We've had lots of "April Showers" this week, so it seemed like a good time to share a tutorial for making a fun felt rain-cloud mobile. It's a perfect craft project for a rainy afternoon!
There's two versions to choose from...
A happy cloud with cute button raindrops:
Or you can skip the decoration completely and make a simple mobile from plain felt shapes. (I decorated one side of my mobile with a smiley face & buttons, and the other side with sequins).
To make your mobile you will need...
- the templates provided at the bottom of this post
- turquoise or other blue felt to make raindrops
- grey or white felt for the cloud
- matching blue and grey/white sewing thread
- white or light blue ribbon
- polyester stuffing or felt/fabric scraps
- sewing scissors, pins, a needle
- for the happy cloud you will also need pretty blue buttons, black or navy blue embroidery thread/floss and a large needle
- for the sparkly cloud you will also need turquoise or other blue sequins, and a selection of silver sequins
1) Use the templates provided to cut out two cloud shapes from grey or white felt, and lots of blue raindrops. You'll need two teardrop-shaped pieces for each raindrop you want on your mobile (I cut out 14 shapes to make 7 raindrops).
2) Decorate one cloud shape - this will become the front of your mobile.
For the happy cloud, cut out two small blue circles to form the eyes and sew them in place with a couple of small stitches of dark embroidery thread/floss (black or navy blue). Use more of the embroidery thread to backstitch a smile. You could sew the smile freehand or draw it on in pencil first and then sew over the pencil line.
For the sparkly cloud, just sew on lots of silver sequins. You could use all one size and shape, or an assortment like I have, and use as many or as few sequins as you like in whatever arrangement you fancy! Use grey or white thread and three stitches per sequin.
If you want to plan out the sequin arrangement before you sew them in place, lay out your sequins on the second felt cloud shape or the cloud template and transfer them to the first cloud shape one by one as you sew them in place.
3) Decorate half your raindrops - either with blue buttons or blue sequins. Use matching blue thread to sew them in place, using three stitches per sequin and two or three stitches with double thickness thread per button.
4) Cut a length of narrow blue or white ribbon, fold it over to form a loop and sew it in place to the back of your decorated cloud piece using thread to match the felt cloud. I used 6mm wide ribbon & cut a piece of ribbon approx 32cms long.
Use whip stitches and sew slightly into the felt instead of all the way through it so your stitches don't show through on the front. Alternatively you can sew the ribbon loop to the undecorated backing cloud piece - make sure you sew it to the side which will be hidden when the two cloud shapes are sewn together!
5) Then cut three pieces of ribbon to sew your raindrops onto (I cut three 25cm lengths of ribbon). Make sure you include enough so your ribbon can overlap onto the felt cloud shape!
Arrange the raindrops how you want them, and then sew them in place along the ribbon. First sew the ribbon to one raindrop shape using thread to match the raindrops. As with sewing the loop to the cloud, use whip stitch sewing into the felt instead of through it.
Then put the second raindrop shape in place and sew them together by whip stitching around the edge with more matching thread. Finish your stitching as neatly as possible at the back of the raindrop, then move onto the next raindrop...
6) You should now have three strands of ribbon, with felt raindrops sewn onto them. Pin the ribbons in place so they're hanging from the bottom of one of your cloud pieces. It doesn't matter which cloud piece you sew them to, just make sure the decorate side of the raindrops is facing towards the side which will be the front of your mobile.
Sew the ribbons in place with whip stitch, remove the pins and trim any excess.
7) Put the front and back cloud pieces together so the "right" sides are facing outwards (i.e. the sides you want visible when the mobile is finished) and pin them together. Use matching white or grey thread to whip stitch around the edges (or use blanket stitch if you prefer) leaving a gap large enough for adding the stuffing in the next step.
8) Stuff the cloud lightly with polyester stuffing or small scraps of felt or fabric - just enough to give the cloud a nice shape without becoming overstuffed. I added small pieces of stuffing bit by bit to make sure each curve of the cloud had a bit of padding in it, and to ensure the cloud was evenly stuffed.
Then sew up the hole with more whip stitching (or blanket stitching) and finish your stitches neatly at the back. And you're finished!
Remember that all mobiles should be hung well out of reach of young children, and that if you hang your mobile in direct sunlight the felt will fade over time.
Double click the template / click to open it in a new tab / or click here in order to view it full size and print. To print the templates full size, make sure to set the image to print at 100% and your page to be "landscape".
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. It's okay to borrow a few photos if you want 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 or sell it in any form. Thanks!
Like clouds but want to make something slightly smaller? Try this tutorial for a raincloud brooch.