arts and crafts · Crafting How To's · Decor · DIY · Etsy · Upcycled

Suncatcher Mobile DIY


A few years back I found this wire mobile at a Flea Market.  I think this style is meant to hang photographs on. It had some interesting elements to it like a rusty patina on the wire, a version of alligator clips at the end of each dangling section, it was fairly large (20″ long x 15″ wide) and had potential to be worked into a craft project.  So I bought it.

Then it sat folded up in drawer for a couple of years.

I was currently deep into a project, but I needed to order some pieces before I could finish it – so I needed a distraction.  Then I happened to see an article on suncatchers in a favorite craft magazine.   And everything fell into place.


I have a really nice stash of Antique/Vintage crystal brilliants from old chandeliers that I’ve collected over the years.  Whenever I see some at a good price, I snatch them up and add to the pile because these are very handy craft supplies to have around whether you only use one here and there or, in this instance, quite a few.


I don’t take them apart until I need to use them because the metal wire and connectors frequently play into my craft designs.


Starting at the bottom of the mobile, I added pendants (aka icicle U Drops), with an octagonal jewel suspended above them, to each clip.  In the center of the mobile I attached a larger octagonal jewel with a three glass bead section and another smaller octagonal jewel all connected with wire rings (chandelier crystal connectors).  These are basically split rings.  They work like your key ring. You just prize open an end and start working the hole in your crystal onto that end until you’ve got it fed through like you would a key.  I did the same at the wire loop on the mobile itself.


This is one of the sections I started with.  I want to detach the section to the left that I’ve got circled in blue.


See how I’ve opened up the ring and almost have the octagonal jewel off?


Now I have the section separated that I want to use this time.  I just need to add a ring on the left end before I attach it to the mobile.


I added four of those sections to this mobile.   On the top two sections I also added a unit of the three glass beads to dangle from one of the rings.  I didn’t add those to the lower two sections because, as you can see, a lower section of mobile would swing around and hit them if I had them there, too.


I also have some lengths of glass marble-type ropes in my chandelier stash.  I like to use variety in my projects when I can.  I feel different shapes, sizes, textures, etc. always add extra interest to any piece.  For this project, I needed a five marble length.


A couple of beading needle nose pliers were used.  One to hold the wire loop and the other to gently pull out the shape of the loop until I could slip off the attached loop and bead section.


Now I’ve got my five bead length.  I could attach this as is to the mobile now that I have the wire loops open or close the loops and attach wire rings to each end and attach those to the mobile.  I chose option two because this length of beads will have more motion, which translates as more sunbeam bling, if I use the rings.


So two of the lower sections got this treatment.


This was a fast fun project.  Just right for getting me through my waiting period for parts to arrive.  I also had another idea for a similar mobile using lace-making wood bobbins and some ‘found’ metal.  That will be another post for another day.

But, I love how this one turned out.  The old chandelier brilliants are really wonderful.  They have so much more character than the new ones.  There’s little chips here and there, maybe a point on a pendant has worn off  and the wires have an obvious patina of age – but that’s their beauty in my opinion.

However, photographing this beautiful mobile is a challenge.  There clarity and delicacy makes them almost impossible to picture with any discernible background.  And trying to catch the prisms in action – forget about it.  But here’s my best shots.


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It would take a panoramic shot to be able to catch all the rainbows this thing threw off in my living room.  They were on every wall, the floor and even a couple up on the ceiling.  I absolutely LOVE those Antique chandelier brilliants – there’s simply nothing like them.

This item is now listed in my Etsy shop Old Raven if you’re interested in seeing more pictures or if you would like to add this to your own home’s decor where you can watch the prism’s rainbow dance on your own walls.

Craft On, please.




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