Sunday, 8 February 2009

How to: Butterfly Mobile

Time for another butterfly-themed how-to, based on the butterfly template I have finally uploaded here. Today: how to make a simple but striking butterfly mobile from felt.


You will need... some colourful felt, some white yarn, some felt beads, a piece of strong card, and two white paper doilies. The felt beads and doilies are optional, and if you don't have any felt you can just use stiff coloured paper (eg sugar/construction paper) or thin card.

I buy my felt beads from Paper Fish


The construction of this mobile is nice and simple - four strands of butterflies, suspended from a card circle. Cut out lots of butterfly shapes from your felt using the butterfly template. You can keep these as single sided butterflies or cut out two shapes per butterfly and sew them together with matching thread to make them more sturdy (the single ones will be more likely to flop!). Alternatively, you could just use card. In between my felt butterflies I threaded some fantastic felt beads, but small circles of felt/paper (about 1 inch in diameter) would work just as well.


To make each strand, cut a long piece of white knitting yarn and knot one end. Using a darning needle, sew about three stitches through the middle of each felt butterfly, leaving enough room between them to let them spin easily and mixing up the butterflies and felt beads/circles as you go. You might want to spread out all your materials on a large surface like a table to get a good mix of colours and shapes before you start. If you're using paper butterflies & circles, use an ordinary sewing needle and white sewing thread


To make the "base" from which the mobile hangs, I used a paper doily as a template to cut out a piece of stiff corrugated card. Using a very sharp pencil, I punched four holes in the circle of card - imagine the circle is a compass and make one hole at north, south, east and west. Each hole should be about an inch in from the edge.

I then glued one doily onto each side of the card to make it more attractive and cover the holes. You could use any kind of paper for this, and a dinner plate makes a great template for cutting out a large circle.



Thread one of the strands of yarn through one of the holes - you should be able to feel through the paper where one of the holes is, and pierce through easily with the needle (the rest will be much easier to find when you've found the first one!). Make sure the butterflies are hanging at the height you want them, and loop the yarn through the hole several times and tie a knot. Do not cut the yarn at this point! Repeat this for the other three strands.


Now take all four loose bits of yarn and hold the ends together until the card circle is level and the mobile is hanging straight, tie a knot in them (knotting all 4 together) and use them to hang your mobile wherever you fancy. If you've used paper butterflies and sewing thread, once you've secured each strand to the circle you can trim the remaining thread and tie on 4 lengths of knitting yarn for suspending the mobile. Remember - as with all mobiles - to hang it well out of the reach of babies and small children! The design will fade over time if hung in direct sunlight.


This tutorial is for non commercial use only
: you can use it for as many mobiles as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

59 comments:

myerscho said...

This is quite lovely especially on a cold winter day!

Zoricina radionica said...

Very nice:)

nickynackynoo said...

Lovely! So cheerful and I imagine it moves beautifully.

KirstyFish said...

COLOUR!!
Thanks for bigging up BigFish too x x x i want one!

Girl_Industries said...

So cheery and colourful - just what we need today. The snow is finally hitting us in Glasgow!

Dee Beale said...

This looks great, roll on spring.

Anonymous said...

I want to make this.
Are you able to stock felt balls in your online shop? Or can you recommend where to buy online) (UK)
Merci!

Brook said...

SO cute!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

WOW-that is gorgeous! I just love your blog and your projects! Everything is so pretty and cheerful. Thanks so much, I'll be linking to this.

BugsandFishes said...

Thanks everyone! To those interested, there is a link to the shop where I bought my felt beads from above - I got them from http://bigfish.etsy.com who is based in the UK :)

Orbie/\;;/\ said...

That is adorable

Erin said...

Lovin' the felt! I found a felt store and with it found a million ways to hide mistakes in my knitting. All my scarves now have felt flowers at random.

Stephanie Wagner said...

I'm a sucker for mobiles and this one is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

von Hand zu Hand said...

wonderful!
springlike.
enjoyable.

i set a link to your post at my blog.
i hope you'll agree.
if not, please leave a short comment.

doro.

farawayme said...

this is so beautiful! I might just have to make one for a baby that is on the way, imagine looking at such prettiness!

Knit and Sew City Girl said...

Thanks for the tutorial! This is much better than the one my husband bought for my daugher's bedroom.

Mary

Vonnie said...

Lovely work, thank you for sharing it!

Also - I notice you're in the UK. Have you checked out Crafteroo (www.crafteroo.co.uk)? We're always on the lookout for new members, you'd be very welcome to join us!

pam said...

Beautiful, beautiful mobile.
I just discovered your blog and I love it already! I will be linking in May when I do my butterfly post. And, the butterfly curtain - wow! Just what I needed for a pesky little window in my bedroom. You have inspired me!

Shala said...

I love this clever idea and it is just what I have been looking for for my nursery. Thanks!

Dot said...

Lovely!

Please tell me you used a die cut machine or something similar to cut out all those butterflies! Otherwise I think we should send you an icepack for your hand!

PS, i'll be linking to this on Dabbled.org

Hana said...

I am soooo gonna make this for my daughters' room! Thanks for sharing!

Prpldy said...

Love the design and the bright colors! And thanks for sharing such a wonderful tute!

Little Lovables said...

lovely, you do wonderful work!

Crafter..oo said...

So pretty! Excellent blog too!

The Carrels said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful butterfly mobile. It inspired me to make one for our nursery! It had a lot of fun making it!

Mama King said...

I love the mobile and created one inspired by yours. I did not have the felt (but soon may after seeing you sell it!) to make one like yours...so I improvised. Check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks! http://4crazykings.blogspot.com/

Melanie said...

Oh I just love this mobile! I have been looking for one to make my daughter but just haven't found anything I liked until I saw yours. The moment I saw it I knew that is what I had to do. So here is the finished result if you want to see it.
http://crafteethings.blogspot.com/2009/02/butterfly-mobile.html
I changed it up a little but I think it turned out pretty good. Thanks for the inspiration!

Fabric Mom said...

I found your site today while I was hopping around. I love this mobile very cute. I posted about it on one of my sites and twitter.

Lova Revolutionary said...

Neat & colorful! Great project for spring time!

lunatepetal said...

thanks for the awesome how-to!
i made it for my three month old, and she loves it :)

domestikate said...

Oh wow, this is lovely! Thanks so much for the tutorial too (and the permission to copy one of your designs). My sister is expecting a baby and I've been trying to find the perfect nursery project for a relatively new but keen crafter ... I think this might be it, so thank you x

BugsandFishes said...

I'm so glad so many people liked this project & have been making it for themselves! Thanks to everyone who has sent me links :)

spearmintdecor said...

wow!!! can i post this on my blog? www.spearmintbaby.com?
I will link your blog and store :)
Thanks
Shari

BugsandFishes said...

Of course Shari - as long as all the pictures etc link back to this post & I get proper credit I'm always happy for my projects to get a mention on blogs! :)

Nina said...

This is a great project for Dias de los Muertos, too! The butterfly symboically helps the soul move on from this life to the next, which is believed to be BEAUTIFUL!The doilly already looks like papel picado. Kids can do this with paper, paint each butterfly differently. Have not figured out what to sub for those awesome felt balls...Thanks so much!
Nina

Sheri@childmade.com said...

Another cutie! I can tell I'll be linking a lot of your posts. Thanks for sharing!

Kim @ Frostmeblog.blogspot.com said...

Super fantastic! Tucking away for a butterfly theme party post!

Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com

INSANITY ENJOYED said...

Love it! I think Im going to make them for my daughters window. But instead of making a mobile I might just tack each strand to the top of the window all the way across. Thanks for a great idea and how-to.

nipitinthebud said...

yay, now I know how to use up some of my felt and fabric stash...

Tammy said...

Just beautiful. I love the colors!

Keely Yowler said...

WOW! This mobile is gorgeous. I am definitely going to make one fo my daughters room (and probably one for me too). Love your blog!

Andi said...

I've just made one of these as a gift for a dear friend.
Thanks so much.
Andi x

PS Blogged here:
http://patchandi.blogspot.com/2010/03/butterflies.html

Nicole Morell said...

Such a delightful project - and so well presented too. Thank you!

I shared with my customers on my store blog over here:

http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=4244969050501398039

SMW said...

Beautiful! I think instead of just stitching 2 butterflies together I will add some beads & join them them that way.

Red Roof Patterns said...

So very pretty! I want to make one for my patio. I featured this tutorial on my website. thank you!

http://www.redroofpatterns.com/2011/04/free-tutorial-colorful-felt-butterfly.html

arti said...

Hi I tried making this butterfly mobile. My children really enjoyed the whole process but it didn't turn out as good as yours moreover the butterflies flopped. i wish they would stand straight the way yours are.
But it was a lovely experience.

Arti

BugsandFishes said...

Glad you enjoyed making this!

If you use two layers of felt for each butterfly that will help keep them from flopping over time - and the thicker felt you use the better :)

Lily M said...

So cute...perfect decoration for a nursery or kids room!

MLG said...

you can also spray the felt with starch and iron it.. it helps make it more stiff so it won't flop :-) hope that helps

Iin Aryanti said...

your posts about the butterfly mobile gave me the inspiration to create a card with a butterfly theme. I made this card to take Dwita Crafty Crafts's challenge with butterfly theme on the card maker in Indonesia. Thank you for sharing and please visit if you are pleased at http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=1688190159166431279#editor/target=post;postID=2782178022822697658

creadientje said...

I loved this mobile since I once had seen it, and I finally made time (it was'nt that bad actually :-) ) to make it for a spring-swap!

http://wp.me/pK2DW-Bp

Thank you!!

Decorare Reciclar said...

Hello.

Very beautiful.

I loved the idea, thanks for the tip.

kisses from Portugal

decorarereciclar.blogspot.com

thecraftypioneer.com said...

This mobile is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Love your mobile. Can you please tell me which die cut you used and it's approximate size. Thanks

BugsandFishes said...

I didn't use a die cut, I used a paper template and cut the butterflies out by hand. You can find the template here: http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2009/02/butterflies-for-spring.html

piece of may said...

Hoi,
I love your butterfly mobile.
I can't wait to make it for my little girl.
She will be exited if she see's all the "fidlies" (that's how she called the butterfly's)
i'm gonna follow your blog and tutorials

greetings from holland,
maybritt - piece of may

Carrie Whittemore said...

What a sweet idea! Thanks so much for sharing. I loved it so much that I featured it on my blog about buggy crafts with a direct link back here http://whittskitsfabricscrafts.blogspot.com/2013/04/find-it-for-free-friday-bugs-bugs-more.html

Thanks again, Carrie

BugsandFishes said...

Maybritt - I hope you'll have fun making the mobile & that your daughter will like it! x

Carrie - thanks for the mention :)

Lauren Lanker said...

Just wanted to let you know I loved your butterfly mobile so much, I featured it in my round-up of 16 DIY Baby Shower Gift Ideas. Feel free to stop by and check it out anytime!

16 DIY Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Warmly,
Lauren
The Thinking Closet

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