I’ve been wanting to try a paper cut-out mobile and ended up making this owl.  It was an interesting design challenge, trying to make it look good no matter how the pieces spun, and the mobility gives the owl a lot of character.  I think I’ll put it in the kid’s room.

I only used thread and scotch tape to put it together, so it was very easy.  There’s a template below that you can print and cut out if you’d like to try making one too.

To make your own, click on the template and print it out.  (I used a sturdy matte photo paper.)  Cut out the pieces with a craft knife.  Then using short lengths of thread and small pieces of scotch tape, attach the mobile pieces together.  Finally tie one long thread to the top of the owl and secure the knot with tape.  It’s so light you can just hang it from the ceiling with another piece of tape.  No need to use a hook or screw.  Simple!  It might also be fun to let your kids color it before cutting it out.

Template: Click on the image below, then print.

86 Responses
  1. Maria

    Thank you so much for this!! We just last night finished The Guardians of Ga'Hoole, so owls are very popular around our house right now!

  2. se7en

    Oh this is just brilliant – as usual!!! My eldest son is going to love this and it is going to inspire him to make something – I just know!!!

  3. SLIKstitches.blogspot.com

    Thank you so much for sharing :-). I have 14 children in after school care this afternoon – guess what activity we'll be doing!!!


  4. modernmaam

    Oh thank you! Now we finally have a wee one on the way, I get to start making all the great little black and white goodies. I really like this one.

  5. Marissa

    I love this! This would be perfect for my goddaughter's nursery… I'm going to make one of these little fellas for her tonight! :o)

  6. JoJo

    Thanks Joel.
    I made this while my daughters were at school, then hung it up in the lounge and waited for their reaction when they came home. They love the owl!!! I love the shadow he makes on the wall at night! Thank you once again!

  7. Grandmommy

    Joel – your owl is gorgeous – reminds me of Northwest Native American iconography. Would love to try it on some of those designs!

  8. Lily

    Waouh ! I love it !
    I know EXACTLY who will have a gorgeous owl on saturday (or two by the way…)
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. casey

    Love! I think I am going to make one out of scrapbooking pattern paper for my 9 month old's room. I have some Amy Butler stuff that will look fabulous. Thank you!!

  10. - -rxndr!

    it's so cute. i made one. hanged it over my bead and i freaked out when i entered the room after that :)) i have to get used to it.

  11. Joel Henriques

    Thanks for the kind compliments everybody! I'm glad you're having some fun with these owls!

    Miranda – My book material is finished and is in the design, layout phase. It will be published Fall 2011, but will be available for pre-order in about 6 months. I'll keep everyone posted!

  12. Pawan

    Wow! Just came across your site. These owls would be a great art activity for my first graders to do with their big buddies. Thank you for the template! Pawan

  13. paperminties

    I've been following your art blogs for about a month now! Needless to say, I'm a fan! I love paper and I'm so pleased to see this cut-paper artwork! Keep 'em coming! Great decor idea for the classroom!

  14. Thuy-Lan

    So wonderful, your owl, your generous and creative blog. I regularly look at it. I love the forms, colours that you create and use ! For the first time I tried to realize one of your idea, the owl, enough simple for my fingers. I put it in my 5 years old son's bedroom. He was very enthousiastic about it. He even invented a story : the owl can fly into the sky, transform itself into a star and transport him from planet to planet…
    Thuy-Lan (Paris, France)

  15. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone! I'm glad you're trying these out!

    Paul Stickland – Yes, you may feature this on your PopUps blog! I love your work. Thanks!

    Thuy-Lan – Thank you so much. The story your boy invented is beautiful! That makes me so happy!

  16. Joel Henriques

    Thanks Nisha! Your blue owl is awesome! And your kids look so excited too. That's very nice. Cool to see the owl outside too!

  17. lale

    Hi! Sorry for my bad english, I'm from Italy! I love this post very much, can I link it in my blog? I just started to build it, and I'd like to show your tutorial… let me know! thanks Lale

  18. Hey Joel,
    Just wanted you to know how much mileage we’ve gotten out of this amazing template–I’ve been using it in various capacities for the last two years. We made them as mobiles, of course, and now we’re making them into stained glass–black owl frames with tissue paper behind. I’m sure we’ll use it for many more years to come (along with many ther projects of yours!)
    I work for Arts For Life, a North Carolina-based arts education non-profit. Our teachers work with kids and families in the hospital who are facing serious illnesses, including cancer and blood disorders. We have some truly talented young artists with very unique viewpoints. You can check out some of their work at our website: aflnc.org
    Thanks again for your generous and creative contributions to the arts education community, and for the inspiration you are spreading to these very special young folks all the way over here across the country!

    1. Thanks so much for the lovely note Annie! I’m so glad that I can help with what you all are doing! I looked at your site, and love all of the artwork the kids are doing. Very inspiring!

      Thanks again for the note,