Sunday, July 15, 2012

Handmade Bird Mobile

When I saw this bird mobile on Pinterest a while back I just about died:


I mean really, how gorgeous is that?!  I'm pretty sure that I originally had plans to shower and/or eat food that day, but instead I got straight to work on rounding up supplies to make my own bird mobile (even though the husband and I are years away from having our own babies...oops!  hey, the heart wants what it wants...and what it really wanted was an awesome bird mobile!).

Here is my final result:



The original mobile is from the blog Spool--you can find the entry here.  The pattern for the birds is provided free on the blog's sidebar, so go ahead and download it.  Unfortunately...they don't show you much about how to attach the birds or get everything all balanced.  So hopefully my forthcoming explanations will help you make your mobile faster than it took me to make mine :)

Supplies:
  • a selection of stuffed birds (see pattern link above)
  • small screw eyes (mine were 5/8'')
  • fishing line or clear nylon string 
  • a drill and several small drill bits
  • wire snippers, scissors, and a sharp knife
  • a hot glue gun
  • a selection of tree branches
First I cut out the pattern and made a nice little selection of birds.  Luckily, I've been hoarding fabric scraps since high school, so I had a huge selection of patterns and colors to choose from.  

Next, I went out into my back yard and hunted around for some nice straight tree branches.  I'd like to say that no trees were harmed in the making of this project...but that's just not true.  Oops.


Next, I spray painted my eye screws.  This wasn't really necessary, but it took two minutes and it prevented the little guys from being so blindingly shiny.




Next, I used my little wire snippers and did some branch trimming.  I cut three longer-ish straight branches for the top mobile tiers...


...and one small L-shaped branch for the lowest mobile tier.


Now we're ready for the assembly process!  I put everything together from the bottom up, so I started with the L-shaped bottom-most branch first.  We'll call this branch #1.

I kind of wedged my first bird in the L-shape of branch #1 and used my hot glue gun to glue him in place.  



Then I used my drill and a very small drill bit to make a hole in the top part of branch #1 for the fishing line to go through.  Then set this piece aside for a minute.


Take the branch that you're going to use for the next tier up--we'll call this branch #2.  Drill a small hole for an eye screw that will suspend branch #1 that you just made. It doesn't matter where you drill the hole along the branch because the other eye screw that you will eventually add (to suspend branch #2 from the future branch #3) will make everything balance out.  I positioned my first eye screw not quite in the middle of the branch.  


Attach a couple of birds to branch #2.  I attached two of them at one end.  One thing that I figured out pretty quickly was that the hot glue did not want to stick to the tree bark very well.  I used a sharp knife to scrape some of the bark off wherever I wanted to glue something:


OK, now that I had glued two birds into place on branch #2, I finally suspended branch #1 from the first eye hook that I had already installed using the nylon string.



Here's where you balance the branch out.  With branch #1 suspended from the eye screw, balance branch #2 on your finger and find the point where everything sits level.  This is where you will need to put your second eye hook.  This second eye hook will ultimately hold up branch #2 and (indirectly) branch #1.  See where my pointer finger is in the picture below?  That's where I installed my next eye screw.  Note that everything flips upside down during the balancing of the branch, but it's OK.


Repeat those same steps for the next tiers of your mobile...



...until you're all done!  


If you are slightly off balance with one of your eye screws--don't panic!!  The advantage to using small screws is that if you make a mistake, it's easy to pull them out and reposition them because the holes that are left behind are so small that no one will notice.  See my tiny "oops!" hole to the left of the actual hook in the picture below?  You don't see it at all when the mobile is hanging up.  


Anyway, I'm off to go berry picking!  Enjoy what's let of your weekend and have a great week! :)

4 comments:

  1. I saw this cute mobile too!! Almost made me want to learn to sew... Almost. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I'm not going to lie...it took me a while from start to finish. The sewing wasn't bad at all...the birds would be a great starter project for you!

      Delete
  2. Do you still have the pattern? It's no longer posted on that blog. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nikki--A quick pinterest search yielded a lot of results. Try this link here: http://whileshenaps.com/2014/05/what-happens-when-your-pattern-goes-viral-the-spool-bird.html

      Delete