My sister recently welcomed her second bundle of joy into the world! As a “Tauntie”, hybrid of the French ma taunte (possessive of my aunt since they live in a French Colony) and auntie (I have a penchant for making up words and nicknames), for the second time I was really excited to make a another mobile. The first was for her first born because my sister liked a sheep mobile that she saw in a design magazine, and knowing I could easily make it (and for a fraction of the cost) I set to work one afternoon and crafted my heart out for my baby nephew!
This time though I wanted something a little more fun and in line with the explosion of monster and creature themed baby decor that seems to have overtaken the world as of late. Here is a step by step tutorial in everything mobile making for the less-perfectionist-more-crafty-tauntie!
- felt or fabric (I prefer felt for the mobile because its VERY forgiving when you sew it)
- a sewing machine
- thin wooden dowel
- heavy duty scissors
- glue gun and glue
- variety of buttons
- small trace amounts of cotton batting
(side note, I bought absolutely everything for this project at the dollarstore, otherwise known as one of my favourite stores)
1. Roughly cut a variety of different “creature” shapes using the felt. Seriously there was no rhyme or reason here, I just did some circles, ghost shape, a moon for good measure, etc. For this mobile I created six. A trick here to get a symmetrical “creature” is to fold the felt in half and then cut out half of the shape, while doubling the fabric, so that you get two sides. So two pieces of felt, fold in half, cut over the four layers. Phew!
2. Pin the two pieces together and placing a small amount of cotton batting in the middle sew around the perimeter of your shape. At the top of the shape, before you get to the end, take a piece of ribbon that you pre-cut (to the desired lengths you want the creatures to hang from the mobile at) and sew the ribbon into the end of the seam. There is no – sewing then turning inside out, then stuffing, then sewing the edge, while adding the ribbon – in this tutorial, if you use the felt as suggested, its very forgiving of the sewing line and it makes for cuter shapes and mainly less work. Tauntie likes to get things done quickly…
3. Cut out additional shapes for the eyes, mouth, nose if you want, as well as buttons. For this step I cut out a number of shapes then mixed and matched until I had the desired effect. Note, now is a good time to send a photo of the “proposed” faces to your sister to approve, some of mine were a wee bit too scary, you want to be creepy, but certainly not scare infants into requiring years of corrective therapy not do you? Lets assume not. Ta!Da! Change that grimace of felt into a SMILE.
4. Glue the facial extremities to the creature using your hot glue gun. Put your creatures aside.
5. Meanwhile, cut the wooden dowel into three equally sized pieces (I chose the arbitrary length of 12 inches), paint each one the desired colour to match the mobile (you can do all the same, leave it natural, or do a number of different colours) and then lay them in a circular pattern as per below tying them together tightly with ribbon like bicycle spokes.
6. At the end of each of your six dowel ends, now mobile ends, you’ll want to affix the ribbon that is attached to the creatures to the end of the dowel, by adding some hot glue and folding the ribbon around the dowel end, like so:
7. You can now tie a ribbon to the centre of the mobile for which it will hang from the ceiling. You’ll want to adjust the dowels from the centre (hence why we tied them with ribbon) so that the mobile hangs relatively evenly. You’ll achieve this by shifting the weight of the creatures hanging from the dowels from one side to another until you get the look you are going for.
8. Hang the mobile from the ceiling, or in my case, send it half-way across the world for your nephew to enjoy!
* You can read about my sister’s adventures on her blog: Adventures in New Caledonia.