78. How to Make a Moth and Moon Mobile from Tissue Paper and a Twig

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a mobile from tissue paper and twigs then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Phew, no harm done…’

‘Beryl, don’t touch that cake while I’m out.’

Kim’s instructions to Beryl were as clear as if she was giving them to a naughty five year old. It never ceases to amaze me how Kim gets away with speaking to her mother-in-law like that. Beryl doesn’t need to be told not to be naughty but I suppose there was every chance that she’d have cut a slice of that beautiful ruby wedding anniversary cake and served it to a customer with a cup of tea.

The cake was ready for the extravagant surprise party David Jones had organised for his wife the next afternoon and Jaz and I were just working on the flower displays. I’d arranged to drop off all of the items the next morning but I wanted to get them finished before closing time because I had my young niece, Hannah, staying with me that night and had in my mind we’d make something with moths and a big moon – much more up her street than fancy flower arrangements.

But after Kim had left, in walked Mr Jones himself. ‘Just thought I’d pop in and see how your wonderful creations are coming along,’ he said, in his usual cheery way.

‘Hello. Yes, everything’s going according to plan,’ I said, relieved that Kim wasn’t in sight since he didn’t know that Kim and I work together or that it was her I’d commissioned to make the cake. His only experience of her had been in that ‘crazy garden’ a few weeks ago.

The tea room was quite busy and Beryl was managing to keep up with orders as well as cleaning tables. She was carrying a particularly precarious tray of dirty pots when she spotted him and came over.

‘Hello’, she said.

‘Hello,’ he answered kindly.

‘You don’t recognise me, but I just wanted to say sorry for my flip flop hitting you when it flew off my foot in Kim’s garden.’

Oh Beryl, you’re blowing my cover, I wanted to shout!

He looked a bit puzzled then said, tentatively, ‘Beryl?’

‘That’s me,’ she said, beaming.

‘Apology accepted,’ he replied, and she rushed off to carry on working.

He watched her for a moment or two as she dropped off the tray in the kitchen, brought a full tray of drinks and cake to a table, picked up a pensioner’s serviette off the floor for him and said some encouraging words to a toddler in a high chair to stop her crying.

‘Wow. Looks like Beryl’s got it all under control,’ said Kim as she re-entered the shop.

‘This is Mr Jones,’ I said, resigned to the fact that all was being revealed. ‘Mr Jones, this is Kim who’s made your cake.’

‘Pleasure to meet you,’ Kim said, extending her hand to greet him formally. ‘Has Jenny shown it to you?’

‘No, I didn’t realise it was being made on the same premises as the flowers,’ he said.

I looked sheepish but Kim didn’t notice and whisked him off to show him the cake.

‘It’s wonderful,’ he said when he returned to our counter and then whispered, ‘you were right to trust her when I probably wouldn’t have!’ Much to my relief he gave a hearty laugh and got out his credit card to pay the bill.

We got the flowers finished on time and I picked up Hannah after work. Her dad, Ray, had been pruning some shrubs so we chose a few nice branches for our moth project and set off for my house. ◊

How to Make a Moth and Moon Mobile from Tissue Paper and Twigs

salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's pawI never throw out tissue paper that’s been given to me either wrapped round a present or the occasional smart item of clothing I’ve bought. In my stash I was looking for gold for the moths and white for the moon. I found some gold (very crinkly), some white, and some white with flecks of silver glitter so, of course I chose to have a glittering moon. We had a selection of twigs but ended up just using the largest one, which was about 40cm with an interesting curve in the middle.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

I cut the gold tissue into 10 squares, each 10cm x 10cm.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

I didn’t mind the crinkles but thought it would be better for the paper to be flat so I ironed the back of each square on a VERY gentle heat, without any steam.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Each moth was made in the same way I made the butterflies in episode 15. Full instructions can be found there but here are a few photos to remind you.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Here are all 10!

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Now for the moon. I glued four layers of tissue paper together with a very small amount of PVA glue (or Mod Podge). I cut out a circle that was about 8cm in diameter. You could draw round a mug.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

It’s now time to think about assembly.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

The moon and the moths are hung on the twig with nylon thread. After experimenting I found the best method for the moths was to stitch them into place with a fine needle. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

Cut a length of nylon thread and thread your needle – the finer the thread, the finer the needle you need (mine were very fine). Tie a double knot towards the end of the thread but don’t pull the knot too tight or it will just sail through the hole you make with the needle. Bring your needle up through one wing as far as your knot.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Take your needle down through the other wing from the top, leaving a longish loop to suspend your moth. At this point I just did one loose knot under the wing to keep the thread in place temporarily. This allowed me to adjust the length of the loop later, before knotting it properly. It’s a good idea to make the loops a variety of lengths, but you can fine tune them later.

The next job is to choose a twig and find out where to add the twine to suspend it. The centre of the twig is unlikely to be the point where it balances because it will be thicker and therefore heavier at one end. You can find the natural balance point by suspending it in a loop of twine and moving the twine up and down until you find the point where it’s comfortably lying horizontally.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

I knotted my twine around the balance point and secured it with a dab of glue from my glue gun at the top and bottom.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

I took the needle through the moon near the top and knotted the ends together, making the loop very short. Then I slid it along the twig into place.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Then I added the moths. I made sure they were flying at different heights before I secured the thread on each of the second wings. As with the first wing, I added a double knot and cut off the excess thread.

Make a moth and moon mobile from tissue paper and a twig

Tips:

  • Don’t forget to get the full instructions for making the moths from episode 15.
  • The tissue paper and fine nylon thread make this quite a delicate project so take extra care if you’re heavy-handed!
  • Once you’re happy with the position of your moths and moon, you may like to add at bit of glue to the top of the twig to keep them in place.

Salvaged Items:

  • Twig
  • Old tissue paper

So, quite a delicate project this week – hope you liked it.

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