Monday, March 10, 2014

DIY Nursery Mobile

A million years ago I shared Zahara's nursery with you. My favorite thing about the room, aside from all the bright colors, is that most of the decorations are homemade. From the fabric mobile, to the cardboard "Z," to the Ikea-hacked bookshelves, I love that Zahara is surrounded by things made by the people who love her.

The mobile was a really simple project. It took me a while to do it, but only because I waited until after Zahara was born to begin. All told, you could probably complete this project in a couple of hours if you aren't trying to keep a tiny human alive. 

I found my original inspiration from Pinterest, of course. I tweaked the design to better fit my needs though. I made the ribbons shorter to accommodate the fun string ball I found for a couple of bucks at a thrift store. Dan was the one who recommended (and then implemented) hanging the mobile below the ball using dental floss. So smart!

Here's what you'll need to make you're own mobile:
  • Fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Embroidery hoop (discard the part with the screw)
  • Paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Heat'n Bond (I used this one)
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

The first thing I did was paint my embroidery hoop using some purple shiny paint leftover from this project. To paint all the way around the circle, I used needle-nosed pliers to hold the hoop as I painted. I propped it up against the top of a cardboard box to dry.

I wanted my mobile to have six ribbon strings with four fabric circles on each one, for a total of 24 finished circles. That meant I needed enough fabric to make 48 circles, so that each had a front and a back.

I traced 24 circles onto the paper side of the Heat'n Bond using a drinking glass as my template, and cut each circle out. 

I ironed one Heat'n Bond circle onto the wrong side of my fabric. Then I cut the excess fabric to leave a bonded circle. This was one half of my first circle.

I used the drinking glass again to trace and cut another circle from the same fabric. This was the other half of my circle. Repeat for a total of 24 circles.

24 circles: 1 side is plain fabric, the other side is fabric and Heat'n Bond

Next, I cut six equal strips of ribbon, leaving enough extra to attach to the embroidery hoop. I pined the circles where I thought they looked best--roughly symmetrical with the bottoms all aligned.

Once the circles were pinned where I wanted them, I peeled the backing off the Heat'n Bond and ironed the two pieces of the circle together with the ribbon between them. I added a couple stitches to the middle of each circle to keep them in place. I used a sewing machine, but you could hand sew this.

The last step was attaching the ribbon to the embroidery hoop with a hot glue gun. I just made a little loop and glued the ribbon to itself.

It sounds more complicated than it was. It is a pretty easy project that makes a huge impact. I love it, and more importantly, so does Zahara! She loves looking at the bright colors and the way the fabric moves.

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