The Den of Slack

Half scale nursery toys and crib mobile

It’s toy time! Painted ceramic beads make good toys in half scale. I already used a bunch of these in the downstairs little girl’s room. For the nursery I picked out safari-themed beads from Shipwreck Beads, to go with the wallpaper. I haven’t ordered from them, but The Crafty Bead also has a nice selection.

I spent a lot of time looking for tiny beads to use for a crib mobile. This was my first attempt. These star beads are about 5mm across and have a metallic blue/green sheen to them.

They’re a good size, but they kind of look like black blobs from a distance. Not the right look for a baby’s mobile.

Attempt #2: these flower beads come in a variety of muted pastels that go nicely with the wallpaper in the nursery.

At about 6mm across, I feel like they’re a tad too big, but the colors are perfect! If I come across anything better I can always replace this mobile with another one. (See below for a crib mobile tutorial.)

For now, that’s a rubber baby in the crib. I’m waiting for this cutie to arrive in the mail… she’s been in transit for two weeks already and I don’t have a tracking number to check on her. When she gets here she’ll have a wild story to tell!

Unfortunately, all the pictures I took with the roof on came out dark, so here’s a view of the toy-filled nursery with an awkward corner slice where the ceiling should be.

Half Scale Crib Mobile Tutorial

Materials & tools needed:

  • Bead cap with holes at the edges and in the center (I used Bead Landing Specialty Findings from Michaels, approx. 1/2″ in diameter)
  • Eye pins (length doesn’t matter)
  • Small pastel beads (approximately 4mm to 6mm across for a 1:24 scale mobile, I used these)
  • 3″ long ball head pin (something like this)
  • Seed beads (a color that complements the other beads)
  • Needlenose pliers and wire cutters
  • Embroidery floss (the same color as your crib if you want it to blend in)
  • Tacky or other white glue

Use needlenose pliers to open the ends of the eye hooks. Slip the eye hooks over the holes in the bead cap and squeeze closed. My bead caps had eight segments but I only used four eye hooks, otherwise it got too crowded.

Use wire cutters to cut down the eye hooks to about 1/4″ long.

Slide a pastel bead over one of the eye hook wires. Dab the bottom of the wire in tacky glue and add a seed bead to keep the larger bead from sliding off.

Do the same with the rest of the wires.

This is the ball head pin I used. I have no idea where I bought these or what I planned to use them for! The wire is thicker than the eye pin wires and mobile rests against the ball at the end. If you can’t find something like this, you can improvise — any wire that will keep the mobile from slipping off will work.

I bent the wire like this. Slip the bead cap up over the plain end and all the way to the ball end, where the ball holds it in place. I cut the wire so the bottom will rest on the bottom edge of the crib — it’s about 1-3/4″ from the top of the bend to the bottom of the wire.

After trying a few other methods (wire, Scotch tape) I settled on embroidery thread to attach the mobile to the crib. Insert a piece of thread on one side of the bar you want to attach the mobile to, and then use a toothpick or a piece of wire to pull the other end up on the other side.

Tie a loose knot. You want the thread to have long ends so it’s easy to work with (the excess will be cut off later).

Repeat this with a few more pieces of thread. Slip the end of the mobile’s support wire through the loose knots. Hold it in place with one finger while you tighten the knots with your other fingers. Then knot each piece again for good measure.

Cut the thread ends off close to the knots. Use a toothpick to add a dab of glue to each knot.

With the crib against a wall, the knots won’t be visible. I used brown thread because I had some lying right in front of me when I did this, but I realized afterward that white blend in and be less obvious. I’ll fix it later.


  1. The nursery is looking adorable! The baby doll will be perfect! I live right by Shipwreck Beads! Mind blowing shopping experience there!

  2. This room is so adorable Emily. Love those bead animals. What a great idea! The mobile is lovely too. I’m enjoying watching this build. :)

  3. Very nice! I love the safari theme and the beads. I always look for odd -shaped ones, too. I just got one of those rubber babies as the size looked perfect. I keep thinking I should’ve grabbed more! Can’t remember where I just got them – cheap!
    Love how the house is looking!

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