cut them out with utility scissors.
  • Step 2
    Emboss designs on the circles with tooling foil tools. Foam board is a great surface to use when making designs in tooling foil because of its soft, forgiving nature.
  • Step 3
    Cut four pieces of 16-gauge copper wire in the following sizes: 6", 9", 12" and 15". Straighten them out.
  • Step 4
    Attach the 2" circle to one end of the 6" wire and the 2-1/2" circle to the other end. For the rest, attach only one circle to one end of a length of wire, pairing the next smallest circle with the next shortest length. See the instructions in Step 5 for attaching the wire.
  • Step 5
    A - With flat nose pliers, bend the wire 90° twice, like a staple.
    B - Using the awl, punch a hole 1/4" from the edge of the circle.
    C - String the wire through the hole. Punch a second hole where the staple lines up.
    D - Push the staple through the second hole.
    E - Turn over the circle and crimp the staple to flatten. Bend the long end back to flatten.
  • Step 6
    Starting with the shortest length of wire, find the balance point between the pair of circles. Make a loop in the wire. Cut small lengths of wire to make jump rings and add a jump ring to the loop. Make a loop at the end of the next shortest wire. Find its balance point and make a loop; add a jump ring. Continue doing the same to the rest of the wires. Next, attach the middle loop of the shortest wire to the end loop of the next shortest wire. Repeat
    with the rest of the wires, and add a string to hang on the longest wire. To see the complete process in detail, watch Calder-Inspired Mobiles - Projects #65 & #44, on our YouTube channel, UnitedArtandEd.

Products Used