Crafts for Kids: Painted Stick Mobiles

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Crafts for Kids: Painted Stick Mobiles

Monique of Green Acorns is with us today to share a lovely craft that puts all of the cool sticks we find on our nature expeditions to good use!

Today I thought I would share a craft that my kids and I recently enjoyed: painting sticks and stringing them into a mobile.  I think I have mentioned before that my children love to collect things, especially bits of nature found during our walks and hikes.  Well, that includes twigs and sticks.  For whatever reason they find some attractive and must bring them home.  I do try to respect their collections but must balance that with some guidelines.  Some items get displayed on our nature table.  Others, like their sticks, get used in a craft that they can proudly display and enjoy.

Here’s what you’ll need for supplies if your children also have a collection of sticks that need a purpose (or if you would just like to make a lovely mobile from bits of nature with your children).

Crafts for Kids: Painted Stick Mobiles

We chose to paint our sticks “as is” but you can also give them a brief sanding before painting.  Each child painted three, which is a good amount for young ones, and we found that acrylic paints worked well.

Since there has been a lot of talk about patterns found in nature around our house lately, my children wanted to paint representations of some of those patterns on their sticks.  It turned out to be a wonderful activity for looking at patterns in more detail and inspired some interesting observations.  This post provided some lovely inspiration.  Of course, you can just enjoy the process of painting on some pretty colors.  Aren’t these lovely?

Once the painting is done and dry, it’s time to string them together.  Lay out your sticks in an order that you find attractive and space them as you like.  You can then estimate how much yarn or string you’ll need, making sure to have extra for tying around each stick.  We used yarn and embellished with beads so I added a piece of tape at the ends to make threading beads easy and to prevent fraying as we did so (this is a great fine-motor activity for little ones).  The process looks something like this:

Crafts for Kids: Painted Stick Mobiles

At this point you have a finished mobile but feel free to hang decorations off the lowest stick like pressed leaves, dried flowers, tassels, etc.  Now you can hang and enjoy your lovely mobile!

Crafts for Kids: Painted Stick Mobiles





Monique is an Early Intervention Specialist and currently a stay-at-home, home-educating mom to three children ages 5, 8, and 10 years old. She and her family live in beautiful coastal Maine. Monique loves creating playful learning experiences with and for children, especially ones that encourage a love of nature and a healthy lifestyle.


  1. Painted Stick Mobile | Green Acorns said on October 9, 2013 #

    [...] Mine certainly do, especially bits of nature found during our outings.  Today I’m sharing a nature craft over at Playful Learning that gives a purpose to my children’s stick collection.  I hope you’ll head over and [...]

  2. Cally said on October 9, 2013 #

    We made a solar system mobile out of sticks, paint and little styrofoam balls. My daughter and I LOVED it, and it has been hanging in her room for years. Here’s how we did it.

  3. jen said on October 10, 2013 #

    one of our favs! we made these a couple years ago and blogged about them here:

    • Monique B said on October 10, 2013 #

      Such a lovely way to display mementos from a favorite trip!

  4. [...] Painted Stick Mobiles ::: Playful Learning [...]

    • Monique B said on October 28, 2013 #

      Thanks for the link love, Kara!

  5. Ness @ One Perfect Day said on October 14, 2013 #

    Oh I love this! We’ve painted sticks many times just for fun but I’ve never thought to display them like this. How lovely.

    • Monique B said on October 28, 2013 #

      Thank you, Ness!. Children love to see their artwork displayed and appreciated, don’t they? And it’s always nice to bring a little of the outdoors in to enjoy!

  6. emily -- a denver home companion said on October 24, 2013 #

    what a fabulous and beautiful idea! i think sticks painted by the little ones would also make a great centerpiece for all the holidays coming up. thank you for this idea.

    • Monique B said on October 28, 2013 #

      What a lovely idea, Emily! I’ll have to try it.

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