Last week… or was it two or even three weeks ago now… I made 18 paper birds in a rainbow of colors. I finally got a chance to turn them into a mobile. Since I don’t know where I’m going to hang them yet, I took them outside to a handy-dandy, already installed hook, to hang them! Oh, how I wish I could leave them outside. There was a gently breeze and it looked like they were flying around my deck! Lovely! Unfortunately, with rain and humidity, I’m afraid they wouldn’t last for more than a few days or hours! Oh well, I’ll find a lovely place for them… either in my house or in one of the grandbabies rooms! Follow the directions below to make your own cheery Paper Bird Mobile!
NOTE: I wanted to use invisible sewing thread so it could barely be seen. The final look was great but it truly was a bugger to work with! It is so thin and springy and so… invisible… that it kept coming out of the needle! Tim was in the other room. First he heard frustrated sounds, then manically laugher, followed by silent rage, and finally, well, let’s just say I’m glad there weren’t any children around! Using the invisible thread is not for the faint of heart. If you frustrate easily, which I don’t and I did, you might want to use a single strand of embroidery floss or maybe fishing line??? Anyway… you have been warned! 😉
Materials for Paper Bird Mobile
- 18 paper birds from last week’s tutorial
- 12″ wood embroidery hoop
- invisible sewing thread
- 1/8″ grosgrain ribbon
- twine (for measuring)
- glue gun
Directions for Paper Bird Mobile
Gather up your materials and decide how you are going to use them. I made 3 purple, 3 blue, 3 green, 3 yellow, 3 orange and 3 red birds in different shades. Check out the tutorial for the paper birds HERE. I wanted to string them going from the lightest to the darkest, with the darkest colors on the bottom. I also picked 3 ribbons that I had left over from making our Braided Barrettes. I then had to decide what size hoop I wanted to use. Finally, decided on the larger, 15″ hoop.
Arrange 3 birds in the order that you want them strung. I wanted my darkest birds to be on the bottom.
Cut a piece of invisible thread 60″ long. Fold it in half and put the loop through the hole, pulling the 2 ends through the loop. This is how you secure your first bird on the line. NOTE: I used a large eye, long embroidery needle to help string the birds.
Do add the second bird, poke a hole through one of the wings. The hole should be against the bird and directly under the hanging hole on the bird.
After the thread comes through the wing, pull the thread through the hole.
I measure 5″ from the top of the first bird to the hole of the second bird.
Use your non sewing hand to hold the thread in place. Sew through the hole 2 times and tie off the thread close to the bird. The bird should be securely tied and not be able to slide up and down.
Sew on the final bird in the same manner, tying it off 5″ away from the second bird.
String each set of 3 birds in the same manner.
Using a non stretchy piece of string, I used twine, measure the circumference of the hoop. Cut the twine to fit around the hoop.
Divide the twine into 3 equal pieces.
Use one of the pieces of twine to measure and make three marks around the top of the hoop. These marks will be where you tie the ribbon to the hoop.
Make a second mark close to the first to distinguish these from the marks you make for the birds.
Cut your measuring piece of twine in half. This will be your measure for placement of your 6 strings of birds.
Fold your twine in half and center the fold on your ribbon marks. Mark either end of twine on top of the hoop. This will create 2 marks. Do this on each of the ribbon marks. This should now give you 6 marks where the birds will be tied.
Cut your 3 pieces of ribbon 60″ long. Fold each piece in half. Slide the loop to the inside of the hoop, and pull the 2 ends of the ribbon through the loop.
Pull the ribbons tight. Make sure you are on a double mark.
Do the same for all 3 pieces of ribbon.
Use a hot glue gun to secure the ribbons to the inside of the hoop.
Grabbing all three ribbons, loosely tie them off, trying to make the lengths as even as possible. Do not cut off the extra ribbon. When you decide where you want to hang your mobile, you can then make a final length adjustment and cut off excess ribbon.
Hang the mobile somewhere you can easily access. Tie the 6 strands of birds on the bird placement marks you made. I staggered how closely I tied the first bird in each line to the hoop. They were 2″, 3″ or 4″ away from the hoop.
When you are happy with their placement, use a small amount of hot glue on the inside of the hoop to hold the line of birds in place.
It is done and ready to hang! I haven’t decided where I want to put mine, so I took it outside for a photo shoot. Of course, these are paper and wouldn’t last long outside!