• Catriona Thomson

Making a mobile

Updated: Feb 25

A mobile can be a really good way of displaying a collection of small stitched objects, such as the fish in our aquarium kit. If you'd like to purchase our aquarium kit you can get it here and you'll need a few additional items to turn the fish into a mobile. Read on to find out more.

You will need:

  • Mobile hoop - I'm using an 8" hoop with 6 drilled holes (mine came from Ebay)

  • A metal ring from a keyring

  • Acrylic paint and brushes

  • OR bias binding and matching thread to cover your hoop

  • 165cm of ribbon to hang your mobile (I'm using a 3mm organza ribbon)

  • Invisible thread

  • Scissors

  • Needles (tapestry and sewing)

  • The items you're hanging - for us that's our tropical fish.

Step one

Cover or paint your hoop. I've gone for acrylic paint as my hoop has a few pre-drilled holes in it, so painting is easier.

I've used artists acrylics just because I already had them, but you could use craft acrylic or children's acrylic as well. Mix up the colour you want, I used ultramarine and white to create a pale blue. Paint as much of your hoop as you can in one go, but avoid painting any areas which are going to come in contact while it's drying, so you could either paint the top and sides, or use a clamp to hold your hoop upright, so you can leave a small section of all sides of the hoop unpainted. When the first round of painting has dried, paint the section you couldn't paint before and leave to dry again.

To cover your hoop instead, use bias binding. This is important as bias has some stretch to it, meaning you can wrap it around your hoop and it will still lie flat. Wrap around your hoop slightly overlapping the bias binding with each wrap and work a few inches at a time. Use a matching sewing thread in a sewing needle and use slip stitch to secure the bias in place by stitching it to itself where the wraps cross over. Work your way around the full hoop before securing your thread. Mark the holes in the hoop with a pin as you cover over them so you can find them easily for the next step.

Step two

Cut the ribbon you're using to hang your mobile into three equal pieces

measuring 55cm each.

If your hoop also has holes drilled in it, thread your first piece of ribbon into your tapestry needle and bring it up through the first hole. Tie the end of your ribbon round the inner part of the hoop and knot twice. Thread your needle onto the other end of the ribbon and through the key ring hoop twice in the same direction, then thread through the hole in the hoop directly opposite the one you've just done. Knot this off as well. Repeat this with the other two ribbons.

If you don't have holes in your mobile hoop, you'll need to tie your ribbons onto the hoop at equal spacing, tie very tightly to avoid them slipping. Once you've knotted all your ribbons, check it's hanging evenly, then trim off the ends of the knots. If it's not hanging straight you might need to adjust one or more of the knots to straighten it up.

Step three

Thread your sewing needle with invisible thread. If you're using our aquarium sewing kit then the invisible thread comes with it. Put your needle though the top of your first fish, finding the point to hang it to keep the fish balanced. Hold a length of thread approximately 30cm or 12inches each side of the fish, then thread your needle through one of the holes on the mobile hoop. Tie the invisible thread together to hold the fish at the length you want. Trim the end of the knots. Repeat this for every fish, looping each one into a separate hole and hanging them at the same length. You might find this easiest by hanging your mobile up somewhere while you tie on your fish.

How to video

Take a look at this video to show you each of the steps I've explained above:

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