Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baby Mobile: A Guest Post

Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth from E Tells Tales. I am so excited to have her guest posting with us today!

Hi there everybody, I'm Elizabeth! I'm visiting today from my blog E Tells Tales
This is me and my son, Everett...and our Christmas tree, but of course: 

We are so pleased to be here! Especially since we're going to be talking
about one of Everett's favorite things, his nursery mobile.

Today I'm going to be showing you how to make your own paper circle mobile, 
just like the one that I made for Everett's nursery:

When I made his, I was large and in charge pregnant to the max. I parked
myself on a stool and cut circles, tied knots, and ate food all day long. The one 
I made for this tutorial went super quickly, but I did still have to park myself 
on a stool...aaaand there might have been food involved again. 

Anyway, here's what you'll need: 

+ 6 sheets of cardstock
{I used two sheets each of three different greens to get a monochromatic look}
+ fishing line
+ one button
{I used a clear, two-hole button}
+  scissors
+  sewing needle
+  glue gun
+  a length of string
+  two wooden dowels
{I used 3/16 inch}

1. Start by cutting out your circles. I used a mason jar lid and a hairspray cap to draw mine.
If you want all the same color, just cut out 54 small circles and 41 big circles, 
or if you want cascading shades like mine, use this guide to tell you how many to cut out:

2. Cross your wooden dowels, and use your length of string to secure them in the middle.

3. Now cut four 24" lengths of fishing line. 
You will tie one end of each length to the end of a dowel.
Then dot the knot you make with some hot glue.

4. Once you have all four pieces of fishing line knotted to your dowels, 
gather the free ends of your lines and string them through one hole
in your button. Tie a knot in the four lines on the other side of the button. 
You'll use this button to hang your mobile eventually.

5. Now organize your circles.  There is only one center chain, and it is the longest. 
Then you'll have three chains per arm. This picture shows a flat view of
what will hang from one dowel.

The chains that will hang from the other dowel will follow the 
same pattern, except there will be no center chain 
(the two dowels meet in the middle and share the same center chain).

6. Cut a 30-inch piece of fishing line.  
Thread it through a sewing needle and tie a big knot at the end. 
String on the bottom circle.

 7. Tie another loose knot about 1-2 inches from the bottom circle. 
I used my fingers as a spacer and knotted the line on my index finger. 
If you want a more compact mobile, leave less space in between each circle. 
If you want a longer mobile, use more space.

 8. Once you get one chain all strung together, tie it on the dowels according to this guide:

The longest, center chain will go where the center black dot is. 
The four shortest chains will go where the outer black dots are. 
And then you'll work your way up to the longer ones moving inward.

Once I tied a chain onto the mobile, 
I put a dab of hot glue over the knot to secure it.

Here's my finished project for the day:

It's much longer than the one I made for Everett's nursery because
I put four fingers of space in between each knot as opposed to two. 

Thanks everyone...I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

and thanks again to you, Elizabeth!

Happy Thursday everyone!


Page December 8, 2011 at 7:58 AM  

Oh my goodness, thanks for doing this! I've had my circles cut out for a mobile inspired by yours since my daughter was born...3 months ago! I would have never figured this out on my own, so thanks for sharing. :)

E December 8, 2011 at 8:02 AM  

Page...yay! It is quite complicated to figure out, especially when you're pregnant and frustrated. Glad this helped!

Kate December 8, 2011 at 8:05 AM  

I think I could manage this...

E December 8, 2011 at 8:18 AM  

Kate...Waylon would help!

Kimberly December 8, 2011 at 8:36 AM  

One night in bed I made instructions in my head, I was just waiting for Christmas crafting to be over before I started this. Thanks for doing it again so that you could give me ACTUAL instructions! Olivia is 9 months now, is that too late for a new mobile? :)

E December 8, 2011 at 8:40 AM  

Kimberly...of course not! Now Everett has two!

Anna December 8, 2011 at 10:02 AM  

Youve got me thinking- wondering if this idea can be used for a paper chandelier? Maybe using a large pray painted embroidery hoop and hang the lamp socket from a paper chinese lantern? My son and his fiance are trying to make his apt a "home" without money. (maybe some Martha Stewart glitter?)Im going to pin it for after the first of the year! thank you for sharing.

E December 8, 2011 at 11:09 AM that idea!

Rebeka December 8, 2011 at 12:16 PM  

Ooh I love this! SO cool! I wish I had patience/skill to make pretty things like this! GO E!

Anonymous December 8, 2011 at 1:32 PM  

So adorable! Adding to my list of projects for 2012!

Alli December 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM  

This is so pretty! Thanks for writing up your tutorial! :)

mckenzie December 8, 2011 at 5:37 PM  

I don't mean to be obnoxious since I know artistic ideas tend to be repeated (collective unconscious and all...) but there's a small business called Frazier & Wing that specializes in paper mobiles that are made exactly like this one. I know artistic integrity is important to you, so I'm not trying to accuse you of anything. Either way, DIY is awesome (especially since I'm too poor to buy a mobile). I'm thinking of covering up my outdated ceiling fan lights like this! :)

Here's the link so you can check it out:

E December 8, 2011 at 6:07 PM  

Mckenzie...absolutely! Which is why I contacted an Etsy seller hoping to get her nod to make this tutorial for mommies (since I assumed she was the "creator" of the circle mobile...she was the first I'd seen). She copy and pasted an Etsy search to me...

( )

...while pointing out that it wasn't really her place to give permission for an idea that wasn't hers but everywhere.

I love that they are all different in little ways and that each shop has made them their own. Even the one I made my son is unique from all those Etsy pieces and the ones you linked to. But as a creator, of course, I'm rather interested to know which shop specializing in the circle mobiles came up with them first. The Frazier & Wing ones are lovely.

mckenzie December 8, 2011 at 8:35 PM  

See? Goes to show you how behind I am when it comes to crafty trends, haha! I had no idea this idea was so popular! I saw it on Hank & Lucy (and of course your blog from way back when) but it's all over Etsy.

It would be cool to make with patterned paper. I scanned in a bunch of vintage fabric last year and it prints out wonderfully on card stock.

By the way, this is extremely off-topic, but your breadsticks recipe link is THE best. I've made them about a dozen times, and recently figured out that I can twist them into knots instead. If you haven't tried them that way, you totally have to. It's not an option. I just ate six of them in under 15 minutes and I'm in carbohydrate heaven.

Emie December 8, 2011 at 9:10 PM  

Hi :) Loveee this! Would you mind letting me know how you hung your from the ceiling? Thanks so much.

E December 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM  

mckenzie...that's a neat idea to print out vintage fabric...and those breadsticks are so guilty good, I know. I'll try knots next time!

Emie...I'm not sure of the official name, but I used a hook with a screw on the end, screwed into the ceiling. Then I made a loop of fishing line to hang on it, looped through the open hole on the button.

Patti @ Pandoras Box December 9, 2011 at 6:45 AM  

Very cute...does your baby sleep in th crib with the garland/banner hanging outside of it - please be aware of the dangers of strangulation with any type of rope/string, etc by a crib. I don't mean to be negative, nor critical, but I just found it disturbing and I am sure you never gave any thought to the potential hazards.

E December 9, 2011 at 8:04 AM  

Patti, thanks, but I actually did give it some thought. The banner has been on his bookshelf since he started sleeping in his crib.

Harriet January 5, 2012 at 11:47 PM  

Love this! Thanks for posting it... you make it seem easy. :)

kim poler, beehive art studio July 11, 2012 at 6:09 AM  

i have made many circle garlands and this tops it for reals!
thank you for sharing.. I am so excited to make one of these beauties!!

kim beehive

JessCar September 26, 2012 at 9:16 PM  

Just wondering what type of fishing line you used?

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