Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Makin' a mobile

Okay, so I guess I'm nesting.  I dunno.  Never been in a third trimester before.  All I know is that I feel time slipping through my fingers as the clock counts closer and closer to our baby girl's arrival.  To help me feel more productive, I've begun to work on pieces for her room.  Now, I think all those gorgeous nurseries shown in magazines and on TV are lovely (example below), but in reality it just doesn't suit life.  I mean, I would feel more concerned with something being out of place in an impeccable nursery than about letting my baby be...well...a baby.

(photo from www.thelennox.com)

So, I began with a mobile.  We love the look of a certain bedding set, but I was not thrilled with the $50 mobile.  Sure it plays music with a hand crank, but the thing just looked flimsy and you couldn't change out the dangling toys if you wanted.  And you couldn't adjust the arm height.  I made mine for a fraction of the price...about $8 for the mobile pieces.  I used three wire hangers (compliments of the dry cleaner), three pieces of felt, one piece of ruffle trim (most expensive item), some thin ribbon, clear faceted beads, clothespins, and craft paint.  The only tools I needed were scissors, needle and thread (I borrowed a sewing machine from the lovely Baby Mulholland), a hot glue gun and glue (duh!), and a paint brush. I did not take step-by-step photos (bugger!), but I snapped a couple and the process really wasn't too hard.

First, I removed the paper from the three wire hangers and wrapped some tape around the necks to keep them together.  Then I spread them out from that center axis to make a basic, circle mobile frame.  I hand-bent the hooks down to look more decorative.  I simply tied a bit of ribbon on the bottoms of the three hangers to keep them somewhat in this frame position.

Next, I measured the length of the hangers from the neck down to the tip and in between points of the hangers to get the dimensions for the triangles of fabric I would need to create the top cover of the mobile.  I simply cut those pieces out of the three pieces of felt, two triangles from each of the three coordinating colors.  I pinned them together and then stitched them up.  I just had to leave about one inch of felt unstitched at the top to trim and slide over the top of the hangers.

The hardest part was attaching the ruffle trim, but even that wasn't really hard.  I pinned it to the cover and sewed it all around, trimming the excess and stitching the seam together.

With that done, I slipped the cover over the top of the hangers and aligned the corners with the ends of the hangers, and removed the tape from the hanger necks.  I used the excess ruffle trim to create almost a crown to go around the top of the felt and around the hanger necks.  Sewing--done.  Now it was time to hot glue.  I had previously painted six clothespins in a coordinating pink and cut six pieces of ribbon to suspend them from.  I inserted the ribbon in the center of the spiral spring and tied it in a knot leaving the two ends of the ribbon to be attached to the mobile.  Just for added decoration and sparkle, I used a wide-eyed needle to string the ends of the ribbon with a few clear beads.

So, I tied a ribboned clothespin at each hanger corner and then hot glued them in place.  Easy-peasy.  While I was at it, I went ahead and hot glued the felt pieces to the hangers just to keep them in place.

Lastly, I attached a long ribbon to the top of the hanger hooks and hung it from the ceiling.  I bought a few stuffed animal travel toys for baby, so I clipped six of them in to the clothespins.  I love that I can change these out whenever I feel like it to keep her stimulated and that I can adjust the height it hangs from the ceiling when she gets older and tries to reach for it.  It doesn't play music, but we can play music of our choosing in her room.

Here's what I ended up with:

Pretty nifty and totally thrifty.  The hubby and I went back to the store and looked at the $50 mobile we passed up...and boy are we glad we did.  This one is unique, hand-crafted, and actually much cuter.  I just have to trim the tags from those toys...

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