Nautical Paper Mobile

I’ve finally finished one of the projects for the baby room! I’ve got quite a few to do yet, but this one is definitely a start. I’ve seen some amazing mobiles out there and fell in love with the simplicity of paper mobiles. Plus, I had almost everything I needed to make it myself. It was pretty time consuming, but definitely worth it!

Paper Mobile with nautical figures


  • printout of shapes
  • heavy cardstock
  • colored cardstock
  • clear string, I used fishing line
  • seed beads
  • spray adhesive
  • 9” hoop, I used an embroidery hoop
  • twine
  • hot glue gun
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • Xacto knife
  • thick push pin or other piercing object
  • ruler

Nautical Paper Mobile shapes

To prepare the shapes you’ll be using, peruse the Internet, grab some cliparts and size them to about 2.5-3” in length or width. I used nine eight different images for my mobile. Adversely, you can always draw them yourself if you’re feeling extra creative that day. With the help of a pencil, trace the images to heavy cardstock to make your stencils.

Nautical Paper Mobile printout shapes

You’ll end up with one stencil per shape. Label each with a side  A and a side B.

Nautical Paper Mobile stencils

Choose your color scheme. You may want to coordinate with colors already in your baby’s room or pertaining to the mobile theme. In my case, I stuck with mainly greens and blues, like my bedding set, but I included some pops of red and orange to add some extra color. Since I don’t know the sex of the baby yet, I don’t want it to be an explosion of blues and greens in there.

Nautical Paper Mobile  color scheme

Once your color selection is made, trace each stencil piece to the corresponding color. You’ll need 6 side As and 6 side Bs. With a pair of sharp scissors, cut out all your shapes. Take breaks, your hand will appreciate it.

Nautical Paper Mobile  cutouts

Next, cut out any eyes or details with an Xacto knife. You want to be very careful while cutting because you’ll be pasting two of these together, so the more precise the cuts are, the better the pieces will go together. I used a piece of thick cardboard as my support to cut these out, but a cutting matt will work just as good.

Nautical Paper Mobile precision cutting

For smaller hole, a thick pin or sharp piercing object works best. Puncture the pieces with a soft item in the back for support, such as a rug, cork board, foam or K-cup in my case. Sometimes I use whatever I have on hand, no judging.

Nautical Paper Mobile  hole punch

You should end up with 96 total pieces.

Nautical Paper Mobile all the cutouts

Take a break from paper cutting and move on to the mobile structure assembly. First things first, wrap the 9” hoop with twine, help together in place with hot glue. I usually wrapped it around about 20 times, then added some more glue until I reached the end.

Nautical Paper Mobile hoop and twine

Cut three pieces of yarn, about 24” long and tie each one at equidistant points in the circle.

Nautical Paper Mobile support twine

Tie three of the strings in a knot at the top, making sure they all end up measuring the same so you don’t end up with a lopsided mobile.

Nautical Paper Mobile  top knot

With some more hot glue gun, wrap the extra string around the knot and cut off any excess twine.

Nautical Paper Mobile final cut

Find some clear string in your house. I could’ve sworn I had clear jewelry string somewhere, but I couldn’t find it, so I stole some of Ryan’s super expensive ice fishing line. He’ll just get an extra item in his stocking this Christmas.

Nautical Paper Mobile  fishing line

For this next step, it’s a bit easier to grab a protractor and draw thee straight line on a piece of paper (one from 0 to 180, another from 60 to 240 and one from 120 to 300). This will be your guide for the attachment of the mobile supports.

Nautical Paper Mobile  guide

Attach a long enough piece of string to one end, let’s say at 0 degrees. Extend the line all the way down to the 180 degree mark and warp around a couple of time before bringing it back to the 0 mark, tying the end and cutting the line off. Do this with the other two lines. Now you’re mobile support is ready to go.

Nautical Paper Mobile  support

Now it’s time for a little bit of fun. In a big table, start arranging your cutout pieces in the order which you’ll want them. There’s 15 hanging components, 1 with 5 pieces, 6 with 4 pieces and 6 with 3 pieces. You want to try to keep the same shapes from being close together, unless you’re going for a more ombre look. Take a picture of the final arrangement just in case.

Nautical Paper Mobile  arrangement

Let’s move on to the hanging components. Cut out 15 pieces of 4’ long clear string and attach a seed bead in the middle of each one. This will be the bottom of the hanging components.

Nautical Paper Mobile  hanging components

Head outside with your cutouts, seed beads, string pieces and spray adhesive. Protect your station from the spray adhesive, it gets everywhere. One thing I like to do is use newspaper and keep adding a new sheet every couple of sprays to keep the surface clean and glue free. Spray one side of the cutouts, place the string over it and sandwich the mirror image on top. Press firmly. Attach a seed bead by forming a loop and move on to the next cutout piece. You’ll be moving from the bottom of the hanging component to the top.

Nautical Paper Mobile stringing

Move slowly, you want to glue the pieces together as perfectly as possible. Plus, you want to keep the glue mess to a minimum. I found myself doing two or three strands and then going to wash my hands because it got messy. BTW, I used a protective mask the whole time, no fumes inhaled here… I left about an inch gap between each piece. but didn’t measure every single time, just eyed it.

Nautical Paper Mobile hanging strand

Once you’re done gluing all the pieces together it’s time for final assembly. Pretty simple, start by attaching the middle piece to the mobile top where the three clear strings meet. Couple of knots, cut off excess string and good to go.

Nautical Paper Mobile  center strand

The next level of the 4-piece hanging components goes in the middle of each radius.

Nautical Paper Mobile middle strands

The final 3-piece components go on the hoop.

Nautical Paper Mobile outer strands

Hang above the crib, or in a decorative corner.

Nautical Paper Mobile

Looks wonderful! Even though our hasn’t found a resting place yet, I’ll make sure to share it once we finish the nursery and do a tour.

Nautical Paper Mobile how to

So cute!


  1. That is super cute indeed :). Love all the shapes and colors :). #OMHGWW

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