Elephant mobile… FINALLY!

I’m a little late getting this posted but it’s here at last!

I kid you not, I started working to make the perfect elephant mobile for Keelin’s nursery since early into my 2nd trimester. I had the perfect plan laid out, all of my materials chosen {thanks to a fantastmastic sale at JoAnn fabric}, and a vision that was too cute for words. BUT, no matter how many different ways I tried, I couldn’t get it to turn out the way I wanted.  Today I’m going to walk you through ALL of my fails {there were plenty} and finish with a BANG and my FINAL success!

Here goes nothing…

My initial inspiration came from the same bedding photo I mentioned in my elephant painting post back in October.

I loved the geometric elephant shape so much I wanted to turn it into a mobile.  I opted not to get the mobile that came with the snickerdoodle bedding we chose because, while the giraffes were adorable, I wanted to stick with the elephant theme AND I knew I could create something super cute without spending $50.

I grabbed myself a handfull of colorful patterns, cut out my shapes and started sewing.

The beige burlap pattern was a perfect match for the nursery and the multicolored ears seemed like a great way to incorporate a tone of color and stimulation without clashing with the rest of the room.

Unfortunately for me, the type of fabric that I chose just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to.

The edges were fraying, the stitching didn’t look right, and my dream mobile started slipping away each time I would try something different. Finally I realized it wasn’t how I was making the elephants, it was what they were being made out of.  I did some searching online and found almost exactly what I was looking for on the fabulous blog, My Sunrise, Sunshine & Sunset. I shot Mrs Julius an email to get some details and the answer was magically revealed… FELT!

Love the mirror detailing!

As you can see in the photo above I ended up with two mobiles! Keelin loves the one above the changing table and I’m still finding the perfect spot for the second… probably above the crib in some way.

I’m so happy with the way they turned out and so thankful that I found a way to make it happen for WELL UNDER the price of most bedding set mobiles! So much so that I’ve mocked up some other patterns perfect for any nursery! Chicks, paisleys, hearts, stars, clouds, you name it! I’m hoping to start an Etsy shop in the near future and make these for other mommies and soon-to-be mommies.

Until next time…

So what do you think? Would you buy one for your little one’s nursery?

Whimsical nursery mobile

Time for another easy DIY project. Perfect for any nursery but has many possibilities in just about any room! I’m totally in love with mine and actually got the idea from a Land of Nod catalogue that a coworker gave me. It wasn’t something that was for sale but it was in the background of a photo and I knew I wanted to recreate it. Something whimsical and classy for the nursery that wouldn’t be in the way but could be a great visual stimulant for Keelin.

Here’s what you need:

  • decorative {and preferably shiny} beads/gems/stones
  • stretchy jewelry cord {or fishing line… both work but the stretchy cord has a better overall shape}
  • wooden embroidery hoops or any kind of circular frame
  • sheer ribbon/tule/fabric for hanging and frame wrapping
  • hot glue gun
This project totally made me feel like a kid again as I was stringing the beads… definite flashback and tons of fun!
String the beads in whatever order you like, leaving space between them by tying a knot in the cord.  I incorporated pearls with rich colors like blue and red to tie in the beige and white theme of the nursery and to add a little extra shimmer.

You can see here how the stiffness of the fishing line creates a slight bend in the beading line. This straightens out as gravity pulls the beads on the mobile down.

String enough lines to fill up the mobile without crowding it and be sure {if you have multiples of certain beads} that you keep the patterns varied so no two alike beads are next to one another when they hang.  Here are some close ups of the beads I chose… love love love them!

What’s a little girl’s room without a bit of sparkle???
And here’s the final batch of hanging lines! {see what I mean about the kinks in the fishing line straightening out as they hang?}

Be sure your lines are separated how you’d like them across the embroidery frame before tightening and moving on.

The next step is to glue down the loose ends of each line so they lay flat against the frame. This will also glue the two pieces of the frame together, making sure they don’t accidentally come apart and cause you to lose your strands of beads.

Next, cut your ribbon/tule into small strips, long enough to tie in knots.

Pinch the center of each strand and tie around the wooden frame, making sure not to leave any exposed wood.

Tie four longer pieces equal distances apart to create a kind of teepee for hanging.

I decided to hang mine by the window in the nursery so the sun would catch the sparkle on the beads!

Here’s another one I did with some really colorful beads that I had leftover some project I did years ago. I put it in front of the mirror and Keelin is already getting fixated with them. It’s adorable.

And just so you know, I used an eye screw and some of the same fishing line to hang them from the ceiling. It’s an easy and sturdy choice but if you use heavier beads make sure whatever you use is strong enough to hold the mobile.

Until next time… 

Could you see yourself adding this to a room in your house? Which one?

Nautical Nonsense

Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a while since I did a DIY post and I had a few things in my back pocket I’ve been meaning to share so today seems as good a day as any!

Some of you may remember WAY BACK WHEN {aka October 23, 2010} me doing a nautical mosaic table. The entire table wasn’t nautical themed but the blues tiles and incorporation of white braided rope gave it a nautical spin that I loved.
I had plenty of rope left over and even more inspiration to do something with it so I’ve been having fun with a few other nautical DIY projects and I thought I would finally share them with you!

The basic supplies for the first project include:
  • White nylon rope. You can pick the thickness of the rope depending on the project.
  • Cabinet liners. I originally wanted to use cork but thought I would give the liner a try first to see how it worked {it was much cheaper and easier to cut} and was quite pleased.
  • Hot {warm} glue gun. I say ‘warm’ glue gun because after a first attempt at using the HOT glue gun on the liners, I quickly learned that the glue has a tendency to melt right through.
The first thing I wanted to do was make some rope coasters and hot plates.
I snagged some of my current coasters and used them as tracing patterns on the cabinet liner.

Cut the pieces out and you’re ready to roll… quite literally! *don’t worry about getting the liner perfectly cut because you’ll cover the edges with smooth rope!

I was silly enough not to get a picture of the first step, but by a little trial and error I found that it was easier to get things started by creating forming a small loop spiral with the rope before securing it to the liner with glue. BUT… since I didn’t get a picture, hopefully the second step will make enough sense to get you on the right track.
Starting in the center of the cut out, glue the rope spiral and hold until secure.

Continue spiraling and glueing until you’ve covered the edge of the liner.
ONCE AGAIN, I failed to get a final picture… although I think I just deleted the photo by accident… but you can imagine the final product is pretty darn cute!

I did a few coasters and a few hot plates for my mom’s birthday. She’s a beach lover so I thought the nautical-beachy theme would be something fun for her! I’ll have to ask her how they work!

The second rope project is one I did the other day, after getting REALLY frustrated with my failed first attempts at a  crib mobile I WILL EVENTUALLY make, because I wanted to not feel like a total loser.  🙂

Some of you might remember the cigar ornaments I blogged about back in January. I had a few ornaments left over from that project {even after doing some fun hand-painting on a few} so I thought I would take the same concept that went with the coasters and hot plate and apply it to a 3D object! This one I DID get pictures of!

Start with a simple strand of glue along the top edge of the ornament and start slowly turning, glueing and roping!
Here’s an inside look through the ornament. It might be cool to try another with only 1/2 or the ornament and sand/ tiny seashells inside to play off the theme.

Keep rolling until you get to the bottom.
As you can see here I left a slight open circle so you it can actually sit on a flat surface. Might be a fun centerpiece idea when Christmas rolls around!

If you don’t have plain ornaments lying around {or are more interested in doing a summer centerpiece or mantle display} a simple and slightly cheaper option is to snag some plain styrofoam balls and do use the same technique. BUT, if you decide to use them as ornaments, be sure you create a tunnel through the center of the ball so you can thread something through to hang it with.

Here is my styrofoam version with the glass ornament in the background. Surprisingly enough they ended up weighing about the same once I was finished.

Just a simple, fun project for a rainy day!

Until next time…