‘With his stick that picked up leaves’: How to make an autumn mobile
Decorations aren’t just for Christmas! Why not decorate your house with the beautiful autumn leaves that are helpfully falling from the trees? There are so many fun ways to make an autumn mobile, but here is how we made ours:
Pop into the garden or your local park and get collecting. The first thing you will need to find are two sticks that are about the same size, to make the frame. If you can’t access an outdoor place then two long pencils will work perfectly.
Next, you need to find some leaves! The bigger they are the easier they are to string up – but you can also collect small twigs with the leaves still attached. Try to gather as many colours and shapes as you can! If you’re lucky enough to see fir cones then collect these too. Make sure the leaves and cones you gather are clean, and be sure to wash your hands once you’ve finished. If you can’t access any of these things, we have provided a printable sheet of leaves for you to cut out and colour in.
Once you’ve washed your hands you will need just two more things: string and a pair of scissors. Make sure there is a grown-up nearby to help you with any cutting out. If you don’t have any string in the house, you can take a plastic carrier bag and cut it into strips about 1cm thick and this will work fine. If the carrier bag is green or orange, it will look very autumnal!
Firstly you will need to put the two sticks into a shape like the letter X and secure them in the middle with the string. Be sure to wrap it around several times so that it is strong enough to hang your decorations from.
We decided to cover the sticks with small leafy twigs by wrapping string along the length of the twigs. You can do this too, or leave the top bare.
Next, cut four pieces of string about 30cm long (or however long you prefer) to make the garlands. When you start to thread the leaves through, you need to leave 10cm at the top so that you can tie them to the sticks afterwards. Lots of autumn leaves already have helpful holes in them for you to push the string through – but if yours don’t then just ask a grown-up to make a small hole for you. As you thread the leaves through you might like to make a little knot after each one to space them out. Or you might like to fit as many on as possible! Do whatever you think looks best.
Once you have made all four garlands, you can tie them to your X shape. You don’t have to stick to four though, if you get carried away it will just look better with more!
Dylan loved the autumn as it was his birthday in October! So we have lots of lovely poems from him about this time. We have made printable spirals of some of the most seasonal lines that you can print out, cut out, and hang from your mobiles.
Make a loop out of string and tie it to the centre of the X. Your mobile will hang from this loop, so it’s a good idea to hold it up and see whether it balances before you tie the final knot. It takes a bit of adjusting, but by sliding the sticks along, or adding an extra fir cone or two, you should be able to get it hang just fine. A little bit of wobble just adds character!
Display your mobile anywhere you like. When the leaves start to crumble away, you can simply put the whole thing outside to rot away. If you used plastic bags or pencils, it will need to be taken apart so that the relevant parts can be reused or recycled as appropriate. Just in time for the Christmas decorations to go up!
This post is also available in: Welsh