January 19, 2010

Alphabet Mobile on the Cheap (Tutorial)

I'm nearly done with our guest room revamp, turning it into a play room and art space, (thank god!) and so far it's fabulous. We've been hanging out in there during the day, chillin' to Sesame Street Playground and such. Mischief abound, of course.
Notice the empty nail behind mischief-maker's head.

I'm waiting until my grandma's sewing machine/cabinet makes it's way out of the basement, (I'm trying not to nag Mr. Geek no more than twice a day-but it's been 2 weeks) to take some proper photos.
In the meantime, I whipped up a cool little mobile for the playroom,
using nothing more than decorative paper, scissors, glue stick, a pencil, a juice glass
embroidery floss, an embroidery hoop that I painted red
and fonts printed from the computer on white paper.
The font I used is called 101 In My Yard which I downloaded for free here. I think the garden-related images are so charming, and it will be fun for SoJo to hunt for the letters and numbers when he gets older.

Step 1
In Microsoft Word, I typed the alphabet in capital letters along with the numbers, adding spaces in between. I used a font size of 125. You might need to modify the size depending on the size of your circles. I printed two sets (for the front and back of the circles). I cut out each of the letters and numbers and set them aside.

Step 2
Cut 36 strands of your embroidery floss or other string for hanging. Mine were each roughly 2 feet long.

Step 3
Trace a circle, either from a juice glass or other object.
You can make the circles large, small, varying sizes, etc. Or if you have a circular paper punch that is the size you want, that would make things so much easier.

Cut out your circles (I was able to cut a layer of 5 pages at a time).
Because I wanted 36 circles on the mobile (10 numbers+26 letters), I needed to cut out 62 paper discs to make up the fronts and backs. I used 5 different patterns of paper for variety.

Step 4
Glue your alphabet and numbers to the decorative paper, one letter for each side. Here are the front and back, waiting to be glued together.
Next, put some glue stick on the backs of the circles, sandwich a strand of the string in between, and glue it all together.
I left a little tail at the bottom, thinking I might add a bead to each letter for weight and decoration, but then I didn't need to. I ended up trimming them off.
Step 5
Once your circles are glued together, it's time to tie them onto the inner hoop (the one without the metal tightening screw). Notice that I only painted the inside of the inner hoop and the outside of the outer hoop. Those will be the only parts seen from below anyway.
When I tied the circles on, I made sure to stagger the letters for interest and so they are easier to see instead of being bunched all together.
This is much easier to do if you hang the hoop somewhere and tie them on while suspended. I just used some upholstery thread (fishing line would work well too, or more embroidery floss) and tied three strings to the top for hanging.
Step 6
When you have them all hung, space them out around the hoop so they're not too crowded on one side. Clip any stray threads.Then put the outer ring over the inner ring and hang. Admire your work!
The possibilities are endless! You could cut images from old children's picture books and use those instead of letters, or even just do larger circles with your child's name, rather than the entire alphabet. I'd love to see what you come up with, so email me if you decide to make one of these. Happy crafting!

12 comments:

  1. Fabulous! Way to embrace your creativity!

    ReplyDelete
  2. SUPER cute!!! I love that...you always inspire me to make things. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. P.S. I am going to make a birthday banner, like the one you made for your little man, with Rose as a special surprise for Lily!! I'm so excited!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cool, I might think of ways to adapt this for my classroom :)

    The letters would need to be larger, and probably less on each hoop.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great way to recycle! This a fun project. Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love it! First thing I did was DL that font :) You're so inspiring in your crafty ways.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are so clever and creative. Soren is very lucky to have your for a mum.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very cute & crafty! Thanks for sharing the font too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the link to this! I love it even more now that I see it up close! That font is just incredible! I am going to put this on my to-do list for sure. I'll email you a pic when I get something done! Thanks for the great instructions.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think the next time Tosha comes over we'll do a paper craft instead of a food craft. This is really cute.

    ReplyDelete

I'm a good listener...comment away!

Related Posts with Thumbnails