Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Butterfly Mobile Tutorial

6 pipe cleaners
wool roving for top ring of mobile and 12 butterflies
DMC thread (I used silver)

The idea for this mobile came from Omer store in Neve Tzedek. I looked around online and didn't see a tutorial for anything similar, so I thought I'd post one myself so I'll remember what to do if I want to make more. They're fairly quick to make and would match any nursery or add beauty to a family bedroom or playroom.

I didn't take photos of the making of the top ring, but it's just three thicknesses of pipe cleaner twisted around eachother so the diameter is about 8". I used six pipe cleaners total. Then you take wool roving and gently twist around the pipe cleaners to cover. I did two layers of a thin amount of roving.

Then I used silver DMC thread to hang the butterflies - I started with a 6" piece of thread and added two inches for each butterfly. I think the easiest way to do this is to use 12 butterflies so you can tie the thread in the clock hour positions. Tie four at 12 / 3 / 6 / 9 o'clock first and then add the ones in between. The silver thread is really hard to tie, but looks pretty. Practice your tying technique so you can get them all to be just about the same (same amount of extra thread to cut off) so the butterflies end up evenly spaced.

Then pick and sort your colors:

Then, to make the butterflies, take a thin piece of a color of roving - I used about 7" long pieces, spread out about 1.5" thick:

Turn one end to the top and one end to the bottom to make a figure 8 shape out of the wool:

Next tie a tiny bit of roving around the center, wrapping it a few times:
Turn one end to the top and one end to the bottom to make a figure 8 shape out of the wool:

Finally, using a felting needle, poke through the center about 20 times to get the wool to hold together.

Make all the butterflies.

Thread the bottom of the first piece of thread (12 o'clock piece). Put the needle first into what will be the top of the butterfly (use the less perfect side as the top), pull the needle through the bottom and back into the bottom 1/16" or so from where the needle came out and pull it back up to the top. Knot the thread as close to the end as possible and cut off the extra thread. Do this for all the butterflies, being as consistent as possible with the positioning of the thread and the knot.

At the end, cut three lengths of 18" each. Attach them evenly around the top ring. Tie them in a double knot at the top, being sure to knot them such that the ring will be as close to perfectly flat as possible. Then make a slip knot at the top to create a hole for hanging on a hook.

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