Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY Le Mobile Nuage (The Cloud Mobile)

Shortly after SourPatch was born, Laurel sent me the link to a DIY site with instructions for making a darling cloud mobile. We thought it would be a great addition to his nursery and give him something to gaze up at while he is lying in his crib. The hitch was that the instructions are all in French. I, unfortunately, do not speak French.

But the mobile was so cute, and the instructions included pictures, so I figured, "Why not give it a try?"

So, here is an Americanized version of "DIY le mobile nuage." (Here is a link to the original site and instruction pages.)

You will need:
3 different sizes of circles for tracing--I used three sizes of plates, a dinner plate, a toddler plate, and a salad plate. (The mobile from the original site is much smaller. Mine ended up being about 10 inches across.)
Pen or pencil for tracing
1/2 to 1 yard fabric, depending on what size you choose to make it
Fiberfill stuffing (available at craft and fabric stores)
Thread to match your fabric--I used quilting thread for added strength.
3 pompoms for the raindrops or origami birds
1 plastic ring
Yarn, ribbon or invisible thread for hanging

It looks like the fabric in the original post is almost a burlap in texture. I chose a soft, white, textured velour. I think you could use just about anything.

Place your fabric on a hard surface and trace 2 large circles, 5 medium circles, and 3 small circles.

Cut them out.

It looks like the original instructions suggested using interfacing to reinforce the fabric. I chose to skip that step; it would not have worked well with my fabric. They also appeared to iron under a narrow edge around each circle. Since my fabric doesn't fray and the edges do not show in the finished product, I skipped that as well. 

Thread a needle with a long piece of thread. Knot the thread and run a long, running stitch around the outside of each circle. When you reach the end, gently begin to tighten the thread to create a ball.

Stuff each ball with fiberfill. You can fill it lightly to make a soft, squishy cloud or really squeeze it in to make the ball stiffer.

Pull your thread tight and stitch the opening shut. I shaped some of the balls into rounds and others into ovals by how I stitched them shut. The variation in size and shape makes the completed mobile more visually interesting and keeps it from looking too symmetrical. Hopefully, the pictures below illustrate what I mean:

An oval

A circle

Using one of the large balls as a base, I started sewing the medium and small balls around the outside by hand. There is nothing tricky about this; just take large, looping stitches and pull tight. Leave the second large ball and one of the medium balls to create the bottom.

I sewed the remaining two balls together at one edge and then started sewing each of the seven outer balls (above) to those two balls--making sure that the ugly openings are all on the inside--to create one large cloud. You can pin them to each other first if that makes it easier for you.

I sewed a small plastic ring to the top of the cloud and looped my hanging thread (you could also use ribbon or invisible thread) through it.

Using invisible thread, I sewed on three blue pompoms, varying the lengths of the thread for visual interest. I bought my pompoms at Hobby Lobby, but you could make your own from yarn. 

Le Mobile Nuage

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