Arts & Crafts / Be Creative!

Make a Simple Seashell Mobile

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the last post in a string of posts that will mention seashells for a long, long time. Thank the heavens or curse the stars if you like. I’m just saying Amen.

If you saw the recently jewelry posts (here and here), as well as reports from last month’s trip to Surfside Beach, TX, you know I came home with a boat load of shells.


My haul from a January junket to the TX Gulf Coast.

I thought this was a stunning, amazing collection… until my sister and Virtual Troop Leader Victoria Gertenbach shared a photo of HER recent haul on the shores of Puerto Rico. Check it out:

My sister’s AMAZING haul from her recent trip to Puerto Rico. I am colored with envy.

Now THAT’s a collection of shells.

But we make do with what we have, I actually have something she doesn’t. I’ve got a staggering number of shells with holes naturally drilled into them (see this post for a quick explanation).

And it led me to one… more… task…


Have you ever heard wind chimes create music in the breeze? Have you ever seen toy planes or birds suspended over a crib lull a baby into sleep? They have something in common: they move. They’re kinetic. They’re mobile.

We’ve hung interesting things for a long, long time, but we can thank sculptor Alexander Calder for coining the word “mobile.” Correction: Avant-garde artist Marcel Duchamp actually coined the word upon seeing Calder’s work.


Mobile by the Father of Modern Mobiles, Alexander Calder

Let’s clear up some definitions here:

– A mobile is suspended. It’s engineered and balanced. It moves, either of its own accord, as a result of interaction with the viewer, or as a result of motors or electronics.

– A stabile (also made famous by Calder), is mounted or sits on the ground. Its primary structure does not move, although it may have moving parts.

I’ve come to care about these things because, as is often the case these days, a badge task told me I should. In fact, it’s a scout’s job to construct a mobile.

And, naturally (and for which I mildly apologize), I still had so many naturally-drilled shells left over from my January beach junket that I decided to give it a go. Here’s how I did it:



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