DIY Project: Cloud Mobile, Part III
Hot Air Balloon
As I was searching for inspiration to make the cloud mobile – I came across this hot air balloon tutorial on How Joyful. Joy offers a step-by-step tutorial and beautifully detailed images for how to make your own. No sense in reinventing the wheel, especially one that is so well made, so visit her site for proper directions. As she did, I sewed mine by hand and in the end I didn’t mind seeing the black thread but you can choose to hide the stitches or use matching thread.
I decided just to do one hot air balloon (Joy does several and only a few clouds) because I had already made so many clouds. The basket I made from candy wrappers – you can find my tutorial for how to fold and connect the pieces here. To make it a basket shape just make two small circles, sew them together and then sew the bottom together – fitting the pieces together like a set of teeth.
Wrapping the Structure
I had some extra wooden embroidery hoops lying around so I decided to use those as my hanging structure. You can use sticks, dowels from a craft or hardware store, silver rings, or I’ve even seen folks use hangers. I didn’t have any of those other materials so I used the embroidery hoops. I could have left them unfinished but the wood was a little rough so I decided to wrap them in ribbon. I chose yellow to mimic the color of the sun and finished them with a spot of hot glue.
Finding the Balance
This is the tricky part. Some crafters use fishing line to connect the different pieces of the mobile but I was having a hard time making the whole thing balance out. I decided to use thin white ribbon instead and it made things a lot easier. Maybe the objects won’t look like they are floating as much but I figure baby won’t complain!
To strike the right balance between all of the objects I had to hang, I first put everything together tentatively using electrical tape. The tape won’t leave any marks on the felt or ribbon and can be removed easily as you adjust the balance of items.
I used one large embroidery hoop as the main structural component and then added two smaller ones more or less evenly distributed across the hoop. Those two hoops hold the rest of the items directly. I balanced the items on one small hoop at a time. Paul held the mobile up as I adjusted – accounting for the space between objects, weight of the objects, and the length of ribbon. These are the variables you have to make it balance. Once I found a good balance I used the tape to secure it in place.
Once I knew how long and where the securing ribbons should be, I took off the tape and then sewed them to the hoops by hand. You can also see that I used a button to hide the stitches I made to secure the white ribbon to the cloud.
Putting it all Together
Here is what the finished product looks like all put together. I used thicker ribbon on the very top, which will be how I tie the whole thing to the ceiling once we have a home with a nursery.