Painted Nursery Mobile

I’ve seen quite a few nursery mobiles floating around Pinterest lately, and given my recent obsession with circle-shaped decor elements, I was particularly drawn to this DIY Better-Than-Paint-Chip Mobile and Stylish Nursery on the Cheap Mobile. Both are made essentially by hanging strings of circles from an embroidery hoop. I was drawn to the double-hoop system of the paint chip mobile, and how the circles were strung, but preferred the more sparse/clean appearance of the cheap mobile.

Challenge: I didn’t want to make the circles out of paper or something that probably wouldn’t last long = no paint chips.  I really wanted to make a mobile with felt circles, but I couldn’t find any stiff felt in the right colors.

Solution: I found and purchased 3 packs of thin wooden circle slices in assorted sizes at Pat Catan’s. I painted them in various shades with paint I already had, and used a thumb tack to push two holes in their centers (like buttons!). I made “columns” by stringing together several slices of the same color, plus one red slice. I tied each “column” to the embroidery hoop.


Final Result:


Now that I have another embroidery hoop, string and stain, I could make another mobile for the cost of circle slices or $6.


Embroidery Hoop Decor Spheres

spheresMy wedding planner found DIY instructions for decor spheres and recommended that I make them for my guest tables. It turned out to be a brilliant way to add texture, variety and more of my color scheme to the tables.

Challenge: I had trouble sourcing the embroidery hoops in the right sizes. Perhaps my local craft store had a swarm of embroiderists hit before I visited for this project because now they seem to have plenty of hoops in all sorts of sizes.

Solution: I ended up buying additional hoops online from Hobby Lobby for $0.99 each. To make 6 larger and 6 smaller spheres, I bought 12 each of 4″ hoops and 6″ hoops.

I followed the DIY instructions for decor spheres, using thumb tacks to secure the hoops, and painted the hoops instead of staining them. In hindsight, I think it would be much easier to paint the hoops before assembling the spheres.

Total cost for 12 spheres: $35


Papier-Mâché Wall-Mount Zebra Head

It’s probably not the nicest thing to say, but when I saw this $69 papier-mâché zebra head on my best friend’s baby registry, my first thought was…

I could make that for way cheaper.

And I wanted to! A quick search on Pinterest led me to this tutorial gem, and I followed the DIY instructions almost to a T (in other words, I skipped the podging because I didn’t have any Modge Podge and applied two layers of white base paint instead).

I already had everything else for this project idling around the house, except for the $4 wood plaque and $1 hanging cleat I bought from Pat Catans:

  • Flour and water for the paste
  • Plastic bags I’d neglected to recycle and blue painter’s tape for creating the initial shapes
  • Strips of brown paper shipping fill for the papier-mâché layers
  • Cardboard from a used box for the backing
  • Leftover black chalkboard paint and white wall paint


The hardest part of this project was painting the chevron stripes. I free-handed them because it was too difficult to tape off on the curved surface of the zebra head. (If you are not good at painting, this project is probably not for you!)

Total Cost: $5!