sonobe unit


Baby Mobile designed and made by Annalisa. In progress, finished, and then totally eclipsed by the adorableness of my niece.

The origami parts consist of 48 Japanese Brocade Balls (a traditional model) which are each made of 6 modules based on the sonobe unit. The larger balls use 7.5x7.5 cm sheets of chiyogami, and the smaller ones are made from 3.75x3.75 cm sheets of tant. The non-origami parts are plastic beads, thin fishing line, an embroidery hoop, yarn, and bits of my sanity.

Today is the day of Joan’s baby blessing (basically, a christening, for those of you unfamiliar with LDS/Mormon tradition), so it seemed appropriate to put up the birth present I made for her. I was pondering making something like this for my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas, when one day Ben (my brother) called me and said, “Hey, would you mind making some kind of mobile/hanging thing for us for when the baby gets here?” Clearly we were all on the same page.

So, after a nice, specific request of “Some cool shapes or whatever you think would be good,” I went looking around the internet to find designs that I liked the look of and could actually do myself. I quickly discovered that my pet peeve was mobiles that looked cute from the sides, but terrible from the bottom. The point is for the baby to look up it; why would you make something that was least interesting from that angle?

Anyway, that narrowed down my list of models I could use, so I eventually decided to go with the brocade balls. Despite their simplicity (I memorized how to do these in about 10 minutes), they are beautiful and look interesting from every angle. In fact, the origami was the easiest part of this endeavor! The part that caused the most frustration was getting the fishing line to hang at exactly the right length to create the double helix effect. While I will probably do this again in the future for other family babies, I would like to find some way to standardize length so I don’t have to spend hours tying and re-tying knots.

But let’s face it, the most important part of this post is Joan. HOW CUTE IS SHE???