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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& A Simple DIY

I did a quick K-Mart hack of a side table over the weekend, as I wanted an affordable side table to add to our home decor.

I was really inspired by the, ‘KMart Hacks’ Facebook page, so headed to KMart and bought the 2 tone drawer for $35;

Original K Mart 2 Tone Drawer

Original K Mart 2 Tone Drawer – This is what it looked like before I ‘hacked’ it

I loved everything else about this side table, so wanted to keep it simple. I decided to add 3 gold geometric lines to break it up a little bit.

Painting tape to create geometric lines

Painting tape to create geometric lines

This was a flat pack, so I put it all together, and taped it with painter’s tape to create my lines. I made sure I pressed the side of the tape really hard to ensure the paint wouldn’t seep through.

Before I added the gold, I put 1 coat of sealer over where I was going to paint, as the top of the table had a plastic finish, so the paint would’ve peeled off.

Second coat of paint over painters tape

Second coat of paint over painters tape

Once the sealer had dried, I put 2 coats of standard gold craft paint over the top, and once that had dried, peeled the tape off.

This was such a simple DIY hack that it only took about 20 minutes of actual work, and the rest was just drying time in between coats!

Finished DIY Side Table!

Finished DIY Side Table!

 

Finito – Quilt Fabric Scraps Organised!

After recently pre-washing all my quilt fabric, I was inspired to organise the bag of scraps that have been sitting under my sewing desk.

Whenever I was sewing a project, I would pop all the off cuts into this bag for, ‘sometime later.’

Quilt Scrap Bag

Quilt Scrap Bag

I realised that this, ‘sometime later,’ was never going to happen, because this bag of scraps was so intimidating and overloaded, that I got tired just looking at it. No project was ever going to come from this bag of scraps, because any inspiration I felt for a scrap project was lost as soon as I started to look at that bag.

I definitely had to do something about this, because there’s really a lot of money tied in this bag of scraps. I’d also seen a lot of fabric scrap projects that I wanted to try, but once again, any inspiration was lost when I looked at this bag.

I wanted to share my steps for organising my quilt fabric scraps, just in case you need some inspiration so organise your own.

So first things first; there is no right way to organise your scraps. 

I had a look at how other people organised their fabric scraps when I was first researching. I’m not going to lie, it was really overwhelming seeing how everyone else does it. I realised there is no hard and fast rule on how to organise, and I realised I just needed to do whatever worked best for me.

So with this in mind, my pointers are just that .. pointers only, and not something you should use as the bible. No doubt you’ll have your own organisation style, your own sizing methods etc.

I decided that I wanted to store my scraps by cut size. I knew that if I was to sort by colour / shade, I’d still be put off by having to cut so much fabric straight off. So my organisation style revolves around cutting scrap fabric into different sizes

I originally decided to cut strips and squares to organise my fabric; 3.5″ strips, 2.5″ strips, 5.5″ squares, 3.5″ squares, and 2.5″ squares. Once I started cutting though, I added a few sizes because it just happened to work out that way – 2″ squares and 1″ squares.

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I worked through cutting my whole bag over a few days. It was a lot harder than I originally anticipated .. SO much cutting. So from now on, whenever I have a scrap I plan on cutting and organising it straight away. There will be no more bag of scraps, because it because bigger than Ben Hurr!

Once I made my way through the whole bag, I had to decide how to keep them all organised. I saw some people use clear boxes, I saw some people use boxes without lids and so on. In all honesty, the style of my boxes came down to price. I was able to grab some cool coloured cardboard boxes for $2 each – what a bargain!

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Quilt Fabric Storage Boxes

 

My largest boxes contains my strips – 3.5″ and 2.5″. The second holds my 5.5″ squares. The third holds 3.5″ squares and fussy cut squares. The fourth holds 2.5″ squares, 2″ squares, and 1″ squares.

These boxes are easily accessible in my space, so I won’t be tempted to pop scrap pieces into a big bag and start this process all over again.

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It turns out 3.5″ squares are the biggest type in my scrap stash – I have a whole array of fabric to use – I can’t wait to get started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

imageIf you’re about to embark on organising your own scraps, you can take a look at my previous post for some pointers. You’ll likely have your own way of organising things, and I think the only things that matters is that it helps you to use those bit of fabric that we all want to use up.

I’ll be sure to post once I make something from my scrap stash. Wishing you luck if you’re undertaking quilt fabric scrap organisation, because although it does take time and effort, it is SO worth it.

 Best of luck! x

 

 

DIY Felt Flower #2

A few months ago I posted a tutorial for a DIY felt flower canvas tutorial.

My latest commission was for one of these, and my client wanted a purple / black & white theme.

DIY Felt Flower Canvas

I absolutely adore the black and white paisley inspired fabric used as the background fabric.

I used a mixture of the original tutorial, and my own tutorial as the basis of making this.

It’s such a fun, relatively easy project requiring only a few supplies, and most importantly, cost effective way of adding some personality to your walls.

Even better, if you use temporary sticky hooks, you can spruce up a space and then easily take it down .. Bonus for anyone renting a house, or at university of college.

I’d love to see yours if you end up making one!

xx

DIY TV Cabinet Makeover

Check out these amazing ideas for turning a TV cabinet into wonderful things .. 

If your town is like ours, people are always selling TV cabinets on the cheap. I especially love the changing table make over – what a great idea! You can close the doors and hide the mess. I would pop a mobile up the top of the cabinet to keep baby entertained whilst nappy changing ..

Having completed a makeover of a TV cabinet turned bar / coffee station .. I am all about furniture makeovers!