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I’ve wanted to make a mobile for my sweet little Miss Goo since before she was born, and I figured I’d better get to it before she was too old to care.  So one day I did a blitz through Michael’s and gathered things to make a mobile for less than $5.

Supplies

  • 6″ Grapevine Wreath – $1
  • Variegated Yarn – $2
  • 3 different colors of scrapbooking cardstock – 29c each (87c total)
  • 1 skein embroidery thread/floss – 39c

TOTAL: $4.26

First I made the pom poms.  Pom poms are going through a revival fad at the moment and they are really easy to make.  Basically for a mini pom pom about 1 1/2″ in diameter, you wrap a piece of yarn around a fork till it is a fat wad, then you take a piece of yarn about 6″ and thread it through the tines to tie it very tightly around the middle of the wad.  Slide the wad off your fork, cut the loops with small scissors, fluff, and trim.

I neglected to get a shot of this in the making so here is a pictoral from VividPlease.

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Voila!  Pom poms (and my helper).  Thinner yarn works best for this tiny size.

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Next I made the hoop.  I took a 6″ wreath and simply used fabric glue to make an X shaped ribbon suspension and hanging loop for the mobile.

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I’d decided an all-pom-pom mobile would be overkill so my other pendant pieces were going to be diamond shapes made from cardstock.  I cut out a lot of these from my three colors of cardstock, using one piece as my template to ensure consistent size.IMG_1236 (800x598)

Then I cut slits halfway down each shape and slid two together to get a 3-D object.  You can do this with any shape you want from circles to butterflies.

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Next, I lined up my pom-poms and diamonds in pleasing lines of varying heights and order, making sure none were longer than I wanted the bottom of the mobile to go.

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I grabbed my embroidery thread and a big needle.  The pom poms were threaded through the middle with white glue dotted on the entry and exit points, and I just laid the embroidery thread along a bead of white glue on the diamonds.  I did glue the diamond shapes on the opposite side of the thread as well to make sure they didn’t fall apart.  I left at least 6 inches of thread at the top of each mobile string to tie them on easily, and could have left even more.

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Once I had my dangly strands all done, I tied the longest one in the middle of the hoop and then randomly arranged the rest in a balanced way.  I had to make one more strand at the end as I didn’t have quite enough – took 5 minutes.

Here is the final product.  It’s completely unique and fun to look at for us as well as Miss E.

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It’s interesting and colorful from her point of view, too.

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I just used a small C clamp to secure it on the hollow-core floating shelf in the crib corner!  (The pillow is just for pretties – it’s not normally in her crib.)  Our family crest and motto is hanging on the wall.  We had that in the living room for a while and I thought it would be perfect for over her crib.

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This is the view if you look to the left immediately upon entering our bedroom.  I want to add another something to the wall in her crib corner but don’t know what yet.  For right now, the mobile is adding a happy blast of color and texture.

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This took some time but it was so easy!  You could easily do it while watching a movie one night.  Have you ever made anything for your baby to look at?

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I found the greatest runner and matching throw rug at Target for the kitchen/dining room.  They are mostly cotton with a bit of sisal as well, and they have a diamond pattern weave.  I know my house and the boots that tromp through it from the backyard, so I’m thrilled that they’re already dirt colored!  The runner goes in front of the french doors, and the 2×3 rug goes at the other end of the room in front of the kitchen sink.  I love how this adds cohesion across the space.  It took a while to find something that looked good, would hide dirt tracked in through the french doors, AND was machine washable.  These three things do not often go together.  I paid a bit more than I usually would ($35 for the runner, maybe $12 for the throw rug?) because they were Just Right, and sometimes that is worth loosening the frugal wallet for.

However, it ended up that I had a problem with the runner.

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Actually it’s not Ana-Banana there who is the problem cat (that would be Ophelia) but she happened to be the kitty on the rug at the time I was taking pictures.  Ophelia plays soccer all night long with that little red ball you can see in the upper left, and she leaves the runner like this or worse.  Aargh!  Perpetually straightening the runner is not my idea of fun.

I tried non-slip rug pads already, but that did not help very much.

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So I needed some sort of solution that would cause the runner to lie flat, while still allowing it to be washed when needed.  I googled my situation but the internet failed me for once.  Instead I was forced to brainstorm.  Rhino tape – basically permanent on both the rug and the floor, not an option. Thumbtacks won’t work with linoleum over cement.  I considered sewing some sort of flat metal or stiff plastic strip along the long edges of the runner , maybe threading it through loops on the underside with little pockets for the ends to go into so that it would be removable for washing, but that just seemed too fussy and labor intensive.

Finally I figured out a solution.  I wanted this runner to lie flat and heavy like one of those indoor/outdoor mats with rubber backing, you know, these guys:

sisal rubber mat

So I figured out that if I got rubber matting at Home Depot and velcroed the runner to the matting, I would have my heavy, flat runner that was still removable from the matting for washing!  Genius!

They had rolls of various runner material that you could purchase in any length and I chose some medium-weight clear vinyl in a length a few inches shorter than the runner.

It was too wide (I didn’t want it to show underneath) so I marked my desired width at a few intervals down the length of the matting.

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Then I grabbed the nearest straight edge and drew a line for cutting.

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Kitchen scissors were sufficient to cut through the medium weight vinyl.

Next, I grabbed my velcro.  I had some big velcro dots on hand with sticky adhesive backing, which turned out perfectly.  There were 4 dot-sets per package, so I put one at each corner.  I may come back with another package and add some in the middle if it seems like it needs it.

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First I stuck the stiffer side of the velcro dot to the vinyl mat. 

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Then I placed the runner over the matting where I wanted it, making sure it was centered, and carefully folded back the ends of the runner to reveal the velcro on the matting.  Next I actually velcroed the second velcro dot to the first one so that the adhesive was pointing to the ceiling and I had a double dot stuck to the matting.  This way I didn’t have to worry about trying to line up the dots on two faces of material. 

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Lastly, I folded the runner back down over the matting and stood on the corners to get the adhesive from the soft & fuzzy velcro to stick well to the runner.  The softer side of the velcro seems more washable so that’s why I put that one on the washable runner.  I peeled it back to make sure it took, and voila!

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Perfect, just like I wanted.

I may take some heavy-duty thread and sew that upper dot onto the runner in a couple spots just to make sure it holds fast over time and in the wash.  But basically this has worked soooo well to keep the runner flat despite boots and cats and boots and cats messing with it.  Plus, I can still wash it!

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I am happy.

Hope this helps someone solve their problem with a runner on a slippery floor!  PS.  You may want to wash and dry your runner first before doing this, as you could get some shrinkage.