DIY Whimsical Trinket Installation

I’ve always had an affinity for little trinkets and tokens. Ever since I was little, I would keep small figurines, pictures, and ticket stubs as a way of cataloging the places I’ve been and experiences I’ve had. The older I become, the better I get at drawing the line between memorable and junk (a very important skill to hone if you don’t want to cross the line from crafter to hoarder…) but I’m always on the lookout for a project that let’s me turn trinkets into something a little more fun.

I had some little plastic dinosaurs, piyo chan ducks, a dream catcher, and some magazine pinwheels lying around, so I decided to use them to bring a little more life to the ceiling above my bed by turning them into a mobile! Mobiles might usually be though of as a child’s toy, but they are visually interesting and can help soothe the troubled sleeper. The slow twirling of these strings can help calm your mind and send you off dreaming sheer whimsy. A residual bonus of this project is that it will amuse household pets, especially the kitties.

Supplies:

  • A dozen or so trinkets. (  (They can be paper, plastic, or plushy; as long as you can tie a string through it.) )
  •  White String (or dental floss)
  • 20-30 Steel Screw Eyes
  • Drill (Bit size is relative to the size Screw Eye you use)
  • A flat surface you can drill through
  • Safety Glasses

There are no “real” instructions for this project since it will be based off the objects you have available at home, but here are some tips and ideas for how I assembled these pieces:

There are no “real” instructions for this project since it will be based off the objects you have available at home, but here is basically how I made this:

1. Selecting your trinkets: This is the fun part! Look around your drawers for an assortment of odds n’ ends. In order to make this project look like a cohesive installation, and not a hodge podge of random shit hanging from your ceiling, select objects of which you have multiples. For example, I had a pack of 12 tiny dinos and bought a pack of 20 wooden hearts for about $2.50 at Michael’s.

2. Prepare your trinkets for stringing: This step will be easy for some objects, but will require a little more ingenuity for others. For paper objects, a simple hole punch will do the trick. For plush objects, use a sewing needle to tie the thread. For solid, 2D objects, like these wooden hearts, drill one whole at the top and another at the bottom.

For solid, 3D objects, like these little dinos, you will need to do some drilling and attach a screw eye. This process isn’t an exact science; just keep in mind how you would like your object oriented as you drill. I wanted my dinos hanging upright, so I drilled the holes in the center of their little plastic backs. Then I screwed in a steel screw eye. Now they were ready for stringing!

3. String Together Your Trinkets: Before you start connecting the trinkets, inventory your collection and decide how they will all group together. Use the objects with multiples as a way of balancing your overall mobile. I put each unique trinket on a string with a painted wooden heart.Make sure to vary the lengths and proportions of string, so you arrange them in an interesting way. 

4. Install your large focal trinket first. Your mobile will appear more balanced and intentional if it’s built around one central object. Like da solar system.

To install the trinkets: Decide where you want to hang. Drill a hole in the center of the space. Insert a Screw Eye. Tie your string to the screw eye. Ta-Da!

5. Hang the rest of your strings. Continue installing the screw-eyes and hanging you strings until everything is up. Make sure to leave enough room between strings, so they don’t tangle.

6.  Enjoy!

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Posted in DIY

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