I have been working on decorating my children’s play area recently and it has been interesting to watch the space evolve as I take on different projects. Between the blossoming tree wall decal, the green chaise, and a cutesy squirrel sculpture which perches close to a potted plant, the decor has been taking on a distinctly “wood land whimsical” vibe. It wasn’t my intention but I have decided to run with it.

Steve calls the squirrel tacky. I call it whimsical. Either way, Sofia helped pick it out so it stays.
Steve calls the squirrel tacky. I call it whimsical. Either way, Sofia helped pick it out so it stays.

My next addition to the theme is a mobile to hang above our “little couch” (as Sofia calls our chaise). This is a place for resting, reading, cuddling, and dreaming. Gazing upward at a mobile of terrarium birds seems a perfect fit for topping off this cozy spot.

This project was easy as pie though a bit pricey due to the cost of the terrariums ($10 each at West Elm) and air plants ($7 each at Garden Works). You might be able to get the terrariums for cheaper at a florist but I decided to go with the cutesy birds. Below is a supply list and some simple directions for making a similar mobile. Even those very little inclined to DIY should be able to pull this off.

Supply List:

-3 or more terrariums of chosen size and shape (not too big, the embroidery rings are not super strong).

-air plants

– ribbon

– crushed stones

– fishing Wire

– embroidery ring (comes with two parts but only need one. The second one my daughter uses as  “hula hoop”). I used one which was 38 inches round.

– acrylic Paint and paint brush

– drill or hot glue gun

– hook to screw into the ceiling

The how to:

(I’m a bit daft when it comes to following other people’s DIY directions so I tend to err on the side of writing too much information when writing my own. Apologies to those whose minds function on a higher level than my own 🙂

Step 1: Separate embroidery rings and paint the ring without the metal claspy thing on it (yes, very technical language).

Step 2: Use a measuring tape to measure the ring then use a pen to mark out evenly spaced locations on the ring for where you will drill (for example, mine was 38 inches so I marked three spots approximately 12 3/4 inches apart).

Step 3: Drill the holes using a 1/8 inch drill bit. Go slow and make sure to drill in the middle part of the hoop, not too close to the edge. If you don’t have a drill you can just tie the ribbon around the hoop. To avoid having the ribbon move around the hoop, use a bit of glue to stick it in place.


Step 4: Tie 3 different lengths of ribbon into the holes.

Step 5: Clip your 3 clips equal distances apart on the ring.

Step 6: Tie your fishing line to the clip (see picture below for an example of where to tie it to). I happen to have these clips around but if you don’t like the look you can tie the fishing line through the same hole you drilled for the ribbon.


Step 7: Tie the fishing line together making sure that each line is the same length in order to keep the mobile level. It’s best to have the hook already screwed into the ceiling so that you can immediately hang it before all the lines get tangled (or your cat starts eating them).

Step 8: Fill terrarium with desired amount of stone granules and place plant inside. (you can put in whatever you want really: shells, coloured sand, dried flowers…)

Step 8: Hang the terrariums using the ribbon. Hanging the mobile before you affix the terrariums helps to prevent the strings from getting tangled up and the terrariums from bashing into one another during the process of hanging

Step 9: Lay back and enjoy.


Need to change those wall colours even though they're fairly new...the problem with decorating in stages.
I know I just fancied up my wall decal for the white wall but how beautiful would some fanciful wallpaper be behind the birds…

If the directions aren’t clear enough for you feel free to send me an e-mail at heather@fabrictherapy.ca.

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