while we have yet to purchase (or research) practical things like strollers and cribs, i am way ahead of the game on the completely unnecessary things. witness: this mobile that i made. i have had a pretty good idea of what i want the nursery to look like for a few months, and i debated between two handmade mobile designs. option 1 was a found tree branch, suspended from the ceiling, with looped and dangling dollar store/garage sale lockets holding photos of friends and family. a bit of a family tree for the baby, if you will. option 2 was a mix of colourful and found feathers suspended from a wooden embroidery hoop using fishing line. obviously, i chose the feather option (though i still love the family tree idea — someone please use it and take a photo!) for a few reasons:
- while there’s no theme for the nursery, the feathers are echoed in the pulls i chose for the dresser. the rug also has a bit of a navajo vibe to it, so i just felt it was a good fit.
- i had a large wooden embroidery hoop, fishing line, and a smattering of feathers already, so this was a low-budget option.
- by buying some blue and white feathers, i could incorporate the nursery colours in the mobile. (i already had pink and red feathers.)
- the mobile weighs nearly nothing, so i felt it was less of a safety risk. having experience hanging large antlers, i know a branch could come crashing down if not hung properly.
the mobile took about three hours to make and about forty-five minutes to troubleshoot the best way to suspend it from the ceiling.
- 2 large embroidery hoops
- clear fishing line (i used 6 lb)
- sewing needle
- hand saw
- wood glue
- hook and eye
- separate one of the embroidery hoops so that you have an inner and outer hoop and lay the inner hoop on a flat surface. discard your outer hoop for now. i used my craft table, which was perfect because it is narrow enough that you could hang the hoop over the edge.
- thread some fishing line through the eye of your sewing needle. i didn’t measure any of my cuts since i didn’t want the feathers to hang at a certain length.
- stick your needle through the quill of the feather and knot the end several times. pull the line taught so the knot juts up against the quill.
- wrap the opposite end of your fishing line around the inner hoop. when you like the length, knot the end around the line, securing the feather in place.
- repeat steps 2–4 and work all the way around your inner hoop, tying feathers on every inch or so.
- when you’re happy with the number and placement of feathers, set the hoop aside and grab your second embroidery hoop. separate the inner and outer hoops and discard the outer hoop.
- using your hand saw, make a cut through the second inner hoop so that you can adjust its size.
- dab wood glue on the outer edge of the first inner hoop (in between the feathers). fit the second inner hoop over top of the first inner hoop. this hides all of your wrapped fishing wire and makes the feathers more secure to boot.
- unscrew the clamp on one of the discarded outer hoops. fit one of the outer hoops over the outer-inner hoop of the mobile. tighten the clamp until the two inner hoops are nice and tight together. leave the mobile to dry overnight. (put in a safe place if you have a cat!)
- in the morning, remove the outer hoop and discard it. cut four equal lengths of fishing wire (i did double arm-length) and knot the ends together of each.
- loop the lengths around the outer hoop at four points, making a cross shape. gather the ends of all four lengths together and loop them around an s-hook. depending on your knotting equalities, you may need to wrap one or two lengths around the s-hook a few times until the hoop sits totally level.
- screw your eye into the ceiling (use a drywall plug or stud finder) and slip the hook into the eye!
i already had an eye screwed into this spot in the ceiling (from the cage lamp that used to hang in this room), so i hung the mobile above the nursing nook for now. we don’t have our crib yet, so i wanted to wait until that was set up before making another hole in the ceiling. having said that, i might leave it here permanently as i like it by the window! either way, i’ll leave the eye in place because once baby can stand up you’re supposed to move mobiles away from cribs anyways. so this will be the mobile’s final location even if it does sway over the crib for a year or so.