Sunday, May 15, 2011

DIY Mobile

Bear with me while I explain the reasoning behind the Ugly Doll nursery we set up for our baby girl.

More than a year ago, my husband started traveling to NJ every week, Monday through Friday. It sucked. But every Friday when I picked him up from the airport, he always had a present for me :) He started getting me Ugly Dolls because he said they reminded him of me. Hopefully not in a "you're ugly like they are" kind of way but more of a "you're true to yourself" kind of way. Some weeks it was medium sized Ugly Dolls, other weeks it was the mini versions, the Clip On kind. In the end, we ended up with 30+ of them. So when we found out about baby Z, the nursery theme was a no-brainer. I knew that I wanted to have the larger Ugly Dolls up on the walls, but I thought 20 or so mini ones would seem cluttered on the wall. So I decided to make mobiles with them - they were the perfect size!

These are my instructions for the DIY mobile I made for baby Z's nursery. I used Ugly Dolls but you can pretty much use anything you can think of: mini stuffed animals, paper cutouts, felt flowers, etc. You'll need the following:

-Yarn (I chose two different colors but you really only need 1 regular sized ball of yarn)
- 2 wood embroidery hoops (one smaller than the other)
- Scissors
- Glue gun
- Needle
- Embroidery floss to match (again, I used two different colors but you don't have to)
- Your choice of hanging objects
-Hook to attach mobile to ceiling

You'll only be working with one part of the embroidery hoop; the part without the clasp. Attach one end of the yarn to the embroidery hoop with a knot. Very slowly, start wrapping the yarn around the embroidery hoop and continue to do this until the whole hoop is covered in yarn. Finish it off by tying a knot and use your needle to gently tuck the knot in between the yarn so that it is hidden. Do the same for the second embroidery hoop. It will look like this when you are done:

Then, use your embroidery floss to attach the two embroidery hoops together. I chose to put the small hoop on top, but you can really do it either way. Cut a piece of the floss that will give you a good distance between the two hoops and tie a knot at the end. Using your needle, thread the floss through the yarn on the hoop and pull it through until it attaches with the knot. Attach the same piece of floss to the other hoop pulling the floss until you are happy with the distance between the two hoops.

Finish that one with a knot as well. You'll want to do this 3 more times spaced evenly around the hoops. At this point it becomes more of a guessing game. You'll have to hold one hoop up and play around with different floss lengths until the two hoops are attached at evenly spaced points.

Figure out the distance between your ceiling hook and the crib and cut 4 identical pieces of embroidery floss to match that distance. Using your needle, attach the 4 pieces of floss to the top hoop, evenly spaced. Once your mobile is done, you'll use these four pieces of floss attached together at one end to hang the mobile from the hook on the ceiling.

Now you're ready to attach the Ugly Dolls (or other hanging items). After threading your needle with a piece of embroidery floss, poke it through the top of the Ugly Doll. Then tie the Ugly Doll around the bottom hoop with a couple knots.

Do the same for the other hanging items.

To make sure that none of the knots would ever come loose and cause the plush dolls to fall into the nursery and become a choking hazard, I used my glue gun to add a good amount of glue to every knot on the hoops. That way, each knot, thread, and doll was secured to the yarn hoop and wouldn't risk coming undone. It's not the prettiest option, but once the mobile hangs, you can't see the glue.

And there you have it! A DIY mobile!

I ended up making two since I had so many little Ugly Dolls; one for her crib and one for the changing table. 

Hopefully my instructions weren't too confusing. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section!


  1. This is adorable! (I just found your blog by Googling "DIY mobile" because I'm making my daughter a mobile out of car antenna Mickey heads. :-) Just wanted to see what other people were doing for *their* babies. Tee hee.)

    I LOVE UglyDolls! They are so cute! I have one, and it's on display in my scrapbooking room. But I was definitely considering getting one for my daughter... even though she's only 6 weeks. ;-)

  2. Nothing wrong with too many Ugly Dolls at such a young age :) Our daughter LOVES them. She just stares and stares at them when we change her. And the mobiles turned out awesome! I was worried that she'd get bored of them because they don't move and make music like modern mobiles but just pushing the mobile a little makes it sway for a bit and she's enamored with it. Good luck with the Mickey mobile! Feel free to send pics!