Melbourne maker, Gemma Patford shows us how to craft a baby mobile using rope and paint!
Babies do spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling. So why not give the baby something fun to look at? I have found that, from about eight months old, babies hate being changed on the changing table. They roll about and like to exercise their independence. This mobile offers a great distraction for speedy nappy changes.
20 m (65 ft 7 in) of cotton rope, plus extra for rope ring
Sewing machine with a zigzag stitch
Water-based acrylic paint in yellow, pink, blue, green, red, white and orange
Small craft paintbrush
1 m (3 ft 3 in) x 1 m (3 ft 3 in) piece of paper to paint on
Embroidery thread in your choice of complementary colours
1. Take a piece of rope and coil it into a small circle. It should resemble the number 9 with a small coil and a tail of loose rope.
2. Place your coil under your needle and slowly start to zigzag stitch the rope together. Bind the coil together by reversing over your stitches a few times to secure them. Repeat in the diagonal direction to the first line of stitching.
3. Once your coil is secure, slowly begin to zigzag stitch the loose rope to the coil. Be sure that the zigzag stitch captures the loose rope and the coil as you sew.
4. Continue to sew until your coil reaches your desired shape and size. Finish off your coil by looping the last few centimetres of rope underneath itself and sew it closed, leaving an eyelet. This is where you’ll thread your string. Sew nine rope coil circles. These coils will be your sun and planets. You may like to make them different sizes – i.e. the sun 15 cm (6 in), Jupiter 9 cm (3½ in), Saturn 8 cm (3¼ in), Uranus and Neptune 7 cm (2¾ in), Earth and Venus 6 cm (2½ in), Mars and Mercury 4 cm (1½ in). I know I know I know – these are not to scale!
5. Take Saturn and super glue a rope ‘ring’ across the middle.
Using the white acrylic paint, give all your planets a thick base coat. Set aside to dry.
6. Using the water-based acrylic paints, decorate your coils to resemble your sun and planets. Set aside to dry.
7. Once dry, fix your planets to the yellow coil – the sun – using a needle to get each embroidery thread through the painted rope.
8. Take four lengths of embroidery thread, cut them to the same length and attach them roughly halfway out from the middle of the yellow coil, forming a square. Tie a strong knot at the top and hang.
We also had the pleasure of chatting to Gemma Patford recently and got a sneak peek of her studio space.