DIY Baby Mobile

2 Jun

…and seven months later, I’m baaaack! Wow – I just looked at the date of my last post which was October 22 – could it be? That was one day before this happened:

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And here we are a half a year later:

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Wow. Okay, moving along. Let’s talk mobiles! Back when I was still pregnant and LOVING putting together the nursery, I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a mobile for Eloise. Well, I didn’t know she was Eloise at the time – she was still just baby Rixen – gender unknown. Of course, not finding out the gender until birth meant keeping the nursery gender-neutral.

I didn’t have a theme per se, but after awhile a sort of “tree” feel emerged. I did some searching on Pinterest and decided to do a leaf mobile. Here’s how I did mine.

Materials:

  • Three wooden embroidery hoops in different sizes
  • Fabric in several different patterns/colors
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Embroidery thread
  • Hot glue gun
  • Jute! (If you don’t know about my love for jute, click here)

My plan was to make make strings of falling leaves which might flutter easily. It looked great in my head, of course. Little did I know how much busy work it would be!

Here’s my fabric I chose (minus to reddish one second from the right):

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First, I pulled out the inside ring of the embroidery hoop. The inside ring is solid and complete – no hook to tighten.

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Next, I wrapped it in jute with the help of my sister, my mom and my niece one evening, securing the ends with a dab of hot glue. I toyed with painting the hoops, but I thought jute would give it a nice woodsy look. My name is Sarah, and I’m a jute addict.

Next – and this was easily the hardest part – I tied the hoops to each other with embroidery thread. Blegh – it was so hard to get them balanced perfectly. I ended up hanging them from our light fixture so I could adjust the different strings. I tied them in a single knot so they would slide (embroidery thread is pretty smooth) and adjust easily. When everything was balanced, I secured them with a spot of hot glue.

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Next I cut out leaves. Lots and lots…and lots of leaves. I think I cut out at least 150. I learned quickly to fold the fabric like an accordion, then draw on the template and cut it out. Bam – like 10 leaves cut out at once.

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I then started putting together my strings of leaves. It was sort of a leaf sandwich – leaf, interfacing, embroidery thread, leaf. Iron, repeat many times. I did half the strings with 5 leaves, half with 6 leaves.

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The biggest problem with this is that the interfacing that poked out the sides kept gumming up my iron, so several times I had to turn it off, clean the glue off and start again.

Once I had all my strings of leaves complete, I started tying them to my hoops. To make sure it balanced out, if I added one to one side, I added the same to the opposite side, and so on. I just tied them once and secured the knot with a spot of hot glue.

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Drumroll, please…the final product!

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I am very, very pleased with how it turned out. I ended up putting this over the changing table instead of the crib because I had these visions of a leaf fluttering down and Eloise choking on it. Oh, the places my over-active mind goes. But she actually does like to look at it when getting those diapers changed, and when we hold her up to it, she practices her fine motor skills and tries to grab the leaves.

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The whole thing was a challenge, both in getting it to balance right, and the amount of steps to cut everything out. I fully realize that now that I have a kid, this kind of project is a bit too intense to ever do again. So, let’s just say whenever second baby rolls around, he or she will be getting something either 1. more simple to make, or 2. store-bought. :)

Recover a Storage Ottoman – It’s Easy!

22 Oct

Disclaimer: This project requires a sewing machine. So, if you don’t have one or can’t sew, I can’t help this time. All you need besides your sewing machine is a staple gun.

It’s no secret – I love me some hidden storage. I’m realizing that maybe I even love it TOO much – I have clever storage areas that are…ahem…still empty. Maybe that’s because I’m an anti-hoarder. But hey – these little nooks and crannies are nice to have, just in case.

Anyway, I really wanted something to put my feet on when rocking the wee one in the nursery. We have an extra ottoman that I thought about covering, but it’s pretty much just a cube – no storage. I really wanted something with storage to put little baby toys and such in it.

I ran across this gem in Target for – wait for it – six bucks! 75% off! Sold…I took it home. However, the fabric was aaaall wrong based on the nursery colors.

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I found some yellow and white chevron fabric at Hancock Fabrics that worked. I wanted to bring in a pattern but not too much extra color. I completed the barrel part of it first.

I basically laid my fabric out, right side up, and cut enough to have about 4″ or so extra on the top and the bottom. This is what you’ll fold under and staple, so it’s nice to have a little extra to work with. If I did it again, I’d leave more like 5″ because it was a little tight to fold over and staple. Since my fabric has a pattern, I was careful to keep it as straight as possible.

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Next, I pinned my vertical seam, and I pinned it tight. Really tight – I didn’t want any slack on this fabric.

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Next, just sew your vertical seam. I turned it back so the right side was out, and shimmied it on to the barrel. If you do it right, it should take some effort to work it back on!

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Next, just fold under your rough edge and start stapling.

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Here’s what the bottom looks like. Not the prettiest, but it’s functional and no one can see it. Except whoever is reading this, I guess.

Do the same for the top:

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Barrel is done! The cover is next. Still pretty easy, just a bit more sewing and measuring. First, I laid the cover out on the fabric. I did a rough pencil sketch about a half inch wider than the circle; that’s for the seam allowance. Cut out your circle.DSC_0726

Next, I cut out a strip of fabric for the outside. It’s the same length as the barrel; it’s just maybe 3″ or so high. Be sure to leave a few extra inches to fold under and staple.

And that’s where I forgot to take a picture. Moving along…

First I sewed the outside strip, pretty much the same way I sewed the barrel fabric. Make sure it’s nice and tight around the edge of the cover. Then I worked it on to the outside of the cover (wrong fabric side out).

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Next, take your circle and lay it on top (wrong side out). Pin it around the circle so you have about a 5/8 inch seam allowance. Never mind the wet spot on the fabric. That’s just where I washed the fabric after bleeding on it when I stabbed myself with a pin.

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Sew those two pieces together, turn it right side out and shimmy this piece onto the cover.

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Last but not least, turn under your fabric and staple along the underside of the cover.

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Done! This took me a surprisingly short amount of time to complete – maybe between an hour and an hour and a half. So, if you have a sewing machine, it is super-easy to create a new ottoman cover!

Before:

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After!

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