Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cluttered Mobile

Hey there, it's Marquette. A while back Emilee and I were planning a baby shower for my sister (party planning...another love of ours!) and I came across this awesome idea for decorations:

The Original Pin: 
Aren't those cute?! I love how clean cut and simple they are, but they still add such fun color and pizazz to the room. I read the tutorial and decided to jump on the idea, making a few changes that I thought would work better. First wrong step, right there.

  • The largest embroidery hoop I could find in town wasn't all that big, and I didn't have time to order one online, and I didn't figure 1 hoop was worth the 2 hour drive to the "big city" to a Hobby Lobby. So I went with the 12" hoop. I was grateful though that I could find this hoop at least. 
  • I decided to make 2 mobiles, but I only had one hoop, so I used the two pieces of the hoop individually. But then I wanted to try and hide the places where I tied the string on, so I hot glued ribbon around the edge. It sorta worked, but I think the look of the plain hoop would've been better. 
  • I decided to try using foam craft circles instead of paper for the circles. I thought they'd be more durable and look a little better. The foam circles only came in one size though, so I started hacking away with my scissors. I drew lines to follow, but a lot of the circles still came out wonky. 
  • Then, I tried painting the circles to match the shower colors. That went okay...but it was a huge pain in the neck. I had to do multiple coatings on some to hide the color below and finally on some I just gave up, so the paint isn't completely's kinda splotchy in spots. 
  • I didn't cut the strings long enough. In the tutorial it says, "Remember, you want the mobile to have various lengths of circles to make it visually interesting." I thought I was making my string lengths different enough, but they still all kinda hang in a clump together. 

How to Fix It:
  • Use a larger hoop if at all possible. It will look so much better. 
  • If a larger hoop isn't available, make the circles smaller and maker sure to have a more dramatic difference in the string lengths. 
  • I really should have bought that circle cutter from the scrapbook section...then my circles wouldn't be so wonky. 
  • Paper circles rather than foam circles would have been better. The foam circles were heavy enough that they didn't spin around much. They just kinda hung there. 


  1. I just wanted to let you know, Wyler loves the mobiles! He tried to grab at them every time we walk by one of them.

    1. I'm so glad he likes them! Maybe someday I'll update them for him and make then a bit better. They weren't bad, but there's things I'd change looking back now (hindsight is 20/20 they say, right?).

  2. FYI: Every time I go to the thrift shop I see embroidery hoops of all shapes and sizes--even the super-large ones!

  3. My first instinct on this when you said they didn't have the right size embroidery hoop was either buy a hula hoop (they have them at the dollar store by my house for kids, so they're about 36" wide) or to buy some thin, flexible wood pieces from a hardware store and bend it into a circle to form a hoop. I think there are so many options for crafting with items from the hardware store!

  4. A note about painting craft foam: I use craft foam for projects a lot. I make a lot of costumes, and it's a cheap, lightweight way to make armour and accessories.

    However, before painting it, you need to seal it with something, or it will just absorb the colour, and unevenly at that (as you noticed :3 ). Mod podge or white glue are both fine for this purpose. Keep in mind that if you need to bend the foam AFTER sealing it, for some reason, you may have flaking, so choose your sealer wisely, and try to do any and all foam shaping before sealing and painting the project.

    Hope this helps my fellow crafters :D


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