Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Paint Colors and a Pinwheel Mobile for the Nursery

Hey, guess what?  I'm 36 weeks pregnant today!  The home stretch at last.  And I have been in a sort of crafting and cleaning overdrive that I don't remember having this early on with my other pregnancies.  But then again I left a lot to do until the very end this time.

As of a week ago Saturday, the baby's room was still an office/craft room.  It is now empty and almost completely painted (we still need to paint the drawer faces, but the wall color is up).  After seeing the room finally coming along I couldn't help but start in on the crafts I had in mind to decorate it.

Baby's room colors are teal, navy, lime green, and gray.  I chose the teal and gray before I knew if baby was a boy or a girl, back when I thought I'd let this baby's gender be a surprise like my first two.  If the baby was a girl I would have accessorized with bubble gum pink after she was born, but since it's a boy, I decided to add the notes of navy and green.  

Last week I painted 4 frames navy and lime green.  Three were from the dollar store, and one was one I had sitting around that didn't match my current decor.  I have some prints in mind for them, and will put them up in a frame collage over the baby's bed.  

I purchased some adorable herringbone fabric in the colors I chose for the bed skirt and finished sewing it up yesterday.  I bought the last yards in the store and haven't been able to find it since - even online.  I think it would make a cute pillow for my glider.  But I also love mixing patterns so even if I don't find any more of it, I know the room will come together perfectly.

Then I made an adorable mobile to go over the crib that only cost me about $5!  

I had no idea what I wanted for a mobile with this baby.  A friend made the one I had for my first two.  It was a gorgeous bird mobile made from many different beautiful fabrics and balanced on three tiers of real tree branches (well, twigs).  My two other babies loved how it twirled and all the beautiful colors and everyone who saw it loved how beautiful it was.  Well, the branches broke during our move last year, and while I could replace them and carefully rebalance all the birds, after careful thought, I decided to take it apart and use the birds as Christmas ornaments so we can enjoy them for many years to come.  

So that left me with no ideas for the new baby.  Until I saw a picture of a pinwheel mobile and a light went off in my head.  Most mobiles are best seen from a side view.  A lot of them are meant just for decor and are really not that visible or enjoyable to the baby in the crib.  These pinwheels faced down into the crib and twirl with the slightest movement or breeze.  They are made with paper in beautiful colors and patterns.  I needed one for my baby.  It looked easy enough, and I couldn't beat the price so I headed out to the craft store, bought what I needed, and started in on it the next day.

It wasn't as easy as it looked at first glance, but I did manage to make it one afternoon and I couldn't be happier with the results.  Want to know how it's done?  I'll show you!

you'll need:

  • at least 5 6x6 sheets of double sided scrapbook paper (I bought a whole stack in my colors for $3.99)
  • Embroidery needle with eye large enough for your chosen yarn or thread
  • Beads, or buttons to close the pinwheels (I used beads I had on hand, but not the ones in the the picture below, which didn't thread well)
  • The inner circle of a 10" or 12" embroidery hoop (I bought a wooden one for a little over $1)
  • Paint if you want to paint the hoop
  • Thin yarn, thread, invisible thread, or whatever works for you to hang your pinwheels (I used a very thin cotton yarn used for crochet)

Let's begin!

First find the center of each of your papers by measuring 3 inches in from the side and bottom.

Then cut diagonally from each corner two about a half inch from the center of the paper. 

The paper is now made up of four near triangles.  Fold the right corner on each triangle to the center and hold without creasing.  I used tape (after my 3rd or 4th attempt to hold it with my hand) and it worked pretty well.  Just be sure the tape you use with not harm the paper when you lift it off.  Check it on a scrap piece first.

Thread your needle with about a foot or so of your chosen yarn or thread, poke a hole through the middle of the other side of the paper and though the four points you have taped down.  Thread a bead/button onto both ends of the yarn (you may need to remove the needle to do this if your beads are small like mine were, then replace the needle) and poke the needle back over the side of the bead (or into the next hole of the button) and back through the points and the back of the paper through the other bead. 

Tighten so that there are no gaps between the layers and tie off with a knot.  Then you can peal the tape off the front.  I was able to pop it off right over the bead.

Make about 5 of these.  

Take the inner hoop (maybe you will find another use for the outer hoop in some other project) and paint it if you desire.  Tie the pinwheels at varying heights around the hoop.  I have mine at three different lengths so they do not touch each other.   The lengths are approximately 5, 7, and 9 inches.

Then take two equal length pieces of yarn/thread roughly twice the distance from the nursery ceiling to where you want the hoop of the mobile to suspend (keeping in mind that you want it far out of reach of a standing baby).  Bring the two pieces together and fold them in half.  Several inches down from the fold, tie a knot to create a loop to hang the mobile.  Then tie the ends of the pieces to the hoop, adjusting the knots as needed until the hoop hangs straight.  Once everything is perfectly strait and tested to be the correct height, you can hot glue all the knots in place so they do not budge or loosen with time.

Baby will love to look up and see these patterned mobiles spinning above his head. I can't wait until I can hang it up over his crib!  It's pretty in my dining room, but it will be darling in the nursery.

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