Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Best Baby Mobile Ever

I am obsessed with the baby mobile I made. It may not be built to last, made of paper and all, but it sure is pretty. I was inspired by this hot air balloon mobile. Arriving at the final product took a lot of trial and error, as I'll discuss below, but it was all worth it. Instructions below:

You'll need:

Circle cutter - I used this o
ne from Martha Stewart
Spray adhesive
Regular glue stick
Self-healing cutting mat
Silver, red, and white paint pens or markers
Black pen
Xacto knife
bone folder
3.5 inch circle punch
White tape or mailing labels
2 sheets of 12x12 orange bumpy paper - you can find all the paper below at Michael's
6 sheets of 1
2x12 plain white paper
2 sh
eets of 12x12 lime green bumpy paper
1 sheet of 12x12 plain black paper
1 sheet of 12x12 vinyl black paper
Red spool of thread

Tape runner and a few refills
Huge quilting loop. Embroidery loop will do if you like

Red velcro ties from any hardware store
Three 2' long white chain - you can get this cut from Home Depot
One 6' long white chain (or whatever, depending on how tall your ceiling is)
One chain link
One hanging mounting kit, like for a plant

Sports balls

Make four 2-D versions of each ball. To make the mobile more sturdy, double the paper up.

  • Use spray adhesive to glue the backs of the orange bumpy paper.
  • Use circle cutter to create four 5.5'' circles.
  • Use the background of the circles to create the lines on the basketballs using a black paint pen, as shown here, and set aside to dry. Vary the pattern on all four balls.

  • Use spray adhesive to glue the backs of 2 sheets of the smooth white paper.
  • Use circle cutter to create 4.5'' circles.
  • Use the background of the circles to create the lines on the baseballs in red. Make little v's along the lines to look like stitches. Vary the pattern on all four balls.
Tennis ball
  • Use spray adhesive to glue the backs of the bumpy lime green paper.
  • Use circle cutter to create 4'' circles.
  • Use the background of the circles to create the lines. on the tennis balls in silver. Vary the pattern on all four balls.
Golf ball
  • Use spray adhesive to glue the backs of two sheets of the smooth white paper.
  • Use the 3.5'' punch to create circles.
  • Use the silver paint pen to make little dots on all four balls. Start with a line of dots in a smooth curve and fill in the lines above and below in between dots. Set aside to dry.
Hockey puck
  • This one is a little complicated and will take trial and error on your part. Because you're using vinyl, you don't have to double up.
  • Make one four inch circle out of scrap paper.
  • Then, using the 7'' setting on your circle cutter, swoop over the bottom of the circle to create a puck shape.
  • Use the background of the large circle to create the 3D effect using the silver marker. You may need to make more than one "trial run" puck. Note all your measurements.
  • Once you're done, make four pucks total.
  • Use spray adhesive to glue the backs of the bumpy brown paper.
  • Make a template of a football, freehand, on cardboard. I made my husband do this.
  • Cut the template out using the xacto knife.
  • Use the xacto to make four footballs out of the brown bumpy paper.
  • Use the tape or labels to make a pattern of the grips on the football. Vary the pattern on the four balls.
Soccer ball
  • Use spray adhesive to glue two remaining white sheets of paper together.
  • Using the 5.5'' setting on your paper cutter, cut four circles out.
  • Also cut four 5.5'' circle out of plain black paper.
  • Cut a total of five isosceles triangles out of the edge of each of the black circles. Cut a pentagon out of the middle of the circle. Feel free to mess up here - you should have plenty of black paper. You'll end up with twenty little black triangles and four pentagons.
  • Using a glue stick, glue a pentagon to the middle of each circle. Glue a triangle to adjacent to each pentagon point at the edge of the circle.
  • Use a black pen and a ruler to connect the point to the top of each triangle.
Hanging and Spinning
The main trial and error occurred here. At first, I tried hanging the balls from dowels, but the balancing thing got to be too difficult. For each ball:
  • Use a bone folder to fold every ball in half, evenly.
  • Measure 8 pieces of thread the same length. I did an arms length every time - you don't have to be exact. You are going to trim, anyway.
  • Along the side of every fold, tape a piece of thread to the top of the ball. So, each ball will have two pieces of thread coming off it.
  • Use the tape runner to affix one half of one ball to another half of the ball, creating a 3-D effect.
  • Paint the embroidery loop whatever colors you want. Let it dry overnight.
  • Neatly wrap the 8 threads from each ball around the inner loop. You can hang all the balls at the same height or vary, like I did.
  • Place the outer loop around and tighten. Using so many threads will allow the balls to spin!
  • In a triangle formation, wrap the velcro ties around the embroidery hoop and through a length on each of the three 2' chains. Adjust each arm around the loop for balance.
  • Use the chain length to attach the other side of the chains to the long chain
  • Mount the plant hook from the ceiling
  • Voila - done!
Excuse the crazy mounting job shown - I am just really anxious to get pics up, and you know I'm not moved into my new house yet. Also excuse the mess on our guest bed...but at least you know I'm packed for the hospital!

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