NFL Crib Mobile Tutorial

nfl crib mobile tutorialThis NFL crib mobile tutorial is my contribution to this year’s Crafty Football Blog Hop! I’m generally known for my cross stitch and needlepoint projects but lately I’ve been noticing so many fun felt projects I wanted to give it a try. I also really enjoy the colors of the NFL teams – they’re bright and bold, perfect for crafting. Why not have felt and NFL colors join forces in three dimensions?

nfl crib mobile tutorial 2015 crafty football blog hop badgeThis 2015 hop, like the 2013 and 2014 hops, is a combination of participants in the Crafty Fantasy Football League (#CraftyFFL) and fellow crafty and inventive football fans. At the bottom of this post, check out the links to the other participants outstanding projects!

 

 

Things you’ll need:

  • felt
  • embroidery floss
  • an embroidery hoop (I used a 5″ x 9″ oval shaped hoop as it was close in appearance to the outline of a football)
  • paperclips
  • fabric scissors
  • paper scissors
  • pins
  • cotton batting or cotton balls (optional)
  • needles
  • ruler
  • small metal or wooden ring (optional)
  • glue (school glue is fine)

NFL Crib Mobile

You will need 16 colors of felt and 13 colors of embroidery floss. The embroidery floss I already had in my supplies, but I purchased the felt and the hoop from the incredibly helpful Deanna of the Etsy shop BusyLittleBird. She (and Mr. BusyLittleBird) went above and beyond when helping me get the correct colors of felt for this project and I can not thank her enough!

I recommend her listing for 20 sheets of 6″ x 9″ wool blend felt as that size sheet is big enough to accommodate all the cut pieces necessary of any color. I can also recommend her listing for the 5″ x 9″ oval hoop, and in addition, she sells DMC embroidery floss if you need to augment your collection.

nfl crib mobile tutorial legendThe legend at right shows the names of the felt colors (as they are listed at BusyLittleBird), the DMC floss numbers, and the team color combinations necessary for the mobile.

Note: It will take two whole skeins of floss to wrap the 5″ x 9″ hoop. Also, some of the colors in the photo above are different than the colors listed in the legend – a result of post-purchase consultations with BusyLittleBird. I recommend you go with the colors in the legend.

 

 

Cutting:

On the mobile, each of the 32 NFL teams are represented by a double-sided felt square. Each side consists of a big outer 1 1/2″ square and a small inner 3/4″ square.

Let’s use Denver (my fave team – Go Broncos!) as an example. The outer square is Ragtime Blue and the inner square is Sunburst. Therefore, for Denver’s double-sided square, you will need to cut two 1 1/2″ Ragtime Blue squares and two 3/4″ Sunburst squares. Repeat this for all the teams, and refer to the legend for all the color combinations.

I used fabric scissors to cut the squares, although a fabric cutting machine or a rotary fabric cutter probably would have worked much better at getting the edges of the squares at precise right angles.

Next up are the 4 pennants and the 4 footballs, and here is a template of those shapes for you to use.

For the footballs, cut out the eight paper templates and pin them to the Peat Moss felt. You may want to do a rough cut to separate the pieces from each other, and then go back and more carefully cut around the edge of the paper football template.
NFL Crib Mobile

For the pennants, cut four big triangles of Kelly Green felt and another four of Chartreuse felt. You may want to pin the big outer triangle templates to the green felt in the same manner as the footballs before you make your cuts. The eight small triangles can be cut from scraps of the other felt colors.

After all the cutting, you can unpin the templates from the felt and discard the paper. You may need to trim a few pieces to get them a little more correct.

When you have finished cutting, in total you will end up with 64 big squares, 64 little squares, 8 footballs, 8 big triangles and 8 small triangles.
NFL Crib Mobile

 

Sewing:

Use three strands of the six strand embroidery floss to sew the small inner squares to the middle of the big outer squares. Use the floss color that matches the bigger felt square. Refer to the legend once again to get your team color combinations correct. The photos below show Tampa Bay’s silver and red sewn with the silver floss.

Make a knot on the end of the floss, and come up from the back about 1/8″ from the corner of the inner square. Make a simple running stitch all the way around, and then tie off the floss with a knot on the back. Repeat this process for all 64 squares.
NFL Crib Mobile

Put the two halves together back to back, with the knots on the inside. This time use only one strand of that same bigger square floss color. Make a small knot at the end of the floss. Starting at the middle of the top, whip stitch the two pieces together. The photos below show the basics of the whip stitch, but here is another set of directions you might find useful.
NFL Crib Mobile

Stop whip stitching at the fourth corner, leaving half of the top unsewn and open as shown in the photo below. Leave roughly 4 – 5 inches of the single strand of floss so that you can finish whip stitching the top later. Repeat this process for all 32 squares.  NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileRepeat the same steps for the pennants. Sew the small triangles onto the big triangles with three strands of floss. Put the two pieces back to back, and whip stitch the pennants, again using one strand of floss. However this time, leave the entire top edge of the pennants open.

 

 

NFL Crib MobileUse three strands of white embroidery floss to sew laces on four of the eight footballs. Whip stitch one “laced” football to a plain football. This time, leave roughly 1 1/2 inch around the top center open and unsewn. At this point, you can stuff the footballs with cotton batting or even cotton balls to give them a little dimension.

 

When all of your pieces have been whip stitched, layout all the pieces into 8 columns of 5 pieces. Put one pennant or football in each string. Try to balance the position of brighter squares and darker squares, and try to avoid duplicate color combinations (I’m looking at you navy blue and red, for one) being adjacent to each other.
NFL Crib Mobile

One note, do not put a pennant at the bottom of a string like I have shown above. I found out that those little puppies won’t hang straight unless there is a square or football below them.

Assembling the Strings:

For this step, you will need another needle that is at least as long as the squares are tall – 1 1/2 inches. I alternated between the two green floss colors, DMC 699 and DMC 704, to make the strings. Cut pieces of floss 30″ – 36″ long and separate them into two three-strand groups. Thread your long needle with one of these three strand groups of floss.

You’re going to start from the bottom piece and work your way up each string of five pieces.

Double or triple tie a paperclip to the end of the floss. Trim the tail end of the floss quite close to the paperclip. Insert the paperclip into the unstiched gap in the square. Orient the paperclip vertically, and center the top of the paperclip and the floss at the top center of the square. Make sure that the tail end of the green floss is tucked inside the square.
NFL Crib Mobile
NFL Crib Mobile

Thread your smaller needle with the tail of the floss you used to whip stitch the two pieces together. Whip stitch the top of the square closed, making sure you stitch on either side of the green floss four or five times to secure the paperclip.
NFL Crib Mobile

As this mobile isn’t meant for much handling, no knot is necessary. Just draw the thread out through an edge of the square between the two pieces of felt and trim it close.
NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileIf your next piece is a square or a football, insert the long needle through the bottom center between the two back-to-back pieces. Work the needle toward the top center, making sure you don’t accidentally pierce either of the two sides. Pull the long needle through the top of the piece.

 

NFL Crib MobileIf your next piece is a pennant, run the needle between the pieces roughly in the same location as the base of the small triangle.

 

 

 

Now you will want to look at the spacing between pieces on the string. In my example, I put about two inches between pieces. Tie another paperclip to the green floss where the top of the next piece will be. For example, if the next piece is a square, the knot on the paperclip would be 3 1/2 inches (2 inches spacing plus the 1 1/2 inch of the square) above the top of the piece below it. Using a ruler will definitely help your spacing.
NFL Crib Mobile

After you get your paperclip knotted in place, insert the paperclip into the unstitched gap and finish whip stitching the piece in the same manner as you did with the first piece on the string. Again, make sure you stitch on either side of the green floss four or five times to secure the paperclip inside the piece.
NFL Crib Mobile

Repeat these steps until all five pieces are on a string, and all eight strings are assembled.

Assembling the mobile:

All you will use is the smaller, inner embroidery hoop. Mark 8 equidistant places on the hoop, and then tie the 8 strings to the hoop using secure knots. You can tie the eight strings all at the same height or stagger the heights as I did. You should have plenty of extra string – don’t trim the excess yet!

Take three of the eight excess strings (I chose the strings at roughly the 12:00, 4:00 and 7:00 positions), and tie them together above the mobile so that the hoop will hang level. At this point you could attach a metal or wooden ring. I didn’t have one available, so I just made a second knot about an inch above the first knot.
NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileTrim the five other excess strings down to a length of about 1 1/2″ and then use a little glue to stick the floss ends to the inside of the hoop.

 

 

 

Now you’re ready to start wrapping your hoop. It will take two whole skeins of floss, using all six strands, to wrap a 5″ x 9″ hoop. Use a little more glue to stick the beginning of the skein to the hoop. Work your way over that beginning and continue wrapping the floss around the hoop. Take care that you don’t catch up the eight strings below or the three strings that go up to the knot.
NFL Crib Mobile

Tip: Holding the hoop with all the strings attached and bobbing around while you’re trying to wrap the floss is nearly impossible. On my table I used a couple of new rolls of paper towels standing on end to assist me in holding up the hoop. Putting a big rubber band around each roll helped as well.

NFL Crib MobileTo tie off a skein, thread a needle with the floss, pass it under as many wraps as possible on the inside of the hoop, and then closely trim off the extra. After you tie off, you may need to scoot and shift a couple of wraps to cover some small gaps that show the wood hoop.

Congratulations – your mobile is complete! Here is mine, hanging out with some aspen leaves.

 

 

 

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made this year!


Five Tutorials I Would Like to Try

link-love-icon250Following Diane and Tammy’s Link Love mission, today I’m sharing five tutorials I would like to try!

 

 

 

 

 

Chevron Scarf#1 Jody McKinley’s Chevron Scarf pattern on her JavaJem blog. I also featured this project in my recent post on variegated yarn projects. I just love how the six different colorways of Koigu combine so cheerfully. My biggest hesitation on this one is that I have never knit a single stitch. I’m thinking I’d have to tackle some much simpler scarves before attempting this beauty.

 

 

 

 

#2 This DIY Chevron Wall Art project by Emma of MyBojuLife. There’s lots of paint chip art out there, but this one grabbed my particular attention. I have a lot of leftover paint chips from when we remodeled one of our bathrooms, and this looks to be a quick and fun project.

 

 

#3 Rachel at LinesAcross has this tutorial on how to make beads from scraps of paper and leftover embroidery floss. This tutorial I also featured in a previous post on using flosses in jewelry. It’s a brilliant way to be creative and thrifty at the same time, and I think I have an idea of how to use these beads in projects other than jewelry…

 

 

 

#4 I love the concept behind this baby mobile by Alisa Burke guest posting at SewMamaSew. Once again, I featured this project in a fun previous post about water-themed crafts. With a minimum of planning and expense, she created this striking project. I don’t know any babies who are currently in need of a mobile, but I know some little boys who might like to help me make them a cool door curtain…

 

 

 

 

Picture of Rain Gutter Garden Planter Troughs#5 Last of the five tutorials I would like to try is some variation of this Rain Gutter Garden Planter tutorial on Instructables. Our house is on an incredibly tiny lot, and planters are our only option. Using rain gutters is an economical way to go vertical without creating too much weight. We’re thinking that some (shallow-rooted) herbs and lettuces might be a nice place to start!

My previous posts in the Link Love Mission include “Five Books I Made Something From,” “Five Posts I’m Proud of Creating” (note: from early in the history of this blog), “Five Favorite Projects for DIY Crafty Goodness,” and my favorite and most important: “Five Blogs that Make Me Laugh.”

Water Themed Crafts Part 4

Welcome to healthy water themed crafts part 4! These are crafts that encourage us to drink more water and that help us appreciate clean rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Parts 1, 2, and 3 covered crafts ranging from crochet to polymer clay, woodworking to scrapbooking, and chainmaille to knitting. Today, in this fourth of six posts, I’m covering needlepoint and cross stitch, baking, glassblowing, basketweaving, and sewing.
The Penny Wishing Well

 [The Penny Wishing Well by Paula Steele via Flickr]

Water Themed Crafts in Needlepoint and Cross Stitch

Let me start with this piece by Diane Herrmann entitled “Walking the Water’s Edge” on BridgesMathArt. This combines two of my favorite things, needlepoint and geekery, into a beautiful result. From the post: “To be mathematically precise, we work with the sum of two trigonometric curves to show the action of water as it sloshes over itself in the push to get on the shore.” Love this!

 

healthy water crafts - dragonfly pillowIn a less mathematical vein is this dragonfly cushion kit available on TheStitchery. The 4.5 to the inch gauge would be a bit large for me, but it does have some very pretty watery effects.

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - water dragon cross stitch patternThen I found this Water Dragon pattern available on Flowers2Flowers. Accompanying the Chinese symbol for water, he’s a rather handsome water beast.

 

 

 

 

Needlepoint piece / WMMW BLUE / for cushion cover top or wall decor etc.Finally is this amazing wave interference pattern by Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpi. This is one of the projects from Cresus-Parpi that first got my jaw-dropping attention. If you would like to read more about her works, I featured an interview with Haruhi in July 2013. The original needlepoint project has been sold, but I wonder if Haruhi would consider selling the pattern?

Water Themed Crafts in Baking

I fully realize that the terms “healthy,” “water,” and “baking” don’t necessarily complement each other. However, when it comes to appreciating clean water, there certainly are many examples of this in baked goods. I’ll start with this amazing water cooler bottle cake by YenersCakes in Australia. How fun is this?

 

 

Next up are these clever water bottle cookies by CristinsCookies, made as part of a massive order of seven different bicycling-themed cookies (sunglasses, jersey, bicycle, etc.) for one of her customers.

 

 

This lush scene from BubbleandSweet is really more of a party planning post, but you won’t find a party more water-themed than this. Here’s additional tutorial information about the pearly cake and macaron tower, and the very cute mermaid cookies.

 

 

 

 

cake wavesCraftsy has this great tutorial on how to make wave ruffles from fondant. On the same post, they have a link to this post full of beach-themed cakes. CreativeCelebrations also has this post featuring, among others, numerous examples of cakes with shell and beach themes. Lots of inspiration out there!

 

 

 

 

Waves & Beachy Heart Cookies | Make Me Cake MeI’ll finish up with some helpful tutorials for some gorgeous wavey and beachy decorated cookies. First up are the instructions for these Summer Lovin’ Beachy Heart Cookies by MakeMeCake. Cute!

 

 

 

Beach cookieNext is a link to a video tutorial by Sweetambs for these beach cookies (love the drawing in the sand),

 

 

 

Wave and Surfboard Cookies - by Glorious Treatsand lastly is this totally gnarly DIY for wave cookies (along with some excellent surfboards and swim trunks) by GloriousTreats. Honestly, I’d feel guilty eating any of these cookies I’ve featured as they’re just too gorgeous (but I bet they’re absolutely delicious)!

 

Water Themed Crafts in Glasswork

Let’s start with this simple and pretty tutorial for this beachy glass gem art by Shannon at MadiganMade. It’s inexpensive, sparkly, and in her own words “…this sucker was HEAVY,” but she loves it!

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - lampwork bead with wave patternThere is an ebook tutorial for this gorgeous lampwork ocean scene bead from BeadsandBotanicals via ArtFire.

 

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - lampwork bead with wave pattern tutorialFrom Victoria’sGlassworks on the LampworkEtc site is a DIY on how to create this type of beautiful wavey beads.

 

 

 

Making-Waves-with-Glass-image2BeingBesidetheSeaside shares some information on how to make waves and bubbles in fused glass,

 

 

 

kim merriman fused glass waveand KimMerrimanArt has these examples of colorful waves in fused glass for some inspiration.

 

 

 

Here’s a quick video on YouTube from ExpertVillage on how to create waves in blown glass, and there are numerous sources of inspiration for wave shapes and patterns in blown glass. First is this example by NewHopeStainedGlass on their Etsy store.

 

 

 

 

 

Next is this beautiful “Coastal Bowl” by Wind’sEdgeStudio.

 

 

 

 

Iridescent Hand Blown Glass Bottle VaseThen there is this iridescent wave pattern vase by Josh Fradis in his Etsy store,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and also this amber wave vase by Carl Radke via ArtfulHome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glass wave sculpture by Mario CeroliThis glass wave piece (via CluboftheWaves) by Mario Ceroli is unique and beautiful,

 

 

Chihulybut when it comes to the expression of water and wave forms in blown glass, the ultimate artist may be Dale Chihuly. A Flickr search on “Chihuly” produces some beautiful photos, and his website has all his details, including his exhibition schedule. If you’ve ever been to the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas or seen the movie Ocean’s 11, his enormous work “Fiori di Como” adorns the ceiling of the lobby.

Water Themed Crafts in Basketweaving

healthy water crafts - chumash native american water basketI was curious about the existence of watertight baskets and I found this conversation on the topic on Yuku. Not surprisingly, it seems they’re difficult to weave, and require maintenance to keep their water-tightness, if not pitch and/or seeds to effectively plug all of the tiny holes. The book Survival Skills of Native California seems to have more definitive information on the topic

 

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - large wave basket lampshadesI’m happy to say there are some beautiful examples of waves in basket weaving. First are these large scale pieces made by Lin Lovekin as lampshades for a restaurant.

 

 

Wave basketNext is this amazing wave basket piece featured on SmithsonianMag.com.  It was part of an exhibit featuring the basket weaving art of African slaves who were brought to the American South.

 

healthy water crafts - pakistan wave basketThis simple but elegant wave basket is from Pakistan and available on RedPeacockImports,

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - wave basketand among other of her wavey designs is this fun piece by Sheila Wray on her site, BeyondtheBasicBasket.

Water Themed Crafts in Sewing

healthy water crafts - sewn water bottle carrierTo encourage us to drink more water, Jennifer Stern at CraftStylish has this detailed tutorial to sew an embroidered water bottle carrier. I like this tutorial as she describes how to size the carrier for a bottle you already own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - sewn layered wave skirtThen what girl wouldn’t want this very cool skirt! This great tutorial by Julie Martin of ZozoBugBaby via PetitePurls has measurements for different sizes and ways to reuse fabrics into this pretty project.

 

 

SewMamaSew featured a DIY by Alisa Burke from her book Sew Wild for this water inspired mobile for a baby’s room. I love the unstructured nature of the project, and how it is so bright and colorful while being different from most of the super-cutesy things made for new babies.

 

 

 

 

 

This lovely sea waves pillow is a tutorial from Amy Friend on the SizzixBlog. They share the colors of the gorgeous Kona Cottons they used, and although they used the Sizzix die cutter, I’m sure similar shapes could be achieved other ways (and how did she get her points to match up so perfectly?).

 

Pin cushion tutorialI adore this larger scale “pin pillow” by Lori at TheInboxJaunt. It’s a great way to use up tiny scraps and make a colorful and very functional pincushion. I’d love to make one someday!

 

 

I’ve found two tutorials for wavey bags. The first is the (depressingly named but very pretty) Wave Goodbye tote on WeddingDressBlue. A nice touch is at the bottom of the post – there are photos of completed projects by her readers.

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - wave tucked preppy handbagThe next tutorial is this bright Wave Tucked Preppy Handbag at Sew4Home. The fabrics used in this project are great and I bet there are some other combinations that would be equally fabulous.

 

 

 

 

OCEAN BUTTONS... 5 beach stone button tagsFor the details, these Ocean Buttons by MadeforFun on their Etsy shop would be a perfect way to finish off a water-themed project. Each button is roughly one inch in diameter – making it perfect for a bag or an ocean inspired sweater.

 

 

hd-mosaic_wave_col_3Finally, I had the good luck to find this fun ribbon, based on a mosaic tile wave pattern, on BelloModo. This could be used to beautiful effect in so many projects!

 

 

 

That completes this fourth post on healthy water crafts, covering needlepoint and cross stitch, baking, glass work, basket weaving, and sewing. Is there anything in these crafty categories that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you have checked out the previous posts of this series! Part 1 featured crochet, woodworking, quilling, lace and tatting, weaving and tapestry, and mosaic tilePart 2 featured polymer clay, embroidery, scrapbooking, metalworking, ceramics, and stained glassPart 3 covered healthy water crafts in knitting, paint, beadwork, chainmaille, leatherwork, and gardening.

And stay tuned for the next TWO installments, featuring quilting, felt, jewelry, soapmaking, and a whole lot more!

[Update: Here are Part 5 and Part 6 in the series!]