Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Baby's Pinwheel Mobile (with Tutorial)

Mobiles can be beautiful and fun to look at--they can also be really expensive. When looking for baby stuff it seemed like all the crib mobiles I liked were more than we wanted to spend on something we'd only use for awhile (although I guess if I did buy a $200 mobile, I'd keep it up forever or something) (like this, or this).

So, rather than spend lots of money I decided to make my own mobile--all for under $5! First, I will say that though I really liked some other mobiles, it seems like so many of them are designed to be looked at from the side and not from below--and let's face it, the baby will be looking up at it so I wanted it to be engaging from the bottom and not have him just staring up at the underside of plush cars or elephant butts as is typical of a lot of mobiles.

Thinking that infants see high contrast colors and patterns better I knew I wanted to make a mobile that was black and white with a pretty accent color. I also knew I wanted it to be light weight so it would hang easily and if somehow it fell down it would be somewhat safe. Paper pinwheels seemed to be my best bet!

I wish I would have taken more step-by-step photos while I was making it, but I didn't. Boo! (Plus, the entire thing was a bit of an experiment so I wasn't sure what  would actually work and I did try various things to figure out what  worked). But, if you are interested, I will put a brief recap/tutorial below the photos in case you want to try making your own. (My apologies that the "how to" may not make much sense).

Anyway, here is the cute mobile I made (before we found out the baby's gender, I should add). I'm actually pretty proud of it because I think it turned out really well. We hung it in the nursery last weekend.

Now, if you're still reading, here's the (kinda sketchy) tutorial part:

First, I bought a large embroidery hoop (maybe 12"), some white yarn, and scrapbook paper that fit my patter/color specifications. I cut the 12"x12" scrapbook paper into quarters (so I had 4 smaller equal squares to make the pinwheels out of). Then, I made the pinwheels using a technique like this. Instead of pining them, I poked holes through the center with a large yarn needle and strung them onto the yarn (not sure how long a piece of yarn I used, I just eyeballed it, but I did read somewhere that infant mobiles shouldn't have strings longer than 7"). I painted some brads black and used those in the center of the pinwheels--then tied the yarn tightly to the other end of the brads (and slathered this knot it strong, non-toxic glue). There, pinwheels are done. Then, I painted the embroidery hoop and a large wooden bead to coordinate with the paper.

I drilled evenly spaced holes in the embroidery hoop and used small  hand-punched paper circles glued to the front and back of the holes to make them look pretty. I strung each pinwheel on yarn through a hole and knotted it so it would stay in place. Once all the pinwheels were on the embroidery hoop, I tied all the ends of yarn together and knotted them though a large wooden bead. And, Yay! All done.

And, for under $5! Woo! No pricey mobiles here! Plus, the fact that I made it makes it even more special, right!? :)