Felt Ball Baby Mobile

Rainbow Felt Ball Baby MobileI’m seriously so excited for this latest DIY for Coco – I’ve been looking forward to making it for ages and finally got some time last weekend! As an added bonus, it was honestly so simple, and took a lot less time than I thought it would.

My latest DIY completion is a rainbow felt ball baby mobile which is perfect for a gender neutral baby nursery. Mr A & I wanted a mobile that was a little different, and I love geometric shapes so inspired by American Etsy sellers I decided to try my hand at this.

I love it too much not to share, so thought I’d post a little DIY tutorial to help you make your own if you’d like. Here’s the finished product so you can decide if you’d like to read on, else admire ours from afar! :)


Rainbow Felt Ball Baby Mobile

Materials 

  • Embroidery hoop
  • 2.5 cm felt balls (7 colours)
  • 1cm felt balls (7 colours)
  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery needle

So a couple of items to note about the materials – I purchased felt balls that were already made, but in my travels I found out it’s quite easy to make your own, so if you’re finding it difficult to find colours that you love, give the DIY felt ball tutorials that are available a go.

I also decided on 7 colours because of how many balls I wanted on each drop, but you could change this to be more or less depending on your personal preference.

I used a 14″ embroidery hoop, but again, you could change this depending on your preference to make the mobile smaller or larger.

The choice of embroidery thread colour is completely up to you also; I decided on white as I liked the way it made the colours pop.

Method

  1. Cutting the Embroidery Hoop – You want to use the inside hoop so that you avoid the metal tensioner. Mark half way across the diameter on each side, and use a jigsaw or similar to make a straight cut. I was originally worried the wood might splinter whilst I did this, but the cut is so small that I didn’t have any issue at all. (I didn’t get any photos of this step unfortunately – if I make another, I’ll take some photos and update this, but it’s a relatively simple step!)
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  3. Measuring the Drop Holes – Once you have the 2 frames, you’ll mark out 5 holes across the halves which will be your drilling points. I did this by putting the two frames on top of each other, and then calculating 5 holes across the distance of the two frames. The main thing is the 3rd hole along (the one that is in the middle of the frames) should be in the centre, because this is the hole you’ll use to connect the two frames together later, therefore you need it as close to centre as possible.
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  5. Drilling the Drop Holes – Once your holes are marked out, tape the 2 frames together so that there’s no movement whilst you’re drilling. This will also ensure you get even holes on both frames. I used a very small drill bit, because the hole only needs to of a size to allow 6 strands of embroidery thread to pass through. Drill the 5 holes, undo your tape and then you’re ready to move onto the next step!
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  7. Assembling the FrameAssembling the Frame – This is where I started to take photos so hopefully you’ve followed along so far! Once you’ve separated the two, move the bottom one 90 degrees so the frame now resembles those claws in the arcade games that you can never win! I was originally thinking of using a bolt of some kind to connect the two frames, but instead ended up using thread instead to keep the connection ‘soft’. I simply threaded the needle through the hole, then to the left side of one frame, through the middle, then to the right side of the same frame, through the middle, then through the left side of the next frame, and so on. This will make a lot more sense when you do it yourself, but it should look something like this. If you find this part too confusing, securing it with a bolt or with a knot would be fine too – whatever works best for you!
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  9. Organising Felt BallsOrganising Felt Balls – this is the creative part! You can arrange the balls however you like; same colours on your drop or alternating colours like I did. I varied the size and colour of each of my balls which you can see here; for example, 4 lengths had large red balls at the top, and 4 had small red balls at the top. Arrange 9 drops in total. 8 will go around the outside, and the 1 left will go in the middle. For the middle drop, I made these all large balls just to vary the drops a little bit, but you can honestly do whatever you’d like – the beauty of this is the freedom and creativity you can express!
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  11. Threading the middle dropThreading the Middle Drop – Cut thread for this one much longer than your outer drops, because you’ll use this thread to attach to the roof or baby mobile arm depending on what you use. I cut mine at about 60″ just to make sure I had ample thread to tie off to our baby mobile arm later. Tie a small knot at the bottom and then refer to step 7 below for threading your balls. For my middle drop I used 7 big balls down the bottom, and then tied a knot, threaded 3 of my small balls, passed it through the centre, and then threaded my remaining 4 small balls. Use this thread to secure your mobile to something stable whilst you thread and secure the outer drops.
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  13. Threading the outer dropsThreading the Felt Balls – If you refer back to my picture up the top, the drops on each frame are on a continuous piece of thread. You could do it this way, or if you find it easier you could do individual drops – completely up to you. These instructions below are for a continuous piece of thread option. First of all measure and cut a piece of thread to the length you’d like. To do continuous drops, my thread length was 36.5″. Cut an additional 3 length of thread to the same size – these will be the thread for your additional drops. Tie a small knot at one end of your thread, and start threading your balls. Yes, it’s really that simple. The felt balls are light and a needle passes through them very easily. I wanted to keep a similar space between the balls, so I used my finger as a guide when threading – when the bottom ball touched my finger, I’d grab a new one and thread through. If you want something a little more precise you could use a ruler. If you do a continuous drop, you’ll thread 1 entire felt ball length, then pass that thread through the 1st hole of 1 frame, then through the 2nd hole of the same frame. You’ll then thread the second drop in the opposite order so that the colours are the same. Once you’ve threaded the entire 2nd drop, ensuring you’re happy with your spacing, then tie a small knot as close to the bottom of the last felt ball as possible. Snip the ends of the thread so you can’t see them. Repeat this process for all other frames and your outer drop will be done. You might need to play around with spacing and adjusting the thread once it’s onto the frame like I had to, because it’s a bit fiddly trying to make sure everything is level and equal as you’re thread.

And just like that, your baby mobile is all finished! In hindsight, I really wish I had of taken more photos when I was completing this, but in all honesty, I didn’t think I’d be writing any kind of instructions for it. I hope the instructions have made sense, but quite honestly, once you get started it just kinda falls into place. I didn’t use any instructions when I created mine and I find it easy enough, so hopefully once you get started you’ll find the same thing. It’s quite a simple project and in total, only took me about an hour and a half! Feel free to leave me a comment if you’d like some help clarifying instructions – I know pictures make instructions so much easier. I promise I’ll take some more if I ever make one of these again.

I ordered a baby mobile arm off eBay just after I finished this, so the mobile isn’t installed on the cot yet, but I’ll definitely be taking a photo and posting it once it’s in above Coco’s cot! It’s a great mobile, because the colours capture attention and the mobile is so light that it spins and bobs without much effort at all.

I absolutely adore it, and because I have some felt balls left over, I’ll likely make a felt ball garland or something similar to match.

Let me know what you think – I’d love your feedback! :)

 

Erin1

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Sew / No Sew DIY Cloth Wipes

Baby Coco is growing beautifully, and Mr A and I are loving the bumps, kicks and somersaults we both feel. I’ve been plodding away at a few DIY things in the background these last few weeks which has been great.

The first DIY I’ve completed is some cloth wipes for Coco, as we’ve decided we will be using cloth nappies. I figured if we were going to use cloth nappies, we may as well use reusable cloth wipes as well in order to decrease our waste, and because they’re far cheaper than disposable wipes in the long run!

You can buy cloth wipes from various online stores, but they can be quite pricey and I figured making our own would be just as easy.

I researched different material to use and settled on flannelette, as many people mentioned they were soft but grippy enough to do their job. Our local craft store had flannel for half price when I went so it was perfect timing! I didn’t realise this at the time, but turns out I am quite fond of foxes! Here’s the fabric I chose;

Fox Fabric

 

Here’s a little tutorial to get you started if you’d like to make your own. I did up a list of materials for those with sewing experience / equipment, and those without, because these can definitely be made sewn or raw. In each of these methods I recommend cutting squares to be 8″ x 8″ as this is a great size for hands, faces and bottoms and will fit into wipes containers.


No Sew DIY Cloth Wipes

Materials

  • 1m flannel (1 yard)
  • Pinking Shears
  • Long Ruler – I use one like this for my quilting
  • Rotary Cutter (optional) – I highly recommend a rotary cutter, but you could use scissors though take care to cut straight
  • Self Healing Mat (optional) – I also highly recommend a self healing mat so cut on, but you could use a different surface if required

Method

  1. Pre wash your flannel to ensure the fabric has shrunk before you start cutting the wipes up, as flannel will shrink when washed (particularly hot washed, which will likely be done considering these are baby wipes after all! :) You can check out my tutorial here if you need help with pre washing.
  2. Line up selvage of fabric and cut strips to 8″ high using ruler + rotary cutter.
  3. Stack rows of fabric and cut to 8″ wide using ruler + rotary cutter. If you’re not confident cutting stacks of fabric, you can cut the rows individually – this will just take a little more time. The end result will be 8″ x 8″ squares with straight edges.
  4. Cut squares with pinking shears around the edge of the fabric to create a finished edge, which is less likely to fray. If you feel comfortable, you can stack squares together and cut together also.

This method won’t prevent fraying, it will just minimise it so you will end up needing to replace the wipes as you use them. The benefit of this method is that it’s quick, easy, and just about anyone can do this without needing too many materials.


Sew DIY Cloth Wipes

I used this method for making our cloth wipes, and also chose to do double sided wipes as I love the pretty fox fabric I picked! You could sew your wipes and just overlock the edges if you like – it’s completely up to you.

Materials

  1. 1m flannel (1 yard)
  2. Sewing Machine
  3. Rotary Cutter
  4. Self Healing Mat
  5. Coordinating thread

Method

  1. Follow steps 1 – 3 of the No Sew DIY Cloth Instructions above ^^ BUT keep in mind once sewn, the wipes will be 7.5 x 7.5″ so cut at 8.5″ x 8.5″if you want them to be 8″ x 8″.
  2. Sew wipes with right sides of fabric together using 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a small opening on one side.
  3. Snip corners (optional).
  4. Turn wipe sides out.
  5. Iron wipes (optional). If you chose to do this, take care at the small opening to turn the small opening in 1/4″ inch, to match what you’ve already stitched.
  6. Top stitch the whole way around the wipes to close the opening. I top stitched at 1/4″ but you could do it at 1/8″ if you like the top stitch to be closer to the edge.

This method gave me 12 double sided cloth wipes from 1m of fabric. I would’ve gotten just over double this amount if I kept the wipes single sided, but 1m of flannel on sale only cost me $5 so I wasn’t too bothered.

So out of 3m of flannel I sewed 36 double sided cloth wipes in total. At first I thought this would be enough, but I have a feeling it won’t be and I’d rather make them up now whilst I have the time, so I’m heading back to our craft shop to buy some more flannel! I may even try one side with terry just to make some that are a little ‘grippier’ than just flannel on flannel.

Finished Products

I’m really happy with how they turned out and how soft they are. The felt balls you see above are for another DIY project I’m working on for Coco – stay tuned :)