Need something to keep you busy during the “nesting” stage? A baby shower idea? Just something cute for your kid’s room, so you can say, “Your mom made that!”
How about this DIY baby mobile?
I myself was in the nesting stage when I conceptualized it, thanks to some pricey inspiration pieces on Etsy. Except in this case, instead of just saying, “I could do that,” I actually did.
But I enlisted help. I invited my girlfriends over for brunch and asked them to bring some craft supplies to share: felt, buttons, yarn, thread, and bits of ribbon.
After suitably plying them with coffee and pastries, I asked them to each create a “feltie” (a small, felt, stuffed creature) to hang from my mobile. After some hemming and hawing (“I can’t sew!” “I’m not creative!”), they quickly got into it.
The thing I liked best about it was, during those long nights and early mornings rocking my baby in her nursery, I often gazed upon that mobile and was reminded of what it represented: all of my friends’ love and support.
Want to make one for yourself or give one as a gift? Here’s how:
For the Felt Creatures
What you need:
- Felt (obviously)
- Embroidery thread
- Polyfill stuffing
- Sewing needles big enough for the bulkiness of embroidery thread
- Optional embellishments (buttons, pipe cleaners, fabric, sequins, etc.)
What you do:
- Cut out two identical animal shapes (for the front and back, since you’ll be stuffing it).
- Cut, place, and sew on embellishments—felt or otherwise—as needed.
- When you’re happy with the front and back of your piece, stitch them together. (Don’t worry about precision. It’s supposed to look handcrafted.) Make sure to leave an open two inches or so for the stuffing.
- Fill with the stuffing. (I gently use a plastic chopstick to get the polyfill into the nooks and crannies.)
- Sew the opening closed. Done!
For the Mobile
What you need:
- Two wooden hoops, one larger than the other
- Several rolls of ribbon in coordinating colors and patterns
- Fabric glue
- Needle and thread
- Measuring tape
What you do:
- Wind ribbon around both of the hoops, occasionally dotting with fabric glue to hold it in place and gluing the ribbon securely in place at the end.
- Determine how far you want each hoop to hang from the ceiling and jot down those measurements.
- Take your measurements, add at least 4 inches to each (you’ll need the extra, true me), and cut your ribbons accordingly. These will be used to hang the piece. I used five on the larger hoop and three on the smaller.
- Attach your measured ribbons to the hoops by folding one end around the outside of the hoop and gluing it back onto itself (so you’re forming a small loop of ribbon that the hoop hangs in).
- Now you should have one end of each hanging ribbon attached to a hoop. Stack and glue the remaining ends together for hanging the mobile.
- Determine how far you want your critters to hang from the bottom of their hoops, adding about two inches to those measurements.
- Cut those ribbons.
- Stitch one end of each to one of your felt creatures.
- Wrap the other end of each creature-attached ribbon around the outside of the hoop and glue the ribbon back onto itself (again, so the ribbon is hanging from the hoop by a small loop).
- Allow all the glue to dry.
- To hang the mobile, I literally just stuck a push pin through the glued-together ends of the long ribbons attached to the hoops. That said, if your creation is heavier or you’re worried your kid might eventually get to it, you should attach it to the ceiling with something more secure, like a nail or screw.
That’s it! You’ll probably need to play around a bit to get it level and the right mix of colors and such, but that’s part of the fun of creating it exactly the way you want it.
And if you make one, pretty please send a picture? I’d love to see how yours turns out!