Calder Mobile Fail

March 16, 2014


To answer Kristi’s question from yesterday: That wire thing hanging from the ceiling is a failed Calder Mobile.

This all happened about a month ago. I was gung-ho about the new nursery at church (which I still haven’t told you about in full) and was trying to think about what should go in this narrow corner. I had already decided that two mirrors down near the floor would be fun, but the ceiling needed a space filler. I went online and looked at mobiles. I wanted something very art-y, not cutesy.

I came across one like this being sold on Etsy.


It was cool, but was it $50 plus shipping cool? I came around to my usual “How hard could it be? I bet I could do that.”

Well, as it turns out, it is very, very hard and I cannot do that.


I even did a vast amount of research: I watched a YouTube video, spent a fair amount of time in Hobby Lobby looking at jewelry-making pliers (I didn’t even know there were such things) and agonized over which gauge of wire to choose. For my end pieces, I bought sticky-backed card stock. (That’s where it went wrong.)


The very first problem was straightening the wire. In addition to thinking this was easy, I thought it would go fast. Well, just getting loopy wire to be straight takes more time than I want. First fail.


I chose circles as my end pieces, and wanted them to progress in size. My plan was to stick them back-to-back around the wire. That was the second fail. I should have put them back-to-back and then punched tiny holes to thread the wire through.


Here’s a fun fact. Do you know what jump rings are? Well, I didn’t. They are just those little wire circles at the end of necklaces or whatever that you put the clasp through, or the ring on a keychain that holds a doodad to the key ring. Did you know it is possible for a human to make them? I didn’t either. Did you know there are specialized tools at Hobby Lobby to make them? I didn’t either.

I made do with what I had.


(You just cut the spiral apart to make the rings. Go figure!)


So, work work work.

Balance balance balance.

Shoo cats shoo cats shoo cats.



Move finished mobile to the Dumping Grounds Room that Shall Not Be Opened During Winter….

…. and have half the circles fall off before you shut the door.


End Scene.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

View all posts by Lauren

7 Responses to “Calder Mobile Fail”

  1. Deborah Said on:

    It looks very nice. So if the circles stayed on it would have worked?


  2. Brad Said on:

    I think your mistake was using a can of gravy as a tracing item. In the construction of mobiles, you shouldn’t use savory foods… only sweet.


  3. Kristi Said on:

    I have loads of jewelry pliers (from my former-before-kids-life) that you could have used. Perhaps you want to try this again, using colored rice and your assortment of jump rings.


  4. Peggy Said on:

    I’m not sure why it’s a fail either. The cats certainly seem mesmerized by it. I would suggest super glue or invisisble tape…but I’m sure you’re way beyond anything I could think of to help with whatever is wrong.


  5. Jane Sommerer Said on:

    What about colored plastic lids the next time? Just cut your circles etc out of them. Peanuts are red, coffee is black etc.


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