12 Mar 2017

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

At the end of last year, I was busy making a few Christmas presents, one a supersize scrapbook of my nephew and the other, a baby mobile for my other sister who has just had her first child. He was born in January and after seeing my DIY Dinosaur baby mobile, they had requested one of their own for their little man.

After making one baby mobile, it’s fair to say I’m still a novice with sewing and I’m still learning. On this DIY project, I learnt that you should always, always buy more thread than you think you might need. I seriously underestimated the amount of embroidery thread needed for this hot air balloon design, and that 12 meters wasn’t nearly enough. Whereas for the dinosaur one, I completed it in less than that.

I kept the design as simple as possible, scouring Pinterest for ideas and tips, and I reckon anyone could tackle this. It’s simple, cute and will be a feature in any nursery.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear
DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear
DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

I know it may look like a lot of instructions, but once you get into the swing of it, it’s quite a simple process. In total, this mobile took me two evenings (and a few days prep of buying before hand).

You’ll need: white embroidery thread (Around 20m to be safe), felt of various colours (inc. grey for the moon & baskets and white for clouds), scissors, sewing needle, a handful of pins, stuffing, baby mobile hanger (I used this one – and painted it white, but you can decorate as you like) and a hot glue gun.

To get started, draw an outline of a hot air balloon, stencils can be found on google and Pinterest. I ended up looking at them for guidance on shape but then drew my own to get a slightly bigger size.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

You want three sizes, one big, one medium and a third thinner strip for the centre of the balloon. Play around with sizings, you can always draw and cut them again if you aren’t happy with the size.

Next, sort through your felt and co-ordinate your colours to find out which combinations you like best. You will have 4 balloons, each with 6 cut outs (3 on each side). I chose bright colours, mixed with the grey of the moon to offset them a bit. 

Once you’re happy with the colours of the balloon, place your stencil on piece of felt, pin into place and cut around. Repeat until you have 6 pieces for each balloon cut out.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear
DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

Next, sew them into place! Start by sewing the skinniest strip onto the middle strip, with a simple stitch. Next, sew around the edge of the middle strip to the large balloon and set aside. Repeat until you have sewn all sides of the balloons.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

For each balloon, flip one side over so you have four showing their (ugly) stitched sides. Take a few long pieces of embroidery thread and knot them at the very top. I took three long pieces that were around 60cm long. Then braid them until you reach the bottom. These will eventually make up the strands holding the basket at the base of the balloon. Knot them at varying sections to make up smaller braided strands and cut between knots. Alternatively, you can choose not to braid them and just take small strands of embroidery thread instead. You will need two strands per basket, meaning a total of 8 strands.

Next, cut to size four rectangle pieces of felt, curving the edge to make them softer. Do a blanket stitch around 3 of the edges, leaving the top open. Working one basket at a time, take two strands and using a hot glue gun, stick them to the inside of the balloon, before opening up the top of the basket and gluing the other end inside the basket securely. Squeeze together the sides of the basket together while the glue is still hot. You can always put another squidge of hot glue on top of the string to help keep in place. Repeat for remaining three balloons.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear
DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

Now to piece the balloons together, use a blanket stitch to attach the sides. Before you finish each balloon, remember to reserve enough room to stuff your balloons. You can help push the stuffing in using a pair of scissors, being careful not to poke through the fabric! Fill until you are happy, I went for a slightly fatter fill. Once filled, finish off stitching, tie off the end and poke it inside the balloon with needle to hide it. Repeat for remaining three balloons.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear
DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

Next, draw a stencil of your clouds. Possibly the easiest one of all; you can choose whatever size you like for them, big, small, alternating sizes. I went with a standard size for all four clouds. Pin into place on the white felt, cut out and start sewing them together with a blanket stitch. Fill with stuffing before finish stitching and repeat for remaining three clouds.

Finally, the moon – not the easiest one to draw, but it finishes off the mobile perfectly. Repeat the process: cut stencil, pin onto felt, cut out and start sewing. Make sure to leave enough room for this one, as you want to make sure you get stuffing in the corners of the moon too. Once completed, set aside for assembly.

For the last big step, thread your needle with enough embroidery thread and start with your first balloon. At the top of it, sew a couple of rounds and tuck the knotted end inside the balloon. Pull the thread up through the top of the balloon and sew through the bottom of the cloud to the top, through to the hole in your baby mobile hanger.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

While the needle is still inside the hanger hole, play around with how long you would like the balloon to hang, while moving the cloud up and down into position. Once you’re happy with the length, go around the hanger hole a few times with the thread, before knotting it securely. Repeat the process for the remaining three balloons and the moon in the center of the baby mobile hanger.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear
DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

To finish, I threaded a length of thin satin ribbon through the top hoop for the baby mobile to hang from. And now you have your very own hot air balloon baby mobile, whether it's for yourself, a friend or a family member!

If you have any questions about this tutorial, then comment down below or send me an email and I'll be happy to help! Happy Sewing!

DIY Hot Air Balloon Baby Mobile Tutorial | Hungry Little Bear

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