Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Making Your Own Baby Mobile

So I knew that I wanted to have a baby mobile somewhere in Addy's room & we decided that over the changing table might be the best bet so that some freak accident wouldn't occur where the baby choked on something that fell off the mobile into her crib or something crazy.  You know the horror stories you will read on the internet make you terrified of pretty much anything.  Anyway.  I started looking around at baby mobiles.  Nothing in any of the stores was anything like what I wanted.  So I decided to check out Etsy.  Etsy has some of the cutest things ever.  However, upon searching Etsy for baby mobiles, I discovered that those suckers start around $60 & can go up to $250.  You are not reading that wrong.  $250.  With the exception of my mortgage and my student loans (which are essentially another mortgage), I don't really pay that much for anything.  If that thing was made of gold that I could possibly melt down & sell, I would think about it, but for me, I figured I might as well just try & make one & hope that it didn't turn out terrible.

My first step was to figure out what I wanted as the main base for the mobile.  Since we were going with pinks & greens in the nursery, I decided on floral stems.  I found some floral stems at Hobby Lobby which were like $3 a piece.  I waited until they were 50%, which about every other week they will be, & I bought two of them.  So $3 well spent.  Now is probably a good time to mention that Hobby Lobby is my happy place.  I'm sorry Michaels, I like you too, but I am obsessed with Hobby Lobby & their 50% sales that alternate like every other week.  It's genius.  Forget Disneyland.  Hobby Lobby=Happiest Place on Earth.  Anyway.  I took the floral stems, made them into a circle & tied them with pink ribbon.  I wasn't sure how exactly to hang it from the ceiling & then I remembered that the people who lived in the house before us must have strongly believed in hanging plants in bedrooms or something because there are actually ceiling hooks in the corners of the bedrooms.  True story.  As for how to keep the ribbon together, I looped it through an empty keychain ring that I had laying around.  It worked perfectly to keep the ribbon together & to place on the ceiling hook.

 After making the base, I had to figure out what I wanted hanging from the mobile.  Since we had already done the mural in the nursery with the scrapbook owl & birds, I decided to keep with that theme.  I also added in some butterflies since they made an appearance on the bedding too.  I didn't want the owls, birds & butterflies to just be made out of paper, so I did a quick lap through my craft drawers to try & figure out what I could use.  Years ago I had a booth at a Halloween kids carnival where I helped kids make foam Halloween cards.  I had tons of Halloween foam stuff left over & Addy wasn't going to be using that stuff anytime soon, so I decided to just cut up some of that.  I used the pattern that we had used for the owl on the mural & made it much smaller & drew it on the first Halloween foam pumpkin. Then I cut the owl out of the pumpkin.  I then used the foam owl to trace an owl onto lots of different scrapbook papers & onto other foam pumpkins to make lots of owl bodies covered in scrapbook paper.  Goodbye pumpkins, hello owls.

I then repeated the process with the birds & the butterflies.  I made all of the bodies first & then came back to add on the faces, wings, etc.

For the faces of the owls, I used construction paper & paint pens.  I used different scrapbook papers for the wings & circles on the owls, the tail & wings on the bird & the body & wings on the butterflies.  Here are some up close versions.  They are by no means perfect, but since they were hanging from the ceiling, I wasn't too worried about it.

 As you can see, I made two identical creatures so that they could be front & back when they spun on the mobile.  Before I glued them together, I placed the string in between the two so that they would hang correctly.  For my string, I didn't have fishing line which would have worked great, so I went to Hobby Lobby & bought clear cord which I probably use for everything.  It is in the jewelry making section.  I have used it at every single party to hang my banners or paper fans or something.  It is great.  If you have clear fishing line laying around, you could use that too.  Unfortunately, I had tired of my husband's fishing pole that he had never used sitting in the corner of our garage & had sold it at a yard sale or I would have probably used the fishing line too.  : )  I saw some beads on clearance that were pink, green & clear & had a few little flowers, so I placed those beads in between the different creatures on the mobile.  It helped to reflect line & gave the mobile a little something extra.  I alternated the length of the strings to give it some dimension. 
 The finished product
 This was the nursery before the mirror was added & before I finished the lamp
 This is that area of nursery these days, now that Addy girl doesn't need the changing pad station anymore

 I think I did this project in two phases.  One night after work for putting together the base & the shapes & another night after work for stringing everything together & putting on the finishing touches.  I bought the flowers for $3 & the string for around $6 (it literally lasted me probably another year & a half after that before I had used it all up).  I had the ribbon already & the scrapbook paper & the stars of this mobile, the foam pumpkins.  If you don't have that stuff laying around (wait, you're telling me everyone doesn't randomly have foam pumpkins at their house? haha), you can find ribbon on clearance all the time & scrapbook paper goes on sales of 30% to 50% a lot.  If you don't have foam, you could use cardboard from a cereal box, from a real box, pretty much from anything you have laying around your house and cut out the shapes the same way.  I did this mobile for under $10, but if I had bought the scrapbook paper & ribbon just for this project, I could still have done it for under $20.  So although the Etsy mobiles were so cute & I admire the crap out of those people who can make those & make them so beautifully, while selling them for tons of money, this is my baby mobile.  It's DIY, but I like it.  It looks super cute when it spins too & Addy never knew the difference as she smiled at it from her changing pad (or was too busy kicking & crying about getting changed that she didn't even notice there was a mobile).  Anyway, there you go.  DIY baby mobile.  Happy crafting!  Next up we will talk about how to update your nursery glider.

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