Modify your baby mobile for less than $5 (without any tools)

The baby mobile. That adorable musical nursery accessory expectant mothers envision as part of the ideal nursery for their baby. I was no different. 

The bedding set I fell in love with was the Disney Baby Peeking Pooh crib set. I've been a Winnie the Pooh fan for as long as I can remember and I'm especially partial to Tigger. The bedding set was already a big-ticket item on my baby registry and then I had to choose which accessories to get. 

I originally registered for the coordinating crib bumper (I'll talk about bumpers in a future post), diaper stacker (I probably could've skipped this one even though it's cute), window valances, canvas wall art and, of course, the mobile.

I loved watching Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore dance around in a circle while the mobile played Brahm's Lullaby. It made me smile because that's the lullaby my mom used to sing.

The problem.

But how long can you actually use a baby mobile? In the product description for my daughter's, it says the recommended age is "birth to 5 months." That's a bummer since the mobile cost almost $50 and she slept in a bassinet when we came home from the hospital.

After my daughter started pulling herself up on furniture and standing up in her crib, we took her mobile down so she couldn't pull on it. I was saddened to think that was the end of the mobile. She seemed to enjoy it as much as I did and I wanted to figure out a way to extend its usefulness.

After thinking about it for a little while, I came up with a plan. 

The plan.

The mobile came with a plastic arm that attached to the side of her crib. I realized that all I needed to do was figure out a way to hang the mobile from the ceiling instead. I went to the hardware store and picked up a couple things.

I used: 
• a 2-pack of one inch split key rings
• 2 feet of zinc-plated jack chain
• an old ceiling hook (intended for hanging plants) that I bought back in college and never used

After I got home from the hardware store, I completed my mobile-saving conversion in just a few minutes — and I didn't use ANY tools. I completed this project while my daughter was playing with my mom in the other room.

The solution.

Here's how you can modify your baby mobile so it can be enjoyed far beyond the 5-month recommendation. My daughter is still enjoying hers (she'll be 2 years old in January).

1. Remove the fabric sleeve covering the crib-mounting arm of your baby mobile. 

2. Take the ceiling hook and screw it into the ceiling. I hung mine about a foot to the left of my daughter's crib.

3. Attach one of the split key rings to one end of your chain and then hang it from the ceiling hook.

4. Hold your baby mobile up alongside the chain to figure out the proper height. Hold this spot so you know where to put the other key ring. You'll want it to be high enough that your little one can't reach it, but close enough that he or she can still enjoy it.

5. Attach the second split key ring to the chain where you marked it. Don't worry about any extra length of chain hanging down — we'll take care of that in a moment.

6. Hook your mobile onto the bottom key ring to verify the distance from the crib is correct and then unhook the mobile from the chain.

7. Take the chain down from the ceiling and feed it through the fabric sleeve that used to cover the arm of your mobile. You'll want to have the key ring with the extra chain dangling from it as your top key ring — this will ensure the extra chain length is easily hidden inside the fabric sleeve.

8. Hang the covered chain from the ceiling hook and then attach the mobile to the bottom key ring. 

9. Space out the fabric to evenly cover the chain. You can push it all the way up to cover the ceiling hook and also pull it down far enough to cover the bottom key ring. People won't see any of the hardware that's allowing your mobile hang from the ceiling.

I purchased most of the materials from the Home Depot, but they're all basic items available at any hardware store. You might have some of them lying around your house already — who doesn't have a couple extra key rings in their house somewhere? 

For a list of materials used (and links to product information) please see the resources bar on the right side of the page. I hope you found this post to be helpful and will share it with the other new or expectant mothers you know. Now: Go save that mobile!


This blog is truthful and based on personal experience with the products or items mentioned. It doesn't have sponsors, and no one paid to receive positive reviews of their products. All of the links provided are for your convenience and are not "affiliate links" — Valerie doesn't receive payment or kickbacks if people purchase products based on her recommendations.

Valerie Moe is the Senior Graphic Designer for Minnesota Parent magazine. She lives in Bloomington with her husband and their 22-month-old daughter. You can comment below or contact her directly here.