let's make {"painted" fish}

What is it about paint chips? I have stacks of them--I seem to pick up a few each time I'm at the hardware store--and I keep collecting more. Are you a collector? If so, here's a little craft you can use them for. If not, use any colored cardstock--this is great for repurposing greeting cards.

fish 15

I do so love watching mobiles. They have such a calming effect. That said, you could also use these cute little fish as placecards for your next dinner party as well. Or even as a gift tag.

let's make {fish mobiles}

For this project, you'll need:
4-5 large paint chips, cardstock, or greeting cards
hole punch
black marker
glue or double-sided tape
transparent thread or fish line
bangle or ring, approximately 4 inches in diameter

First, mark out six 1 cm by 15 cm strips on the front of a paint chip and cut out the strips. (This will make a medium-sized fish. For a small fish, cut out six strips measuring 6 mm x 12 cm. For a large fish, cut out six strips measuring 1.25 cm x 18 cm. Except for the dimensions, the rest of the instructions are identical regardless of the size fish you are making.)

Place one of the strips down horizontally, then place one on top of it at a right angle to the first strip (photo on left) so that each strip has about 6 cm on one side and 8 cm on the other (not quite evenly). Place one more strip parallel to the vertical strip on other side, but slide them under the horizontal strip.

fish 6
Add the last two strips (one above and one below) parallel to the horizontal strip, weaving them in and out of the vertical strips as shown.

Bend the longer ends of the strips (the 8 cm lengths) under the woven section. When all six strips are bent under, it will appear as in the photo on left. Flip the fish over such that the woven section is down and now weave the bent strips in and out until the back of the fish looks like the photo shown above right.

fish 9
On each side of the fish, there will be three strips that are on "top" once you've finished weaving. Tack these down using glue, glue dots, or double-sided tape.

fish 10
Now, trim the middle strip from each protruding section back to the body of the fish. To make it more secure, tape or glue the these middle section together on the interior of the woven section.

fish 11
Trim the remaining strips as shown in the photo above.

Punch out two circles from some of the excess card using your hole punch. Using a black marker, color in circles, leaving a little white section in the middle of the black area to give the effect of a little glimmer. Glue one eye to each side (unless you're trying to make a flounder or something...) as shown. Finally, using scissors, cut 2-4 slits into the back "fins". Bend the "fins" out away from each other a little bit.

If you want to use these fish as place cards or gift cards, you're all set. Just scribble your guest's (or recipient's) name right on the fishy or tuck a small card between it's dorsal fins (you can make these cuties stand up). Otherwise, let's continue making the mobile!

fish 14
Use a thumb tack or needle to punch a small hole in the dorsal fin (just above the woven section) of your fish. Thread fishing line or transparent thread through the hole and tie it to secure the line. You'll want various lengths for the thread (mine ranged from about 8 inches to 24 inches).

Keep making fish! I made five for my mobile: two small, two medium, one large. Once you are finished, tie your fish to your bangle (mine is a repurposed "hanger" from a scarf that I bought from target, but you could use an old bracelet), spacing evenly as you go (mine are tied on at the pink arrows in the photo below left).

fish 20 fish 21

Tie the fish to To create a "hanger" for your mobile, tie three pieces of line (about 12 inches each) to the bangle, spaced evenly (120 degrees apart, shown by the blue arrows in the photo above left). Gather the loose ends of the three lines and tie them together in two places about 1 inch apart (photo above right). And now, hang your mobile from this loop!

fish 18

No bangle on hand? No problem! Alternatively, you could cut out a circle of cardboard, use your thumbtack to punch five holes, spaced evenly around the edge (one for each fish) and then two holes closely spaced in the center. Loop a short piece of the thread (10 inches) through the two center holes and knot it at the ends to make a loop to hang your mobile.

have a lovely day, Amy

alexkeller  – (July 1, 2009 at 5:01 PM)  

what a wonderful idea! my husband's friend is an artist in NYC - and he's been using paint chips for years in his work! i occasionally make cards with them - not nearly as talented as he is!

Rosebud Collection  – (July 2, 2009 at 12:29 PM)  

This looks like so much fun..I will have to try it..Thank you so much for sharing..

Jen  – (July 6, 2009 at 6:37 AM)  

I remember my grandma used to make these. She didn't use paint chips though. I'm so glad I found this. I want to make a mobile now.

Amy  – (February 25, 2011 at 11:30 PM)  

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this! My greatgrandmother had a mobile exactly like this (only made from ribbon) in her kitchen and I've been wanting one in mine! I love the paint chip idea. When I get one made, I'll post it and link back to you!


Viagra Online without prescription  – (January 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM)  

This is really creative, I'd like to have the originality to make something beautiful like this, I'd like to get some tips to be able to make something perfect like that...

KANSAS CITY KANSAS HOTELS  – (February 28, 2012 at 1:04 AM)  

Nice Blogging. I've seen it several times. Thank you for sharing all these informations for us. Keep up the GREAT work!

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