Up until now poor Miss M has been mobile-less, as a result of her arriving two weeks early and rudely cutting into my nesting / crafting / setting up the nursery time. She is as impatient as her mother it seems. You will be pleased to know that she has given her new mobile the seal of approval with a very large grin and some baby babble that I'm sure translates to - "I'm so impressed!". So without further ado, please find below my swinging bird mobile tutorial for you to try yourself.
Step 1 - Making the Birds
- Coloured felt
- Contrasting / complimentary fabric
- Needle and coloured thread to match felt
- Mod Podge
- Hot glue gun
I decided to make six birds and one cloud for my mobile. You will find the template for the bird and cloud here, as well as a full list of the supplies you will need for the whole project.
For each bird cut:
- 2 x body (in the colour of your choice)
- 1 x chest (in a complimentary / contrasting colour)
- 4 x wings (in a complimentary / contrasting pattern)
Firstly, place the tip of the chest piece just under the tip of the beak on your first body piece. Then whip stitch these two pieces together to the tip of the bird's tail. Here is a link to an easy to follow tutorial if you aren't familiar with the whip stitch. All stitching for the project is done on the outer of the material for decorative effect.
Next, align your second body piece and starting at the tip of the tail sew along the chest piece finishing back at the beak. You should have a little bird pocket at this point with the opening along the bird's back.
Sew along the bird's back stopping half way to stuff him until he's nice and plump.
For the bird's wings, simply glue two of the wing pieces together, right sides facing out. Repeat for the second wing and leave to dry on some baking paper. When the wings are dry hot glue them onto your felt bird body and hey presto you have one super cute bird done.
Repeat this process five times using different coloured felts and material.
To make your cloud, sew around the two cloud pieces stopping when you are 3/4 of the way round to stuff.
Step 2 - Making the Swings
- 3 x 12.5cm embroidery hoops
- White spray paint
- White embroidery cotton and needle
- Scrap booking paper
- Mod Podge
- Bulldog clips
MethodTo make the "swings" that three of your birds will sit in, you will only need the inside ring of your embroidery hoop. Spray paint each hoop white. While you're painting, also spray paint the 26cm metal hoop required for Step 3 (see below).
Cut out strips of scrap booking paper the width of your embroidery hoop. Ensure you have enough to cover the hoop's circumference.
Once the paint is dry, glue your paper strips onto the outside of the embroidery hoop. Hold the paper in place using small bulldog clips. Ensure the paper is pulled tight to prevent any bubbles or folds. I left my hoops to dry overnight.
To attach your birds to their hoops, start by cutting a 20cm piece of embroidery cotton. Thread your needle to the middle point of the cotton then proceed to thread through the nape of the bird's neck.
Next snip your needle off the thread and you will be left with two pieces of cotton threaded through the back of the bird. At this point I made a knot then proceeded to french braid the pieces of thread together. This will make it look like one piece of thread.
Tie the thread to the top of the swing, making sure that your birdie is sitting in the centre of the hoop.
Step 3 - Mobile Assembly
- 2.1m invisible thread
- 6 x paper mache balls
- 1.5m white ribbon
- Metal washer
- Hot glue gun
- Cotton and needle
MethodAt this point you should have three birds in swings, three not in swings and one cloud.
Take your invisible thread and cut: 1 x 25cm piece, 3 x 20cm pieces and 3 x 40cm pieces.
For your swing-less birds, make a small hole in the back seam at the nape of the neck.
Take one 20cm piece of invisible thread and make a large not in the end (I did three knots all on top of each other). Poke this large knot into the hole in the bird's neck and then back stitch with cotton so that the knot is held inside the bird's body. Tie the top end of the invisible thread onto the metal hoop you painted earlier.
For your birds in swings, take a 40cm piece of invisible thread and make a knot in the centre. Thread on one of the paper mache balls, so that the knot is sitting underneath. I was lucky enough to find paper mache balls at my local craft store in the colours that I needed. If you can't find the colours you're after, give your balls a quick lick of craft paint. Tie the bottom end of the invisible thread onto the bird swing and the top end onto the metal hoop.
Alternate around the metal hoop tying swing and non-swing birds.
Thread the white ribbon onto the metal hoop as pictured below, using the metal washer as the centre point of the mobile. Ensure that you leave one end of the ribbon as long as possible - this will be how you hang the mobile to the ceiling.
To hang your cloud, take the remaining 25cm piece of invisible thread and starting with a paper mache ball, thread on your cloud and two additional balls. Under each item tie a knot to hold it in place. Finally tie your thread onto the washer so that the cloud hangs in the centre of the mobile.
Hang your mobile from the ceiling using a cup hook, remembering to use a ceiling mate so it doesn't fall down on your baby in the middle of the night!
On the safety side of things, make sure your mobile is high enough that your little one can't grab it. Also, I'm insanely paranoid that my knots weren't strong enough, so everywhere I made a knot, I went through and added a dob of hot glue. Complete over-kill I know, but better to be safe than sorry!
I hope the length of the tutorial doesn't put you off attempting this mobile. There are quite a few little steps to this project, none of which are at all difficult. This project was really very easy to do and I couldn't be happier with the results.
So here is the first sneak peak at Miss M's nursery. It's just about finished so I hope to reveal the completed room to you all soon. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you if you have attempted to make my swinging bird mobile - email me some pics of your completed project!
This project is linked to:
Tatertots and Jello
Nifty Thrify Things
By Stephanie Lynn - Under the Table & Dreaming