Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Raincloud and Rainbows Mobile DIY

I wanted to try something new from the ol' scrapbooking paper mobile I've made in the past. After deciding on a theme (rain clouds, raindrops, and rainbows), I committed to creating it with felt and then the experimental mobile project began!

Sheets of Felt, colors your choice
Cotton of some sort (I used cotton balls because I already had lots at home)
Something long and skinny (I used a wooden kabob skewer)
Pin Needles
Material Scissors
Needle and Thread, matching colors to your felt
Fishing String
Jewelry Beads
Jewelry Beading Clamps
Needle Nose Pliers
Old Lamp Shade

First, fold a sheet of felt over and pin in place in several places to ensure nothing slips while cutting (make the fold as wide as you plan on your cloud being).

I free style cut the clouds, making them randomly unique.

Once the cloud is cut out, adjust your pin needles to hold the two pieces of felt in place for sewing. 
Thread a needle with matching thread color and start hand stitching around the edges of the cloud.

When the cloud is about half-way sewn, it's time to start stuffing some edges. Those pesky edges are hard to reach if you sew too much of the cloud closed too soon.

Tug at the cotton balls to fluff them, then stuff into the bubbles and creases of the sewn part of your cloud.

Once all the nooks and crannies are stuffed, continue sewing your cloud around the edges until about 1 inch is left open.
Finish stuffing your cloud to be as poofy as your liking, then close it up completely with the needle and thread. 
Once your clouds are done, you'd better made yourself coffee, or in my case an iced caramel macchiato, because the rainbow is a doozy!!!
I don't think I could ever really adequately explain in words how I made this rainbow, but basically I folded all the felt in half (to make it two layers), and started by cutting the outside color as a huge solid arch (as in, it's not a "strip" of felt, it's a larger version of the purple piece you see). Then I pinned in on the next folded color of felt, orange, traced the red arch onto the orange, removed the red arch, and cut the orange arch about 1/4 inch smaller than the red one. I repeated the process until all the colors were cut, purple being the last. 
Then I separated the two layers of felt, making two rainbows, and individually sewed each color together, starting with the red and orang, and adding an inside color one at a time, using matching thread each time. Once the purple piece was sewed in place, I cut out the middle to make the arch complete. Then I embellished parts of the rainbow with little beads. 
If I was smart, I would have reversed the second rainbow before I sewed, so it could be the back of the first rainbow, but I DIDN'T, so the darn things wouldn't line up because they weren't perfectly symmetrical, so instead, I sewed a grey piece on the back of each rainbow.
And as always, when it was halfway sewn, I stuffed it with cotton, and finished stuffing it before completely sewn, just like the clouds. 
Once that was done, I decided I liked the embellished look, and sewed some beads on a few of the clouds. 
The rest of the project can be finished according to my instructions here, using fishing wire, beads, and metal jewelry making clamps to hold the beads in place. 
Modification #1, I stripped the lampshade using scissors and muscles, leaving only the pretty part on the edges. I wasn't happy with the white glue left on the wire parts, so I just sanded that off and made a huge mess in the living room doing so. 

Modification #2, when it came to the point of the fishing string to hang the clouds or rainbows, I just threaded the fishing string through a regular sewing needle and poked the needle through one side of the cloud/rainbow, and out the other, making sure it hung the way I wanted before I clamped a jewelry clamp in place underneath. If it didn't hang to satisfy me, I just pulled it out and started again. 
Did I mention you should set aside quite a few hours???
It was a little time consuming, but totally worth it, especially taking into account how much they cost at the store!!!!


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