Wintery Mobiles with Kids

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

I’ve been wanting to make these wintery mobiles for years and years, ever since I saw them on the Purple Twig blog back in 2014. Samara always has the very best ideas. She did them for an arts fair in her California community, and I wanted to set this up for a book event I was doing in my community at the library. I will admit there was a ton of prep. Basically I just wanted to collect a bunch of things with holes in them so that the kids could make up whatever they wanted. The execution was amazing to watch… all that prep time was completely worth it!

I don’t really have that many great photos. The library room was kind of dark and is mostly used as a movement room so it didn’t have that artsy look I like. But I decided to post these photos anyway since I just adore the way each child approached their mobiles differently, and made them their own. I was able to find a blank wall and quickly held them up and used my iPhone to snap a photo. The kids were very intrigued with my process, and a little worried about why I whisking their new creation away to hold it up against a tiny wall space. It was comical in so many ways. I also took a few photos of some of the kids holding theirs up. These little artists knocked it out of the park!

Here goes…

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

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Set-up:

There were two tables. The photo above is of table one. This table had three trays of cupcake liners, two trays of painted paper scraps, two trays of felt scraps, two bowls of beads, some twigs, and the most important element (which is almost completely cut off but you can see it in the bottom right corner) – the wire!

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

The second table had the wooden beads and liquid watercolor paint, the pinecones, two bowls of glue and two bowls of glitter. This was the station that the kids loved! Obviously the glitter.

Here is the supply list with links:

~ Cupcake liners (white, brown, patterned, hole punched in the middle and some were cut into snowflakes)

~ Felt (white, or rainbow for year-round use, cut into small squares and snipped in the middle)

~ Watercolor paper (painted with blues, cut into triangles, and hole punched – our pieces were cut from old art)

~ Pony beads (I buy my own individual colors wholesale, but Amazon has a pretty assorted blues pack)

~ Wooden beads

~ Liquid watercolor (blue + pearl white mixed together, silver)

~ Glitter (we used silver and white)

~ White glue (I buy the gallon)

~ Craft wire (cut into about 20 inch lengths)

~ Pinecones

~ Twigs

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

A little about the process:

At first, when the first families trickled in and it wasn’t a zoo just yet, I prompted the children to start with taking a piece of wire. From here, I told them that everything on the table had a hole in it so they could start by first making a stopper (a bead at the end) and then adding whatever they wanted. They I showed them the second table of pinecones, glue, glitter, and paint. I told them that they could add these things in whenever they wanted. I mentioned to them that the best technique for glittering the pinecones was painting on the glue and then rolling it in the glitter.

This was a good plan, except soon enough there were so many families in the room – and my attention often went to the merchandise table where I was selling my book and t-shirts – that I didn’t tell anyone anything. They just figured it all out on their own. Sometimes this is the best way to make art! Moms and dads became drying racks, holding onto precious glittered treasures, waiting for their child to come back and use them in their mobile.

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

kids make winter inspired mobiles with a collection of different materials, including wooden beads, cupcake liners, and pinecones. and don't forget the secret ingredient that will keep kids at the table forever!

Look at these magnificent creations!!! It was so cool for me to see all of these photos on my phone after I had cleaned up and came back home. The event itself was a whirlwind and we ran out of cupcake liners and my daughter and I were frantically cutting more, and cutting more wire, and filling up the glue and the glitter. Oh, and selling books! I’m surprised I got any photos at all. I feel so much pride in these kids. And their parents, for letting their children get messy and go in their own directions. Bravo, families!

Start collecting those pinecones when you see them!

xo, Bar

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