I give you
This week's TCDIY gives you ideas for your next baby shower, including a simple bird-mobile and a baby's-first-year calendar.
Summer can go by in a flash, the weekends piling up with weddings, festivals, baby showers and getaways. And last week’s heat combined with no A/C at the homestead got me feeling just fine about the speedy pace of the season. But there’s still plenty of activity remaining in final hot months, so the only option is to stay busy.
A couple weeks ago, I attended a baby shower for one of my dearest friends in the land and had a lovely time. This girl knows how to throw a party—sangria, full keg, slow-roasting birds on a spit, badminton and NO baby games (huzzah!). The decorations for the event were absolutely gorgeous and centered around a playful bees and flowers theme. I wanted to gift a couple memorable items for the new mother-to-be so I got to searching Pinterest. I found a pattern for these adorable fabric birds that I then secured to a few tree branches to act as a sort of mobile.
The project takes a little longer if you decide to go the hand-sewing route but the process itself can be a nice way to relax at the end of the day. I decided to use my sewing machine for about half the birds and that worked out splendidly. Give both a try and see what you think. For me, the trickiest part of the project was securing the branches to one another to get the desired mobile effect—the whole family got involved in the process. The initial idea was to use only one piece of fishing line so that the branches could rotate as they choose. The string, however, was not strong enough to offset the weight of the birds. So, we had to run two strands through either side of each of the branches to keep everything in balance. The end result is still great this way, but the branches won’t be able to rotate.
If you do want to achieve the rotation effect, you can try to use a strong gauge wire or create a version of a stand with a thin metal rod—props to my pops for that idea. I used real branches for the project, so this might not be something you’d necessarily want to hang directly over the newborn. Bark debris might still be crumbling down and the pointy branch ends are not exactly a baby’s best friend.
In addition to the bird-mobile, I also decided to make my friend a simple desktop calendar that I had made in the past. The intention for this calendar, however, was to document the baby’s first year of life–adding little notes from the day like, “Lots of giggles today” or “Almost first steps” and so on.
One of my favorite parts about the shower was that everyone brought their favorite children’s book to get a nice collection started for the new family. This is a great idea and can be fun for both the giver and recipient. So consider these handmade gifts for your next baby shower and if you plan on making the bird-mobile, you might want to get started right now!
needle and thread
3-4 tree branches (you can use real or fake)
hot glue gun
drill with teeny tiny drill bit
Use the free online pattern and get to sewing. Follow the pattern instructions and leave the tail end open for the polyfill stuffing.
Use hot glue or string to place and secure your birds to the sticks. I recommend the hot glue for a sturdy finish.
This is where you can come up with your own method. It’s hard to see in the final photo, but I decided to run two separate fishing lines spaced out on either side of the branches to even out the weight and to keep the birds upright.
To do this, you can use a marker to line up three incision marks on either side of each branch and then use a small bit to drill your holes. Insert your fishing line, starting from the bottom branch, and make sure to knot the line underneath each branch section.