make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

I have to say, I’m starting off with this project because it is my favorite, I think, of all the things I’ve made for babygirl’s nursery. It’s whimsical and fun and playful, everything I think a nursery should be, but I tried to keep it a little sophisticated, too, with the colors and fabric choices. I love it, anyway, so that’s all that really matters, right?

First off, the inspiration and pattern I used: I pinned this image months ago, loving the idea of a hot air balloon mobile, though that one was a little out of my price range. I knew I could find a way to make one myself (I’m sorry, it’s a sickness), so I was thrilled when I found this pattern for an adorable felt hot air balloon mobile. I used the downloadable pattern to cut out my pieces, but I modified the instructions a bit, as I’ll show you below.

To start with, I had a selection of fabric scraps from my other baby projects that I wanted to use for the mobile instead of felt.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

I decided at the outset that I wanted to make just three balloons, one of each size (an odd number is always more visually appealing than an even number). I planned them so that of the eight panels of fabric required to make the balloons, each would have four panels of one fabric and two panels each of the other two. So I cut out my fabric pieces and then arranged them accordingly on my sewing table to make sure I was sewing the correct pieces together.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by janiThen I doubled the layers of fabric up, right sides together, with the dominant fabric on the bottom.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

Using my sewing machine, I stitched around one edge of each pair of panels

make a hot air balloon mobile with impressions by janiuntil I had this. (The stitching is faint in this photo, but look at the right edge of each. It’s there. It doesn’t help that I used white thread on the white-backed fabrics.)

make a hot air balloon mobile at impression by jani

Next, turn every other set of panels right-side out. make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

Taking the still inside-out set, pull it open along the long edge, creating a canoe-shape. Nest a right-side out piece inside your little canoe, matching tops and bottoms and making sure that the right sides of all the fabrics are together.

impressions by jani making a hot air balloon mobile

Now sew along one edge

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

And repeat with the other two sets until you have two balloon halves.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

Repeat the steps of turning one right-side out and nesting it inside the other half.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

Sew along each edge, leaving a 2 inch section open at the narrow end. Turn right-side out and stuff with fiberfill, then hand-stitch the bottom seams closed and use the circle pattern piece to close off the very end.

To make the baskets for each hot air balloon and add the embellishments, I used an empty toilet paper roll and an assortment of felt. This is where you can just be creative and have fun with making your own.   make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

The largest basket is simply a piece of the toilet paper roll wrapped in felt, with a circle of felt hot-glued to the bottom.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

To make the smaller baskets, I slit the roll open and cut off a section until I was happy with the size, then wrapped those in felt as well. Then I attached each basket to the balloons with assorted bakers twine and yarn.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

To hang the balloons, I used the inside of a large embroidery hoop and wrapped it in a chunky yarn I fell in love with.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

I used four more pieces of yarn to suspend the hoop, then hung that from a length of hardware chain I picked up at Home Depot. I attached the balloons at varying heights, then draped the hoop in a mini-flag bunting and some pom pom trim.make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

Done!

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

Aren’t they cute? A few more detail shots.IMG_9881

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And one more pull-back, for good measure.

make a hot air balloon mobile at impressions by jani

What do you think? This was a labor of love (turning that tiny balloon right-side out and stuffing it was a little tricky) for sure, but I enjoyed every minute. Hopefully babygirl enjoys the view and contrast, as soon as I let her out of my arms for long enough to actually sleep in her crib. Just a few more days until she’s here!

 

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5 comments on “make a hot air balloon mobile

  1. Kira

    Super cute, Jan! What a fun addition to a lovely nursery. I can’t wait to meet that little bundle of yours.

  2. Aria

    That is precious, Jan! I love that you are spending so much time and effort to make her room a beautiful, peaceful place. She will love it.

  3. melissa

    gorgeous!!! Amazed at the detail and beauty. found you through a google image search 😉

    1. jani Post author

      Thank you, Melissa, and welcome! It’s been kind of quiet around here for my maternity leave, glad you found me in spite of that!

  4. Pingback: are we done yet? {pink, navy, & gold nursery reveal} | impressions by Jani

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