DIY Photo Mobile for a Party

graduation party

A couple of weeks ago I helped host a graduation party for my baby sister.

She recently completed both her associates degree and cosmetology school and is now working at an Aveda salon, an amazing start to her career. She didn’t get a graduation party when she finished high school, and she’s worked so hard the past two years that we wanted to celebrate all that she’s accomplished.

graduation party

What better way to celebrate than with a dessert open house?

It would have been perfect if not for the tornadoes that swept through the area in the hours before the party, which understandably kept a lot of people home! But it was still a really sweet time.

DIY Photo Mobile

Inspired by the pictures of this outdoor flower photo mobile from, Sean and I set out to make our own photo mobile for her party!

We didn’t have $50 to drop on the Umbra Vine Photo Mobile pictured, so we used a few pieces of balsa wood, glue, ribbon and tiny clothespins to make our own. The result? A whimsical mobile that definitely took center stage over the dessert table.

diy photo mobile

This was a fairly easy project, at least from my perspective, LOL! (I helped with the concept and layout, but Sean really did most of the work.)

Want to make one of your own? Here’s how:


  •  4 – 1/4″ square balsa wood sticks, cut to 18″ each
  • superglue
  • silver spray paint
  • thin ribbon
  • 32 tiny clothespins


diy photo mobile

To start, cross two pieces of balsa wood and glue them together (with 90-degree angles where they intersect). Repeat with the remaining two pieces. Position the two crosses on top of each other, form 45-degree angles between each piece. Glue in place.

Cover completely with spray paint (we used Krylon Shortcuts).

diy photo mobile

We started with 31 pieces of 24″ ribbon so that we could cut them to length once it was assembled. But since we’ve already done it, I can tell you what lengths we used.

  • (8) 12″ ribbons, at the tip of each stick
  • (8) 8″ ribbons, 2-2/3″ from the end
  • (8) 16″ ribbons, 5-1/3″ from the end
  • (4) 4″ ribbons, 8″ from the end {every other stick}
  • (2) 20″ ribbons, 8″ from the end {on the sticks you skipped for the 4″ ribbons, leaving two empty}
  • (1) 10″ ribbon, in the center

Attach the ribbons along each stick, starting at the end and spacing them every 2-2/3″. (We alternated the ribbon on each side of the stick to make it more balanced, but you could do them all on the same side.)

Attach four long pieces of ribbon to hang the mobile by. The length of these will depend on where, and how low, you want it to hang.

Glue a clothespin to the end of each ribbon.

I had two copies of each picture printed, and then I cut them down to 4″x4″ and used double-sided tape to stick them together. Or, if you have more pictures to showcase, you could tape different pictures together instead.

The great news is you can change the pictures as often as you’d like!

diy photo mobile

And the best part is it makes a permanent keepsake that you can use as part of your home decor even after the party!