There are lots of fun ways to decorate a room: you can hang pictures or posters on the walls or place knick-knacks on the shelves. But what about the ceiling? Well, about a hundred years ago an artist called Alexander Calder created the perfect decoration for ceilings when he invented the mobile, a kind of hanging sculpture that moves around in the air. This mobile, designed by Mogollon, is perfect for your home because it’s made from handprints of your family’s own hands!

You will need:

a Card or cardboard
b Felt in various colours, including blue, black and white
c Sticky tape
d A nice-looking branch (about 1 m long)
e 2-4 m of string
f A pencil
g Glue
h Some small coins, preferably coppers
i Scissors


  1. Trace around the hands of each member of your family on card and cut them out. These will be your hand templates. Trace each of the templates twice onto different coloured felts, then cut them out.
  2. To make the eye cloud, draw a cloud shape onto some white felt and cut it out. Then make various sizes of circular shapes from large to small (as in the picture of the finished mobile) twice on the coloured felts specified and cut them out.
  3. Cut the string into 4-5 pieces, each between 35-80 cm long. Glue one end of a piece of string to a coin and then glue the coin onto the middle of a cloud or hand template and tape over it. Then glue a matching felt cloud or hand cutout onto the card, over the coin and string. Paste the other matching felt cloud or hand onto the other side of the card, so both sides are covered in felt. Complete the cloud by glueing eye parts on both sides.
  4. Add a few other card templates (hands or clouds) onto your string by taping them in place, then glue on the matching felt pieces. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the other pieces of string.
  5. Tie a fresh piece of string to the middle of your branch. This is the string from which your mobile will hang.
  6. Lay your branch on the floor and arrange the decorated strings along the branch. Try to balance out the weight so that when you hang the mobile, one side isn’t heavier than the other. Tie the strings tightly to the branch. Now it’s ready to be hung!



Mogollon is a graphic design studio in New York. Its founders, Monica Brand and Francisco Lopez, come from Venezuela and went to art school together. Lots of their work is influenced by ancient cultures and this particular mobile was inspired by the cave paintings in the Cave of the Hands in Patagonia, which feature handprints. The meaning behind the Patagonian cave paintings is yet unknown, but Mogollon likes to think that families stencilled their hands on the walls to record their time together.

Craft idea extracted from Now Make This: 24 DIY Projects by Designers for Kids(HB £16.95) Curated by Thomas Bärnthaler and published by Phaidon. Perfect for rainy days, family fun or school projects, this beautifully designed handbook, offering unique and exciting DIY projects for kids, spotlights the importance of recycling and encourages children to create and be inspired by their surroundings.

Nadia Duncan

Author: Nadia Duncan


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