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How to make a hot air balloon mobile with felt – tutorial and pattern – Nursery

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.

MATERIALS

DOWNLOAD the PDF PATTERN

The pattern is a PDF file, the link goes direclty to Dropbox, but you don't need an account to view it, you will need Abobe Reader or a similar program once the file is downloaded.

PROCESS

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:

[Click on images to enlarge]

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!
XOXO

[ This tutorial is provided for personal use only. If you wish to sell items made with this tutorial please purchase a limited production license. Check out our site policy for further information, Thank you! ]

Joy



How to make a hot air balloon mobile with felt - tutorial and pattern - Nursery by Joy Kelley of 
@Howjoyful

About Joy

Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop

77 replies
  1. Cindy Rangel
    Cindy Rangel says:

    Hi Joy!

    Wow, congrats on the finishing of this project! You have a great eye for design and detail. Did you got to school for this? Great work!

  2. Eve
    Eve says:

    This is so so lovely! I wish I was better with a needle and thread — or even a sewing machine! — so I could make this, and I don’t even know anyone expecting a baby!

  3. Janie
    Janie says:

    this is so adorable. i love your style with the nursery items! (elephant lamp!? amazing!) it has just the right amount of whimsy without being too cartoon-like.

  4. anna
    anna says:

    me encantaaaaaaa! gracias 🙂 cuando me vuelva un poco mas “buzita” en fieltro y haga mis patrones, te comparto 😀

  5. Allison
    Allison says:

    Making it right now for my future niece or nephew! So excited for the final product. Thanks for the pattern/tutorial 🙂

  6. beth
    beth says:

    I HAVE BEEN IN LOVE WITH HOT AIR BALLOONS SINCE GOING TO EPCOT AND SEEING THE LOVELY IMMENSE WORLD ONES IN THE ATRIUM. TOOK MANY MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF PICTURES TO DUPLICATE…5 YEARS AGO! THANKS FOR THE TUTE! THESE ARE GOING TO BE MADE TODAY AND GIVEN TOMORROW FOR MY DAUGHTER’S BESTIE’S BABY SHOWER! AWESOME…

  7. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    THis is so so cute. I have a friend’s baby shower coming up next week so I am making it. I just finished one balloon and it’s awesome! Just two questions – how did you do the pennant flags and how did you secure the invisible thread to the embroidery hoop? Thanks so much!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      For the flags I just cut triangles and run embroidery floss on the top, to secure the invisible thread I just wrap it a few times on the inside piece of the embroidery hoop and once all of the ballons where places I added the top piece (the one with the closing mechanism) – hope that helps! have a great day =]

  8. Rebecca S
    Rebecca S says:

    Sorry for the newbie question, but would it be possible to make this with basic fabric, rather than felt? Does the felt make the shape more sturdy? I like the felt a lot, but was just wondering… Thanks!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Rebecca, yes! you can make it with any kind of fabric, but you’ll need to treat the edges so they don’t fray. the felt does makes it a little more sturdy, but if you have a lot of filling makes no difference.

  9. Joan
    Joan says:

    I love this idea, esepcially since my youngest son has always been obsessed with hot air balloons. I don’t want to push nursery themes on him and his wife, but this would be a natura. They are expecting twins, one of each, so have two rooms to think about. Grandma may have to get busy. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and templates.

  10. Jenna at Homeslice
    Jenna at Homeslice says:

    Joy!

    I wanted to let you know that I shared pictures of this project (with lots of links of course!) on my blog today. I’m a huge fan and think this mobile is absolutely adorable! Thanks for the fabulous inspiration.

  11. Esther
    Esther says:

    Is it possible to add a PDF file for the clouds as well? I’ve tried drawing it out by free hand over and over again… and it looks so bad! (However, my hot air balloons are coming out great- thanks to you!)

  12. Demi
    Demi says:

    Hey. Love it! Doing it right now for a friend!

    For the red/white balloon: did you sew all the top pieces with middle pieces using the yellow floss and then all the middle and the bottom pieces, or did you “reconstitute” one crescent at a time with the 3 parts and then sew the entire balloon as for the others?

    Hope I am making myself clear…Not easy to explain, sorry.

  13. Noe
    Noe says:

    Hermoso trabajo! He soñado con algo similar para el dia que tenga un bb, por mucho mucho tiempo! Gracias a ti tal vez pueda concretar esa idea algun dia.
    Fabuloso trabajo! Felicitaciones y un abrazo desde Sudamerica (Paraguay) xoxo.

  14. Commeunelibellule
    Commeunelibellule says:

    Thank you for your free pattern! I used it last week for the birthday of my son: he wanted a hot air ballon theme, and your template was exactly what I needed! Unfortunately, I had very few time to do something, so my little hot air ballon is not very handsome, but moreover it had a big success with children! And my son was happy, so thank you 😉 You can see it there: http://commeunelibellule.over-blog.com/article-anniversaire-montgolfiere-deco-112351324.html

  15. Judith
    Judith says:

    26 years ago I made a single hot air balloon mobile for my son. I used a tear drop polystyrene shape the removed the tip from to make it more like a hot air balloon shape. I then drew the segments onto the shape, cut the fabric to match (but a little larger). Using a wooden skewer I pushed the fabric into the polystyrene. Once that was done I added lengths of ribbon with florist pins, at the bottom of these ribbons I attached a very small wicker basket that had his first tiny teddy in as a passenger.
    Last of all I attached a hanging ribbon and hung the mobile over his bed.

  16. Yael
    Yael says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely tutorial! I did one for dear friends and they loved it. I’ve used the base of a store-bought mobile so it is easily attached to the bed and rotates with music and all that 🙂 Used thimbles as baskets 🙂

    Here is a (bit fuzzy and dark) picture:

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/40546948/mobile.jpg

  17. susan
    susan says:

    My daughter made this for her sister’s new baby, Abe. It is beautiful. Love the shapes, clouds and colors.. refreshing!

  18. Aimee
    Aimee says:

    HI, I’m purchasing supplies to make a mobile and plan on using your hot air balloon pattern and embroidery hoop idea. Was wondering if it was necessary to use both pieces of the hoop? I was thinking about just using the inside ring.
    thanks, Aimee

  19. Deeptha
    Deeptha says:

    Thank you. I have two sons who both love hot air balloons. Right now I did in multi colour. Thanks for the instructions : )

  20. Tara
    Tara says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I love your nursery, it’s very original 🙂 We are doing a Dr.Seuss theme and I used this tutorial to make a mobile for “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

  21. Faye
    Faye says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am so excited you included a free PDF. These balloons are beautiful!!!!

  22. Gro
    Gro says:

    I’ve made this for my 2 months old daughter, and nomatter what mood she’s in at the time she’ll always start smiling when I put her under the mobile. She absolutely loves it and so do I. Thank you so much.

  23. sarah
    sarah says:

    Hi Joy.

    We are working on an E book with illustrated tutorials of about 200 and more stitches. We want to include samples from some of our readers. We got a pingback from your website. Your work is different from the usual! Since your stitches and pictures are really neat and good, I would like to ask if we can consider to include the one of the images in this page as well. Due credits will be given.
    If you are okay with it, please send us high resolution pictures of the images above. You can try to send some more of your stitch samples in high resolution too.

    Thanks in advance.
    Sarah

  24. Maria
    Maria says:

    First of all…thank you! Thank you for this tutorial. I LOVE hot air balloons. This maybe a dumb questions, but would you able to tell me how the 8 pieces of Cut 1 were sewn together?

    Thank you!!!
    Maria

  25. Kae
    Kae says:

    So I was standing in the basket section of Walmart the other night thinking “How cute would it be to make a hot air balloon for holding stuffies for my niece and nephews” when it suddenly hit me that I don’t have a bed side table (because I have barely any floor space!) so I decided to buy a really lightweight but sturdy basket and make a hot air balloon hanging table! Anyways! Your free template has been so very helpful to me! As well as your clear directions!

    I’m twenty three and probably far to excited about this project… But really, who can resist a hot air balloon! Thanks so much for posting this!!

    Kae Pea (:

  26. angie
    angie says:

    This is such a great idea! Can you tell us the size of the embroidery hoop you used? The link to the amazon store does not provide the details except that the item is no longer available. Much appreciated!

  27. Ms. Rogers
    Ms. Rogers says:

    I love hot air balloon after spend two yrs in Nm, so I made my own using my girls old music Mobil for the new baby boy!
    I wish can post a picture of it!

  28. ask
    ask says:

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    in support of me, keep up posting these types of posts.

  29. Gigi
    Gigi says:

    Have been looking for a colorful mobile idea that would not make my fingers ache and not require a load of cutting. I love the idea of the hot air balloons and it’s a KISS project.Thank you for the templates and the temptation. I’ve made 6 of the balloons and will add a couple of clouds.

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  31. Anna Hersey
    Anna Hersey says:

    These are adorable! Can you recommend a place to buy nice felt? What kind do you use? The kind I find at the local craft store is very flimsy and translucent. These look bold and sturdy.

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