Beribboned “Art Saves” Mobile

My newest Design Team project features some of the wonderful, hand-dyed ribbon that I’m giving away this coming Tuesday.  If you haven’t already entered the giveaway, I’m hoping you’ll want to after perusing the pictures of this mobile.  The ribbon is so lovely!

The design actually reminds me of a jellyfish, one of nature’s beauties.  I decided to start my mobile with a sentiment that’s very close to my heart: Art Saves.  I used the design by Danita from the Art Saves Stamp set, and stamped the image twice with black ink onto watercolor paper.  I used an oval template, cut out the two stamped designs, and set these central images aside.


The “base”, or top, of the mobile was made from a round piece of cardboard salvaged from packaging, but you could make your base by tracing a bowl or plate of your choosing onto any piece of cardboard and then cutting it out with heavy-duty scissors.  (My circle is 8” in diameter)  Next, I brushed undiluted gesso onto both sides of the cardboard circle – one side at a time.  I applied it loosely, and I blotted the gesso with the textured side of a paper towel to leave a subtle pattern.

Once the cardboard circle was completely dry, I measured to find the center and marked it in pencil.  This would become my central hanging hole.  Next I measured in ¾ of an inch from one edge and made another mark.  I placed another mark ¾ of an inch in exactly opposite my first “edge mark”, on the other side of the circle, and repeated this pair of markings three more times, leaving me with eight marks approximately 2½ inches apart and ¾ of an inch in from the edge of the circle.


I punched out a hole at each mark along the edge of the circle with a ¼ inch hole punch, and used an awl to make a smaller hole in the center.  I attached the ribbon to the edges of the mobile by first threading the ribbon through vintage buttons, and then pushing the two free ends of the ribbon through the punched hole towards the bottom of the mobile. Once the ribbon is pulled all the way down the button keeps it from going all the way through the hole.  (Each piece of ribbon is ½ inch thick, and the pieces I used were approximately 32 inches long.)


I attached the darker blue center ribbon by cutting a 12 inch piece of fishing line, bringing the two ends together, and then draping the blue ribbon over the fishing line before threading the two ends of the fishing line up through the bottom of the mobile’s base.  Next, I threaded two vintage buttons onto the two ends of fishing line and tied them securely against the top of the mobile’s base.  I threaded a plastic ring between the two pieces of fishing line, tied the ends together about 6 inches up from the cardboard base, and trimmed the excess.

I punched out eight hearts from black cardstock using the Fiskars Funky Heart punch, and glued vintage buttons to the paper with craft glue.  Once dry, I sewed the buttons onto the paper with black thread, but this step is optional if you’ve glued the buttons down.  I like the look of the thread so I took the time to sew them on as well.  I attached the black heart to the outside piece of each color of ribbon using double-stick adhesive.  I attached the hearts 1 – 1½ inches up from the bottom of the ribbon.


I wanted a finished look on the edge of the cardboard circle, and applied very thin black masking tape I happened to have on hand, but you could use a thin ribbon instead if you have that handy.  A 1/8” ribbon would’ve worked well instead.  I completed the mobile by sandwiching the darker blue center ribbon between the two Art Saves pieces – mounted back-to-back on the ribbon using Pop Up Glue Dots.  I added a vintage button above and below the stamped image as a final enhancement.


Note: If your mobile isn’t perfectly balanced once everything is strung and assembled, you can “tip it back up to even” by noting where it’s dipping down, placing another button on top of the cardboard base to counterbalance, and shifting it slightly until it rests in the place that creates balance.  You can then glue that button in place.

I hope you’re inspired to make something of your own with this ribbon, whether it’s a mobile or something else entirely…

Warm regards,

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  1. Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:30 am by Debbie Metti | Permalink

    I love what you’ve created with my ribbons, Melody. I blogged about it today, too.

  2. Posted May 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm by Diane Chen | Permalink

    Very nice! The ribbons are beautiful!

  3. Posted May 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm by Evette Rice | Permalink

    That is a sweet mobile. The ribbon is gorgeous. Even though I would love to win, I will be happy for whomever wins that beautiful ribbon.

  4. Posted May 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm by Ellen | Permalink

    I love how you used black n’ white in the imagine; then she was saved when she found color. It reminds me of my ART SAVES story. (last year MARCH) I love it~ The ribbon rainbow sets off the image and portrays a lovely sentiment~ I would love to win 😀

  5. Posted May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm by Barbara Cordill | Permalink

    Love the hand dyed ribbon and your mobile. Very creative.

  6. Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you! It was such fun to make, and a bit tricky to photograph. 😮

  7. Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you, I’m glad you like the mobile! I toyed with the idea of adding color to the stamped image, but decided it would be too much…

  8. Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm by Melody | Permalink

    I’m pleased to be giving away such lovely prizes. Hurray for Debbie! I’m glad you like the mobile project, too. Thank you for stopping by and for commenting!

  9. Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad I was able to dream up a project that showed off Debbie’s ribbon so well!

  10. Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Great, thanks! I love that we’re able to share your ribbon and my project with all of our readers…

  11. Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm by Jenny Hilborne | Permalink

    Pretty and unusual. You have a talent for unique art, Mel. Love it.

  12. Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you for reading, and for commenting! I’m glad you’re an author that appreciates visual arts as well as the written word… 😮

  13. Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:45 am by Jani N. Howe | Permalink

    Melody, how very lovely! Those beautiful very colorful ribbons would be eye-catching wherever they were hung. Looking at the vibrant colors just makes my heart sing! Keep up the superb work, Melody!
    Jani Howe

  14. Posted November 1, 2011 at 11:53 am by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words.
    I really love those ribbons, too, and like the project’s contrast between black and white and the rainbow of colors…