kinetic cardboard mobile

This is such a surprisingly effective project for something that used such simple materials. This project actually started off as a simple cardboard painting activity and then Finn suggested we could make Frisbees which I thought was a great idea. The idea for the mobile came a little later after we had a bit of fun throwing them around in the garden. I actually couldn't believe how well it spun when it was all strung together and it requires very little breeze to do its magic.


  • Cardboard
  • Paint
  • String
  • Some beads (one needs to be quite heavy)

to make

1. Cut out one circle about 25 cm in diameter.

2. Cut four more circles each one slightly smaller than the last. Trace these circles and cut out a duplicate set.

3. Get painting! Go crazy and have fun creating lots of different colours and patterns. We tried finger painting, sponge painting and flicking paint with a toothbrush.

4. Cut a length of string/yarn that is about 1 meter long. The string needs to be relatively thick.

5. Make a small hole in the center of all of your discs just big enough to thread through your string.

6. Make a big knot in your the end of the string and thread on your heavy bead. If you don't have a heavy bead, a sinker or bolt will work fine. PRO TIP: Wrap some sticky tape around the end of your string to help with threading.

7. Next, add on one of your smallest circles and secure it with a knot on top.

8. Leave about 2cm of string and tie another knot.  Thread a small bead.

9. Continue adding your circles going from the smallest circle to the biggest, each time making a small knot and a bead. Once you get to the second or third disc leave about 5 cm in between each disc instead of 2cm. Its a pretty approximate science but this worked well for me.

10. When you have threaded on the largest circle, continue with your discs but this time go from the biggest down to the smallest.

11. Knot it at the top and add a few extra beads for decoration. Leave about 15cm of string then tie a loop before trimming off your string.

Now hang and watch this baby spin!