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Garden Art Fish Mobile

Updated on October 18, 2011
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is a published author, freelance writer, and photographer. She also specializes in horses.

I snapped a photo so I could copy the design!

What to Do with those CDs You Get in the Mail


Have you ever wondered what you could do with those promotional CDs you get in the mail? For some reason I have trouble throwing them away, but all they do is collect in the bottom of my desk drawer.


I was visiting with my daughter on the campgrounds at PreddyFest, a bluegrass music concert in my county. We stopped by the camper of some folks Deborah knew from previous bluegrass music festivals. Almost all of the campers had strings of whimsical lights or Japanese lanterns hanging along the edge of the camper’s awnings. But these folks we visited had a string of fish!


The fish were crafted from those computer disks and foam sheets.


“Oh, how cutes is that!” I said. And snapped some pictures so I could copy the design at home.

Angel Fish in My Garden

Computer Disk Garden Art

I didn’t particularly like the foam sheeting for my intention as garden art. I wanted the whole fish to reflect light, not just the disk. So, I went to my favorite store, The Dollar Store, to shop for “something” to use instead. I found just the thing in the kitchen department: a package with two flexible plastic chopping mats by Signature Kitchenware. Basically the mats were two sheets of heavy plastic. They have enough body to hold a shape, but are thin enough to be somewhat transparent. As a bonus, they have a bit of texture that gives in a little sparkle in the sunlight. The two sheets are enough to make four fish.

I started by making a pattern with a sheet of card stock. I folded the paper in half, laid the disk on the seam at its halfway point. Then I drew around it, mouth, fins, and tail. Cut it out and unfolded the paper to reveal my angelfish. Side fins are a separate piece that fits through the hole in the center of the disk.

I hot glued the disks to the fish (one on each side of the fish cut-out), glued on eyes, inserted the side fins through the center hole, poked a hole in the top of the fish and inserted a piece of thin florist wire to hang it. Voila! I had my garden art fishy. I already have some mobiles in my whimsical garden with little mirrors hanging from them. The fish works just like the mirrors, casting light as the breeze makes them turn. I believe this is why my hostas have survived the herd of deer on the farm. The dancing light looks like something or someone is moving through the garden and they stay away.

If I had a camper I’d make a string of fish, but for now I will call one fish garden art. The colored foam looks cute for campers and they'd also look cute at the beach on your cottage porch. String some tiny Christmas tree lights with them. The lights will reflect on the disks.

I am planning to make the next one with metal – copper or pewter. Maybe I’ll try aluminum pie pans. Other designs that will work are birds and sunflowers. I am on a roll now that I know what to do with those promotional computer disks. But, I might have to buy news ones since I am no longer getting them in my snail mail.

Night View


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    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 4 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Barbara, color isn't important since you put the sides out that are iridescent. The sun catches them and they change color, sorta like a rainbow.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      This is such a neat idea. I wonder if I have any disks the right color. I'm going to share this one on Facebook.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Very clever idea and cute!

    • OneGypsyTraveler profile image

      OneGypsyTraveler 8 years ago from Grimsley, Tennessee

      excellent idea, I had a similar one that I made just with the disks, I like the way the light reflects.

    • GiftedGrandma profile image

      GiftedGrandma 8 years ago from USA

      The idea has really gotton around! I used to have my handmade items in a senior craft store and someone made them to sell :O)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      So cute, I'm going to try to make a mobile of them Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      What an excellent idea-- and very cute. I like yours.

      We string those silver and red shiny plastic streamers in our fruit trees to keep the birds away. Thes could be used similarly, I think.