25Jul | 2012
Today I want to share one of my favorite pieces of the nursery we’re putting together for our baby Peanut =] A very colorful hot air ballon mobile made out of felt.
I wanted to make the ballons as real as possible, and researched for ideas that were not so complicated to sew, because some designs are gorgeous but at a small scale can be a nightmare. Ken used to work with a hot air balloon company, so he had a big share of “the real deal” – in my case I’ve always admired the colors and designs but I’ve never been lucky enough to get on one, but I was lucky to see my first balloon festival last year, and that’s where I got the inspiration from =]
To me hot air balloons are just gorgeous! So hopefully baby Peanut will love them too, if not at least he/she will have a lot of time to stare at these guys:
And of course I had to share a template and basic assembly directions so that everyone that loves hot air balloons can create their own designs =] So here the PDF file with the 3 different sizes I used to create mine and the instruncions.
- Multicolor Felt
- Embroidery needle and embroidery Floss
- Invisible Thread
- Embroidery Hoop
- Polyester fiberfill, or any stuffing you’d like
- Cork pieces for the basket
The template is very easy since it only has 2 pieces per ballon, so if you want a very simple ballon like the multicolor one I did with the bounty flags, you just need to cut different colors, sew them together and place the bottom piece to finish up.
Now I am going to show two different ways I experimented with design for my balloons. First I used aplique pieces and here is how I made it:
Cut 8 balloon body pieces in the same color, after that I free-cut arrow shapes and triangles direcly on felt, but if you don’t feel comfortable draw your design on the template and then cut, I played with the positioning until I was happy, then turn the pieces with the right side facing up and pin carefully.
I decided I wanted to make this balloon entirely by hand, so I started sewing each completed piece with a normal needle and treat in matching color. I sewed everything on the wrong side so the sewing stitches will be hidden.
I left one of the sides half open so that turning inside out would be easier, then I finish sewing the side and stuff it with Polyester fiberfill.
After that I carefully sewed the bottom piece, if it’s too hard for you to keep it in place pin it first.
The second way was cutting 4 pieces of each color (red and white in my case) I decided to make the biggest one like this because in my head it was going be easier to sew, and I was right =] so here it is:
After they are done, I cut pieces of corks, I just cut the average wine cork in 3 for all of the balloons, exempt the big one, for that one I used a champagne cork that I cut in half. After that I sanded the outside to erase the letters that most of them had. I used a normal treat and needle to attach the cork to the ballons in 3 different different points.
I used the invisible thread to attach the top of the ballons to my painted embroidery hoop, I randomly positioned the ballons and to finish them up I added two clouds that I free-cut and sewed with a light blue floss. So there you go! now you can create your own hot air ballon mobile too =]
I hope you guys enjoy it and let me know if you make it, I’d love to see the designs you are going to come up with!
Have a lovely day!
* This tutorial is provided for personal use only. If you wish to sell items made with this tutorial please purchase a limited production license.
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