DIY Crib Mobile Arm From PVC Pipe

Cassie bought a lovely felt aeroplane mobile (UK pronunciation: mōbīl, US pronunciation: mōbēl, it’s a wonder we ever get anything done) from the nice people at Dundry Hill Feltworks to hang over the babies crib. It’s beautiful, but I didn’t want to hang it from the ceiling or attach it to the wall. For one thing, this is a rental, so making holes is undesirable. This is why I have a relationship with 3M Command Strips and hooks bordering on the obsessive. Also you can never tell here in the Abu Dhabi suburbs whether a particular wall or ceiling will be harder than diamond or crumble like meringue.

The other option is a supporting arm of some kind that clamps to the crib. These are available to buy, but not conveniently in the UAE. Delivery is a PITA.

So DIY it was. I know that a lot of people use PVC pipe to make the frameworks for various things. A quick Google image search demonstrates that. So I went to the local Ace Hardware (they have them here, thank goodness – and right next to IKEA!), bought some bits and rigged something up.

I did eyeball it all and make some rough assumptions, but in the end it worked out great. The mobile is at the correct height, and hanging right over the centre of the crib. I might shorten the top length of string so it hangs a little higher.

Materials and Costs

  • 2 metre length of 3/4″ white PVC pipe (can’t remember, but it can’t have been much more than dh20)
  • 1 3/4″ white PVC pipe 45 degree angle fitting (elbow?)  (dh7)
  • 1 3/4″ white PVC pipe end cap (dh6)
  • Cable ties – already had millions of them
  • Hook – the mobile came with a little screw-in cup hook to hang it from
  • Total about dh35

Instructions

  1. Cut the pipe in half with a hacksaw.
  2. Clean up the ends with some sandpaper or a pilfered emery board.
  3. Attach one half vertically to the corner of the crib, using as many cable ties as necessary. I made sure the bottom of the pipe was resting on the crib frame, so it won’t slide down.
  4. Trim the ends of the cable ties so they don’t impale anyone.
  5. Attach the angle fitting to the top of the pipe. This isn’t a plumbing job, so no glue or sealant is involved. Just pushing the fitting on seems to be tight and secure enough.
  6. Start a little hole in the end cap with an awl.
  7. Screw the hook into the hole.
  8. Attach the end cap to the second half of the pipe.
  9. Insert the second pipe into the angle fitting on the first pipe, making sure the hook is the right way up.
  10. Hang mobile on hook.

I’m very happy with the results. I think it will be plenty strong enough, as long as nobody tries to climb it, or suspend housebricks from it. The plain white pipe looks fine. The arm rotates out of the way when access is required. I might try and remove the black printed manufacturers writing on one side that I tried to turn towards the wall.

Now if I combine PVC pipe with Command Strips…