Today we have such a fun project for you mums to be, or for anyone wanting to give a handmade gift to a new baby in the family/friend group! This sweet and colourful weather-themed baby mobile was created by Laura Howard. Take it away, Laura!
Today I’m sharing a how-to for making a cute and colourful felt baby mobile inspired by the weather. Learn to sew fluffy clouds and rainclouds, a smiling sun and a bright rainbow then combine them all to make a mobile!
This mobile would make a sweet addition to any nursery or a special gift for new parents. You could also use the tutorials to make individual ornaments or fun brooches – just add a ribbon loop or a brooch clasp. As with all mobiles, this is a decoration not a toy so make sure you hang the finished project well out of reach of little fingers.
You will need:
The PDF template sheets: cloud templates, rainbow templates, sun templates
Felt in white, grey and 6 rainbow colours. I used the following shades of wool blend felt: White, Silver Grey, Red, Hallows Eve, Banana Cream, Pea Soup, Turquoise and Wisteria.
Matching sewing threads
Black sewing thread
Black and Turquoise embroidery thread
White embroidery thread (or clear plastic “invisible” thread)
Black seed beads
An embroidery hoop (about 8 inches)
Sewing needles and pins
Large, sharp sewing needle
Embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out small shapes!)
Air-erasable fabric marker
To make a white or grey cloud:
- Use the templates provided to cut out two matching cloud shapes from white or grey felt. I’ve included templates for two different cloud shapes (Cloud A and Cloud B), so you can make a mix of clouds in the different shapes and colours.
- Place the cloud pieces together and whip stitch around the edge with matching sewing thread. Stuff the cloud gradually as you sew around the edge, adding small pieces of toy stuffing to firmly fill the cloud shape.
To make a raincloud:
- Use the templates provided to cut out three cloud shapes from white or grey felt: two matching clouds (Cloud A or Cloud B) and one matching inside piece (Cloud A Inside or Cloud B Inside). Also cut out three small and six large raindrops from turquoise blue felt.
- Cut a piece of turquoise embroidery thread to match the raindrops. Knot it at one end and sew a vertical stitch through one of the small raindrops. Remove the needle and set the raindrop aside. Repeat this step for the other two small raindrops.
- Layer the raindrop pieces so each small raindrop is sandwiched between (and hidden by) two large raindrops. Sew around the large raindrops with whip stitch and matching sewing thread, starting and finishing your stitching at the top of each raindrop. You should now have three felt raindrops, each suspended from a length of embroidery thread.
- Use the embroidery threads to attach the raindrops to the inside cloud piece.
Sew a single vertical stitch upwards through the felt, adjust the thread until you’re happy with the position of the raindrop (remember that the finished cloud will be slightly larger – make sure you leave enough thread so the raindrops will dangle freely!). Then secure the thread and trim any excess. Repeat to secure the other two raindrops to the felt.
- Layer the cloud pieces, so the inside piece is sandwiched between (and hidden by) the two larger pieces. Whip stitch around the edge with matching sewing thread. Stuff the cloud gradually as you sew around the edge, adding small pieces of toy stuffing to firmly fill the cloud shape.
Being by stitching along the bottom of the cloud, making sure the raindrops are hanging neatly as you sew past them.
If you’re making a grey raincloud you can stuff the cloud on one side only (i.e. with the smaller inside piece pressed against one of the outer pieces). If you’re making a white raincloud the blue embroidery thread inside the cloud may show through the felt and be visible on the outside. To avoid this, add stuffing evenly to either side of the inner cloud shape so all the blue thread is hidden by a layer of stuffing.
To make the sun:
- Use the templates provided to cut out two yellow sun pieces and one orange sun rays piece.
Tip: when cutting out the rays, I found it easiest to roughly cut around the shape then to cut down one side of each “ray” first, and then to cut up along the other sides to reveal the final shape.
- Draw a smiley face on one of the yellow sun pieces using an air-erasable fabric marker: a smile and two dots for the eyes. Cut a length of black embroidery thread and separate half the strands (so use three of the six strands). Use the black thread to backstitch along the smile, sewing small stitches for a smooth curve. Finish your stitching neatly at the back then trim any excess thread.
- Add two black seed beads for the eyes. Use black sewing thread, sewing each bead flat like an O with three or four stitches. To avoid the black thread being visible through the yellow felt, don’t carry your thread between the eyes – instead start a fresh piece of thread for the second bead.
- Line up all three sun pieces carefully so the rays are sandwiched between the two yellow circles. Use yellow sewing thread and whip stitch to sew the layers together. Turn the felt back and forth as you sew, so you can check that your stitching is in the right place on both sides. Sew most of the way around the circle, leaving a gap for stuffing.
- Stuff the sun with small pieces of toy stuffing, gradually adding stuffing to both sides between the layers until the sun is evenly stuffed. Then sew up the gap, pinching the felt firmly between your fingers to make sure the layers are in the right position and sewn together neatly.
To make a rainbow:
- In this step you’ll be using seven paper templates to cut out six pieces in rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. This is a slightly different way of cutting out felt pieces than usual, so read the whole of this step before you begin cutting!
Use the largest template (A) to cut out the first colour (red). Position the next template (B) on the red shape you’ve just cut out, lining the template up in the centre of the base line and pinning it in place. Then carefully cut round the curve of the paper template, cutting away the strip of felt above it in one single piece. This curved strip of felt will be the red line of the rainbow.
Repeat this process to cut out all the colours, working through the templates in decreasing size to cut out all six rainbow pieces. When you get to the smallest templates, you may find it easier to hold them in place instead of pinning them.
- Position the smallest (purple) rainbow shape on a piece of white felt. Make sure the bottom (straight) edges of the curved shape are level with each other and that you’ve left plenty of space to add the rest of the rainbow pieces.
With matching sewing thread and small running stitches, sew a line down the centre of the curved shape. Hold it in place with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand as you sew.
Tip: Don’t sew too close to the bottom edges as you may need to trim them slightly later.
- Add the next line of the rainbow, sewing it with a line of running stitch in matching thread as before. Repeat this step to add all the rainbow colours one by one.
- Cut out the rainbow from the backing felt. Carefully trim the bottom of the rainbow (if required) to create a straight edge.
- Use the rainbow shape as a template to cut out a matching backing piece from white felt.
- Join the front and back of the rainbow together, sewing the edges with whip stitch in white sewing thread.
To construct the mobile:
- Follow the steps above to sew all the felt designs. To make the mobile pictured you’ll need four white clouds, two grey clouds, one grey raincloud, one sun and one rainbow. The larger you want your mobile to be, the more pieces you’ll need!
Plan the arrangement of your mobile, laying out the pieces in columns to get a mix of designs across the mobile – each column will be one strand of the mobile.
- Cut three long pieces of white embroidery thread – one for each strand of the mobile. If you’re making a larger or smaller mobile, cut more or less thread as needed.
Thread a large sharp needle with one of the pieces and tie a large knot at one end. Pass the needle upwards through the first shape you want to add (the one which will hang at the bottom of a strand), carefully squashing the shape down so you can gently poke then pull the needle through the entire shape. Repeat to add all the pieces to the 3 strands of thread.
Tip: This step can be tricky so take care! Alternatively, you can use “invisible” clear plastic thread and running stitch to sew up the back of each piece – because the thread doesn’t show up, you can sew in and out of the felt without worrying about your stitches being visible when the mobile is displayed.
- Tie the three strands of embroidery thread loosely to the inner ring of an embroidery hoop (approximately 8 inches wide), so they’re evenly spaced around the hoop. Adjust the positions of the felt mobile pieces until you’re happy with them then knot the threads securely to the hoop.
Now bring all three threads into the centre of the hoop and knot them together, making sure that the hoop hangs level. You can trim any excess thread once the mobile has been hung in position.
IMPORTANT: please note that this mobile is not a toy should always be hung securely, well out of the reach of babies and young children.