Baby Mobile

I got a wild hair to make a baby mobile for my friend's soon-to-be-born son. I had all these leftover scraps of fabric with animals and such on them, and for some reason I thought "mobile!".

Before I unveil it, and how I made it, it bears saying that I am not a spatial thinker. Nor do I have a mobile on hand to reverse-engineer. I simple made it up, from memory and my crazy Virgo common sense.

What I used:

  1. First, I cut out my fabric animal pieces. This is what I had: two octopi, a whale, some monkeys with bananas, a bunch of grapes, and a cupcake. Diverse, yet delicious! ;)
  2. (I am insane. These are fleece, wool, and two different weights of cotton)
  3. And then I cut out the same size of lightweight cardboard as 'interfacing'.
  4. (Octopus, sans garden)
  5. I glued the fabric to the cardboard. I would recommend using fabric glue do you don't have huge dark spots showing through the fabric. But I'm poor, and used what we had on hand.
  6. (glue spiral on the cardboard...thanks, USPS!)
  7. I measured the dowel into three equal-length segments. I wanted to have the top piece be a solo dowel, and the bottom piece be two dowels glued together as an X.
  8. (measuring the wood)
  9. I used a hot glue gun, though if I'd notched the wood to fit together more snuggly it would have worked much better. It's sort of bulky now (which I tried to cover with ribbon). I also used hot glue to make a 'cap' on the ends of each dowel, as I don't have a tool to smooth the wood and get rid of splinters.
  10. (cutting the dowel into three pieces...gee, I wish I had a Dremmel!)
  11. I mounted the plain fabric to the back of each animal mobile piece, so no matter where they turn the baby has something interesting to look at. In a stroke of awesome, I made a bunch of monkeys have their own vignette against a backdrop. 
  12. (monkeys against a background of brown felt)
  13. I used ribbon to attach the top solo dowel (wrapped in a gauzy ribbon) to the bottom glued dowel X.
  14. (the brown ribbon is from their wedding. I KNEW it'd come in handy someday!)
  15. I cut holes in the two lightweight pieces, and threaded a ribbon through them, tying once at the mobile piece, and once at the dowel. These are more 'window dressing' than mobile pieces.
  16. (top piece, with 'end cap' fabric pieces)
  17. And then I hot glued the ribbon to the other pieces, sandwiched between the backing fabric and the cardboard, and to the dowel (wrapped once and glued, for stability). It's fairly ghetto, and not as cool as I imagined, but it was a quick and fun little craft. 
  18. (tada! Mobile...and thermostat)

If I did it over again, I would make each mobile animal a small stuffed animal/pillow, rather than a flat piece. I think the three dimensionality with be more appealing, and they could be a touchable stimulus that way, instead of a potentially highly-breakable one.

I'd also probably use wire hangers instead of dowels...or at least thinner dowels.

And weight things for evenness before making. My mobile is a bit lopsided.

And use the same type of fabric for each piece (see above).

But I'm hoping they're still happy with it, perhaps as the 'travel mobile', or the one you put over the baby's changing table to distract him.