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 balloon mobile made out of felt.
I wanted to make the balloons 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:
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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 instructions.
- Multicolor Felt
- Embroidery needle
- 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 balloon, so if you want a very simple balloon, 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 designs for my balloons. First I used applique 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 directly 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:
|First I decided how I wanted to cut my pieces and draw on the template to the cut it, marked all of my pieces, but right before cutting I decided to only do 2 cuts per piece and eliminate the last mark you see in the picture.|
|Once all my pieces were cut, I mixed and matches the colors, place a super small pieces of masking tape on the back so that they will stay together edge to edge and sew them with yellow floss.
(UPDATE: if you are wondering about stitches for your ballon, I recommend you to look at Sarah's hand embroidery tutorials, she has tons of different stitches)
|After I had my 8 pieces put together I sewed them in the machine wrong side facing up, so that the stitches would be in the inside.|
|Again I left the last one half open so that the turning inside out would be easier. Then I sewed it by hand and stuffed it.|
|Lastly I sewed the bottom piece, and my hot air balloon was done!!|
After they are done, I cut pieces of corks, I just cut the average wine cork in 3 for all of the balloons, except 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 balloons in 3 different points.
I used the invisible thread to attach the top of the balloons to my painted embroidery hoop, I randomly positioned the balloons 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 balloon 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!
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