Make a Photo Mobile Holiday “Card”

Take a moment to deconstruct the concept of the “holiday card”. What exactly is its function? To share news of the year with far-flung family and friends? To send them a family photo? And to share something of beauty that you made yourself? Every year the Clarkbergs like to push the boundaries of what constitutes a  holiday card. This year, after a visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., we decided to make mobiles similar to the ones constructed by sculptor Alexander Calder. You know the ones: large rounded metal slabs painted in primary colors and gliding gracefully around the ceiling of the art museum. Ours, however, feature photographs of ourselves instead of the metal slabs. Here’s how you can make your own. Or, come to the Ithaca Generator Open House on December 15th and we’ll help you make one there.

You will need one 9″ piece of baling wire, four 12″ pieces of baling wire, and five photographs approximately 2” by 2”. You will also need some needle-nose pliers to bend the wire. And before you start bending, download and print the Photo Mobile Template.

Advanced techniques to consider:

  • Use welding rod instead of baling wire. Welding rod is available in a variety of metals and in various thicknesses, and better yet it comes in nice straight lengths.
  • Use jewelers pliers to get nice rounded bends.
  • Make increasingly complex and larger mobiles.


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