IN CASE YOU were wondering, I’m still pregnant! Yep. I’m only a few days past my due date, but the excitement I’m feeling about meeting the newest member of our family is quickly turning into anxiety as doomsday reports of a huge weekend snowstorm fill the news!
The upside is the reason for most of my anxiety is that I have too much time on my hands right now. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m D.O.N.E. preparing for the baby’s arrival, and now all I have to do when I’m not taking care of my toddler is fret about snow storms and blog about the nursery. So today I’m sharing a therapeutic DIY project that not only turned out super cute, but also saved a few bucks.
Last summer my husband and I were strolling the streets of Cape May, New Jersey, on a much needed adults-only afternoon. We were popping in and out of shops, one of which was a specialty baby store that had a few of these beauties hanging around:
I was obsessed, and I knew right away I HAD to have one for the new baby’s nursery. Then I looked at the $160 price tag. Womp womp. The mobile is from blabla, which specializes in gorgeous knitted products for children and focuses on fair trade and environmental awareness. I adore the products and love the mission behind them, but I couldn’t swallow the steep price for a piece of nursery décor.
When my husband asked if I wanted it, I told him I’d make it myself. He told me I couldn’t make it. I told him he was wrong. And six months later he stands corrected with a bit of extra cash in his bank account. Okay…who am I kidding, I spent that money somewhere else, most likely on LuLaRoe leggings. Hey, don’t judge, leggings is the only thing that fits me right now…..
This project was a bit labor intensive, but it was pretty cheap and the steps themselves are not difficult. Here’s what I used:
- Large Embroidery Hoop (the inside hoop without the metal fitting)
- Several Colors of Yarn in Coordinating Colors
- Clover Pom Pom Makers (although these are not necessary; I used them because a friend lent me her set)
- Metal O-Ring (I purchased mine in-store at Lowe’s)
The nursery has punches of graphic black and white to neutralize the somewhat frilly pineapple accents, so I stayed true to the mobile that served as my inspiration for this part of the project. Securing the loose ends of yarn to the embroidery hoop with a binder clip, I alternated wrapping black and white yarn around the entire hoop. To keep uniform stripes, I made sure to wrap each color of yarn around the hoop the same number of times each time I switched colors. The black yarn was about twice as thick as the white, so I ended up wrapping the white around more with each pass.
After I’d made my way around the entire hoop, I tied off and cut the ends. Then I attached five long strands of white yarn to the hoop by tying each strand of yarn in a tight knot on the inside of the hoop. This is where you will attach your pom poms to the mobile.
When you do this step, make sure the strands are evenly spaced so your mobile isn’t crooked when you’re ready to hang it! Also, use a lot more length than you think you’ll need. Although having these strands too short wouldn’t ruin your project, it’s much easier to trim excess length at the end than to tie on additional yarn because you came up short.
Next came the pom poms! It takes a while to make enough pom poms to fill up the mobile, but once you’ve made one or two you’ll discover they are quite easy to whip up. I found it relaxing to wrap the yarn around the pom pom makers. I used a few different sizes of the Clover pom pom makers to achieve the final look I wanted on my mobile, but you can get the same effect using your fingers or a piece of cardboard.
The plastic pom pom makers are puzzling at first, and I had to watch a YouTube video to figure out how to use them. Again, you can use your fingers or make a pom pom maker out of cardboard rather than purchasing these plastic do-dads. However, once you start making yarn pom poms, you might never want to stop. If you become addicted to them, the Clover pom pom makers might be worth the investment!
My mom (our lovely hand model) and I spent a weekend making different sizes and colors of pom poms. We discovered the more times we wrapped the yarn around each side of the pom pom maker, the better the end result. We’re talking 150-200 turns of yarn around each side for super full, deliciously fuzzy poms.
To make the pom poms using the Clover plastic makers, you fold open the plastic arms on each side (pics #1-2), wrap the yarn around one side the desired number of times (pics #3-4) and then repeat wrapping on the other side (pic #5).
Then fold the arms wrapped in yarn back toward the center so you have a circle (pic #6), snip down the middle of each side (pics #7-8) and then take a really long piece of yarn in the same color as your pom pom and tie it tightly around the center (pic #9 ). Open up the arms (pic #10) and pop the pom pom maker apart (pic #11). You’ll be left with a cute little ball of yarn that will most likely need a haircut in order to achieve maximum roundness (pic #12). I hope this photo tutorial is instructive, but if you need more help please see the YouTube video I linked above.
Repeat this process a few dozen times until you have enough pom poms to complete your mobile. I ended up using 31 pom poms in different colors and sizes for my mobile.
Then I tied five of my pom poms to the embroidery hoop using the excess yarn dangling from the pom poms from where they were tied together in step #9 above. I spaced out the rest of my pom poms along the length of yarn I’d tied to the embroidery hoop. At first I tied the pom poms to the length of yarn using loose knots to make sure I got the color combination right. Then I worked on the placement of the pom poms and tightened the knots when I got it right so nothing would slip out of place.
Once everything looked even I snipped the loose hanging yarn from the pom poms. I looped the five strands of yarn creating the top of the mobile through the metal O-ring and tied them tight, making sure my the embroidery hoop was perfectly level as I did this. (It’s easier to do this step with a friend!)
I installed a metal coffee cup holder in the ceiling above the changing table in the baby’s nursery and hung the mobile from the hook. I tied one final pom pom to the very top of the mobile after it was in place.
You might recognize the changing table from my older son’s nursery! I decided to move the changing table into the new nursery and get my son a big boy dresser since we didn’t use this for changing diapers in his room. I considered changing the paint color, but I thought the yellow (Valspar, Dreamy Caramel), which I still adore after two years, would work well with the color scheme I came up with here. To refresh the changing table a tad, I changed out the hardware to these cool wooden and teal pulls I found at HomeGoods.
Do you have a mobile in your baby’s nursery? Does your baby even look at it? I’m hoping this will provide a bit of entertainment for the new squish during diaper changes!