make a mobile

Mobile (sculpture) in the style of Alexander Calder

You can dangle anything you want from string to make a mobile – thread spools, keys, buttons, cut out shapes, shells or even bits of wood. The objects will spin lazily in the air and appear as if they are floating. The trick in making a mobile is to make sure the objects are balanced.

To make a mobile you need:

  • a coat hanger
  • one long and two short sticks
  • thread
  • scissors
  • 5 small objects to dangle


  1. Tie a piece of thread in the middle of the long stick and tie it to the middle of the coat hanger
  2. Dangle an object from the middle of this stick.
  3. Tie a piece of thread from each end of the long stick to the center of the short sticks.
  4. Dangle objects from each end of the short sticks.
  5. If your sticks aren’t staying horizontal and the mobile isn’t balanced, try adjusting the length of the thread or moving the position of the string along the stick.

Learn more…

  • Alexander Calder – American sculptor who is best known for his colorful, whimsical abstract public sculptures and his innovative mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) which embraced chance in their aesthetic.
  • Fun Science Activities for Kids – used with permission