Today I actually wanted to show a handmade mobile, which little felt animals can dangle from. Because my last blog entry about baby mobiles totally inspired me :) If only it weren’t for one small problem: they take forever to make!!! In order to fill a whole mobile, I’ll still need a short eternity. To begin with, here’s the tutorial for making the felt animals WITHOUT the mobile :)
I’ve seen a lot of little felt creatures on the Net and always thought they were incredibly cute (e.g. here, here or here). Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of using felt for baby’s and children’s toys in general. For some reason, you can see the traces of wear quite quickly, and washing them usually makes it worse. But maybe I’m just using the wrong felt… Does anyone have better experiences or a tip to share?
Anyways, I was thinking that a mobile, which is out of reach of little baby hands, wouldn’t show signs of wear as quickly. And that’s why I decided to take on making the little felt animals. Yikes! Would you have thought so? You have to sew and sew and sew… And then a little 5x5cm animal emerges, which you needed a whole baby nap time to sew. It’s not exactly the essence of efficiency…
Nevertheless, the results look great, so here’s a short tutorial for sewing the felt animals – for everyone with LOTS of time :)
- Felt, different colors
- Embroidery thread
- Some batting material for stuffing
Patterns to download:
The fish and other marine animals can be downloaded as JPGs here.
Directions for making animals out of felt:
- First, all of the pieces of the pattern should be cut out. My mobile had a marine theme, so I chose a little fish. All the pieces have to be cut out twice, since the animal can rotate on the mobile and should look the same from both sides.
- First I sewed the white head of my fish onto its blue body. You can either use a simple basting stitch or, like I did, stitch at a right angle to the edge.
- Then I sewed the fins on the same way, but with the ends of the fins standing up a little – which gives the fish a nice 3D effect.
- Then I embroidered on the eyes and sewed the little cheeks in place. Just like with the application on my Crinkle toy with the snail, I cut out the felt cheeks and sewed them on like you would sew a button (I’d rather use buttons, but unfortunately they can be swallowed, and I like to stay on the safe side).
- Now the fish is nearly ready to be sewn together. Before that, pin the dorsal fin in place so that it can’t slip while sewing.
- Now the whole fish (comprised of 2 layers of felt) should be sewn together using a mattress stitch.
- After sewing half of it, I stuffed the body with some batting material to give the fish some volume. Then finish sewing the fish together and tuck the ends inside. Finished :)
As I already mentioned, I wanted to make a marine mobile, since it goes well with the colors of the changing table and the cot ornamentation. Along with the fish, I made an octopus and other marine animals. That should be enough to fill 1 or 2 mobile arms :D
At the first glance it might not look like that much work, but the devil is in the details here. And you have to do everything on both sides of the figure.
But like I said, these little guys turned out so sweet. Of course I’ll show you once I’ve finished my mobile… it’s only a matter of months :)