To make a whale like mine, cut out four pieces from card stock: The body, in profile; two flippers, with an extra 1/8 inch of length at each flipper's base; and a tail. (How did I come up with those shapes? First, I sketched a whale from the side and the top. I cut the body from the side drawing, and one flipper and the tail from the top-down drawing. Then I used those pieces as tracing templates to transfer the shapes onto a sheet of card stock. Trace them lightly with a pencil so you can erase the lines afterwards.)
Add any details you'd like to your whale. I used white paint marker and pencil.
Use a craft knife to cut the thinnest possible sliver out of the end of the body and the base of the tail. (You can simply cut a slit instead of a sliver, but the tail piece will want to flip flat against the body.)
Smear a little bit of glue on the slit in the tail (shown here on my narwhal), then insert the tail into the body. Let the glue dry.
You now have a whale! Here she is in flight.
Make a few more friends for your whale to fly with, then use a needle and thread to connect them with thread loops. To get the balance of your mobile right, tie a length of thread to a paper clip or a brass paper brad, then slide it onto the back of the creature. Hold it up by the thread, and move the clip or brad back or forwards until the creature is flying straight-ish. Thread a needle with 6-8 inches of thread and pierce the spot where the brad/clip was. If you're on the top animal, tie the thread ends in a knot. If you're in the middle or the last piece, insert the needle into the belly of the creature above, in a spot that's directly below that creature's hanging spot.
I started my stack with the smallest creature I made, a flying fish. Then I added the whale, and below that, a submarine.
Next up was a narwhal. (Did you know the horn is actually a tusk? It basically comes out of the whale's mouth, not its forehead. Weird!) For the bottom piece of the mobile, I went with a simple circular porthole.
Happy oceanic explorations!
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.