As nursery trends change, the traditional pinks and blues are slowly being pushed out in favor of current, updated looks. Parents are experimenting more and more with bolder hues, playful patterns, or simply less of it all. It’s easy to see why the minimal nursery look is gaining in popularity. There are fewer elements to worry about, there aren’t any color-related gender-indicators (which makes styling ahead of time a breeze), and the color palette is almost non-existent. If you’re looking to decorate a minimal nursery or want to give a gift to a no-fuss parent-to-be, you can craft this sweet planetary mobile quickly and easily.
While a minimal nursery can have some color, I’ve opted for a completely unsaturated look with this DIY project. I love the marbled effect that can be achieve with polymer clay, and this clay-mixing technique lends itself quite nicely to black and white.
I’ve put together a printable for this project to help with the sizing and color patterns of the nine planets. That’s right… I said nine! I’m still bitter about Pluto getting kicked to the curb. However, NASA is trying to get litte Pluto reclassified as a planet – fingers crossed! We miss you, Pluto!
- Polymer clay in white and black
- Planetary Mobile Template
- A rolling pin or wine bottle
- Wooden dowel, measuring 36″ in length
- A handsaw and sandpaper
- Bakers twine or string
- Eye hook
- Craft knife
- Toothpick or skinny tool
- Access to an oven
To create the two gray shades of clay needed for this project, mix white and black clay together using your hands. For the body of the planets, mix about 85% white and 15% black, and blend the colors completely. For the details of the planets, mix about 70% white to 30% black, but don’t blend them completely. This will create a marbled look.
Print out the Minimal Nursery Mobile template as a guide for planet sizes and marbling. Cut out the shapes of the planets (note: Saturn is comprised of two shapes: the planet and its rings).
Roll out the light gray clay until it is 1/4 inch thickness. Roll out the marbled gray to about 1/8th inch thickness. First, trace the outlines of the planets onto the light gray clay, and cut them out with a craft knife. Next, cut out the details for each planet (like the spots on Mars or the rings of Saturn), then trace and cut those out of the dark gray clay.
Lay the details on their coordinating planets, and roll the clays together with a rolling pin.
Go ahead and preheat the oven to 275°. At the top of each planet, create an opening using a toothpick or skinny tool.
Lay the clay shapes onto a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, and bake for 5 minutes at 275°. Let cool (and harden) before handling.
Use a handsaw to cut the dowel in half, creating two 18-inch pieces. Sand any rough edges.
In the center of one dowel, screw in a small eye hook. Line the middle points of the dowels together perpendicular, and wrap them in twine or string until the dowels do not move. Tie the string securely.
To add the clay planets to the dowel rods, you will need to find the right balance between the shapes for the mobile to hang straight. String up the dowel rods from the eye hook before you attach the planets.
Feed string through the holes in the clay planets, and tie them to the dowel rods. Begin with loose knots that you can move and adjust, as you’ll have to find the right balance of weight between the planets. When you are happy with the balance, tie each planet securely so it won’t move.
Nurseries might be the most fun spaces to decorate. Aren’t mobiles just the sweetest things? Can adults decorate with mobiles? Can I? Because I just might need to start doing that.