Copper is one of the most beautiful metals that blends into nature seamlessly. It is a nice choice for outdoor sculpture. I’ve always wanted to work with copper tubing and add a bit of whimsy to the backyard and deck so I decided to take a chance and make a spinning Copper Mobile. This was my first time working with copper and oh my people, it was so fun and easy! Anyone can do this!
How to Make a Copper Mobile
You will need the following:
10 feet of 1/4 in copper tubing (appx. $10)
a copper tube bending spring (optional)
painter’s or masking tape
You can get 1/4 in copper tubing at any home improvement store, in a 10 foot coil or a 20 foot coil. Slowly uncoil the tubing a little bit.
Decide on the type of spiral shape you want to achieve. I wanted a tight coil which graduated to a large coil and then down again to a smaller coil. The copper is very soft and bends easier the warmer it is. The warmth of your hand will help it bend easier also. I sat out in the summer sunshine and worked on twisting the coil. Use two hands and slowly twist each coil tighter. Take your time bending the wire.
The picture below shows how the copper tubing looked almost finished. You can use the copper tubing bending spring if you want to for the ends of the tubing. The bending spring slides over the tubing and prevents the tubing from kinking while making tight turns. The bending tool isn’t necessary, but it can be helpful.
When your mobile looks the way you like it, then wrap the end with a bit of painter’s tape. Drill a small hole through the end of tubing. Tie on a fishing line at your desired length. You can tie the other end of the fishing line to a small key chain ring for easy hanging.
Hang the copper mobile from your porch or eaves above your deck. Watch how it spins in the wind and catches the light. It’s so pretty I think!
Understand that over time the copper mobile will darken and a natural patina will develop. If you want the shiny color to last a bit longer then dab some olive oil on a napkin and wipe the tubing with it.
A little tip for you though… you might want to hang it only in your backyard or it might disappear overnight. Copper is a HOT commodity right now for crooks.
You can hang the mobile in unexpected places like in a flowering tree or from a garden arch. This will look like a piece of garden sculpture and YOU were the sculptor! Sculpt your copper mobile short and fat or stretch it out long and skinny. The choice is yours, you’re the artist.