Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hot Air Balloon Mobile :: Pattern and Tutorial

So, you want to make a hot air balloon mobile?  

(For more photos and a video of the mobile in action, 

My son loves this mobile, as do I.  Your baby is sure to love it, too!  (And I won't tell anyone if you're just making it for yourself because it's that awesome.)  
One of the fun things about this project is that it uses scrap-size fabrics and felt. I had everything I needed for it already on hand.  Dig through your scrap pile and use up your bits and pieces!

Let's get started!

(Photos included to hopefully make up for my woefully lacking descriptive instructions.)  

Here's what you'll need:

* Four printed fabrics and two coordinating colors of craft felt to go with each (a larger "main" color and a smaller "coordinating" color") (a small amount of each is sufficient!  approx. 9" x 6" pieces of each)
* white, cream, brown craft felt
* Craft thread or embroidery floss (colors that coordinate with main balloon colors, as well as white and brown)
* Approx. 2 yards of light blue grosgrain ribbon (3/8" width)
* Fabric adhesive (I used Fabri Tac)
* Misc. items: needle, straight pins, scissors, iron

* Pattern pieces (download here), cut out

(1) Attach Heat n' Bond (according to instructions on package):

* iron a 5" x 8" piece of Heat n' Bond to the wrong/back side of each piece of printed fabric

* iron a 5" x 5" piece of Heat n' Bond to each of the "coordinating" felt colors (the small pieces that are the center of each balloon)

(2) Pin Pattern Pieces and Cut:

Pattern Piece 1 - two of each "main" color felt (8 total)

* Pattern Piece 2 - two of each printed fabric with Heat n' Bond backing (8 total)

Pattern Piece 3 - two of each coordinating felt color with Heat n' Bond backing  (8 total)

* Pattern Piece 4 - four from the cream felt

* Pattern Piece 5 - four from the brown felt

* Pattern Piece 6 - fold white felt in half, cut three.  (six total)

* Cut four 12" lengths of ribbon (or whatever length you desire)

(3) "Build" the Balloons:

* according to instructions on Heat n' Bond, attach printed fabrics to the main felt colors

* attach smaller coordinating felt pieces to center of printed pieces  

(Note: if you leave the iron sitting on the craft felt for too long it will melt.  However, as you can see from the pictures, I did not have any problem using the iron on the felt pieces as long as I kept the steam off and kept the iron moving.)

* fold brown felt piece to form a square - for the "gondola," or passenger basket. Slip it up over the bottom (narrower end) of the cream felt and glue in place (use a dab of glue on front and back)

*  Lay the balloon pieces together right sides facing out. Use fabric adhesive to glue cream felt piece in between the balloons (at the bottom.)

(4) Sew balloons:

* blanket stitch or whip stitch the sides of the brown "gondolas" together using brown thread

* Using coordinating color thread, begin sewing balloons together at the base using a simple running stitch.  Stop when you reach the top, not quite to the center.  

* Glue approximately one inch of ribbon in between the balloon front and back.  Continue sewing around, being sure to pass the needle through the ribbon at the top.  

(NOTE: I tied my thread off so that the beginning and ending knots were hidden inside the two balloon pieces.)

(5) Attach clouds:

* approximately 1 - 1 1/2" above three of the balloons, glue cloud pieces to either side of the ribbon.  

* With the white thread, use a running stitch to stitch around the clouds, passing the needle through the ribbon both at the top and bottom.    

(6) Yay!  You're done!

* Determine how you will hang your mobile.  I tied knots in the tops of my ribbon and replaced the uninspired flowers that were on the mobile of my son's Graco swing.  

My daughter has asked for a similar mobile for her room.  For a mobile that will hang from the ceiling, I think I will use longer ribbon that is fed at the top through an embroidery hoop.  How will you hang your hot air balloon mobile??

Happy crafting!

** If you make a mobile from my pattern I'd love to hear about it!  If you Pin It or blog about it please link back to my original idea!  Thank you, kindly.

** Please let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial or if you have suggestions on ways I could make the instructions clearer.  


  1. So adorable! I had intentions of making a mobile to hang in the bassinet last time around but never got to it! Maybe if there's a next time!


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