This tutorial was inspired by the color palette of a friend's nursery and Maker Team member KD's (@lostvly) first custom order - dinosaur plushies. The dinosaurs have been modified to fit the mobile and brought to life with Benzie supplies. We think the finished result is dino-mite!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how impactful a hand crafted gift can be, especially when parents are expecting a child. In this tutorial, I show you how to make a custom baby mobile. You can make this exact mobile or add onto it! I like to keep in mind how a toy or gift can be repurposed as the child grows, so I will be sharing how to give this mobile an extended life in a future post!
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 3-5 hours
Mobile Arc Base
Thread or Fishing Line
One 9 x 12" sheet of White Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Latte Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Castle Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Sage Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Cocoa Pure Wool Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Morel Pure Wool Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Terrazzo Pure Wool Felt
Embroidery Floss - DMC 3782, 3064, 648, 840
Eight White Felt Pom-Poms, Medium
Three White Felt Clouds
Pins or Clips
Disappearing Ink Pen or Pencil
Fabric Fusion or Hot Glue Gun
Dino Template (click to download)
1. Download and print the Dino Template pattern above. Using a disappearing ink pen, trace all of the pieces according to the template. Be sure to flip the template over to trace the opposite sides of the shapes and cut pieces out.
Feel free to change the colors and use the felt scraps to make the stripes and spots for the dinosaurs.
2. Using the disappearing ink pen, draw an eye and mouth on both sides of each dino. Using a backstitch or outline stitch, follow your marks to make the mouth and eyes. Glue or stitch on the other details for each piece. I love to use Fabric Fusion but you need to wait 15-30 minutes for everything to dry before continuing.
3. Pin the Brontosaurus shapes together, right sides facing out. Starting underneath the tail, attach the two pieces using a whip stitch. For the cleanest finish, make your stitches evenly spaced (approx. 1/16” apart) and as close to the edge as possible (approx. 1/16” from the edge).
4. Stop stitching just past the neck to stuff the tail and face. Using smaller pieces of Polyfil and a stuffing tool or chopstick will help make it consistent on the inside. Continue stitching down the neck, stopping about half way to pack with more stuffing. Stop again just past the front legs. Fill the rest of the neck and front legs. Continue until you’ve stuffed the entire dinosaur. Each one should be firm but not overstuffed.
5. When you reach the starting point, tie embroidery thread ends in a square knot. Hide the ends by pushing the needle in between the felt pieces and puling the needle out from the middle of the dinosaur. Remove the needle from the threads and pull before snipping the ends of thread. This will ensure the thread ends don’t show and leave a seamless finish.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 for the T-Rex, Volcano and Pterodactyl. For the T-rex, glue the teeth to the inside of one of the felt body pieces and use the running stitch on the inside of the mouth. For the Pterodactyl wings, stitch or glue the edges and then glue the wings to the body. For extra control in the pterodactyl's wings, glue a piece of 22 gauge floral wire in between your wing pieces before stitching.
7. Using the leaf pattern, cut 18 leaves out of the Sage wool blend felt. Fold the leaves in half lengthwise. For a more realistic look, try cutting the slits a little different for each leaf and while you work on assembling the rest, clipping them in half and steaming/ironing them to make a crease down the middle.
8. Cut (7) 24” lengths of embroidery thread or fishing line and set them aside. This is longer than you will need.
9. Attach the center hanging thread by using your embroidery needle to string the yarn under the hanger and tie into a knot to secure. I like to add a small dot of Fabric Fusion here as well.
10. Thread the bottom end of the hanging thread through a long needle. Push the needle through the middle of the Pterodactyl at an angle and pull up until it reaches the desired length of 2-3" from top. Repeat through the top of the cloud straight through to the bottom. For the volcano, you will push the needle through the top and out through the side. Let the string hang for now. Feel free to arrange the lengths but do not glue until you have threaded the other mobile pieces.
11. The Brontosaurus and T-Rex will go opposite of each other on one of the mobile arms. This will help distribute the weight evenly. Follow step 10 for each side, threading the clouds first, two pom-poms and then the dinosaur.
12. Arrange all the pieces at the desired lengths and secure by placing a dot of Fabric Fusion (or hot glue) into the top opening where the thread meets the plushie/pom. For the ends, once the glue is dry, carefully pull and then cut the excess, releasing the string back into the plushie.
13. The other mobile arms will consist of leaves. Follow step 9 and then thread the needle through the top corner of three leaves and then three leaves again. Repeat on the other side.
14. Add two strings to the inner holes of the mobile and add the rest of the poms and leaves - two white pom-poms and three leaves on each side. Rearrange to fill in the empty spaces of the mobile. Add Fabric Fusion or hot glue in between the leaves/poms. Trim the ends, hiding them under the leaves.
15. Add a longer piece of thread to the top for hanging from the ceiling.
I can’t wait to see the adaptations of this mobile in different nurseries! I’m always happy to answer any questions or offer support when creating your own. Feel free to reach out!
Can’t get enough of these dinos? Stay tuned for my next tutorial where I show you how to create a play mat to accompany them!
Thanks to KD for designing and writing this tutorial! You can follow her on Instagram @lostvly or visit her website. Stay tuned for more Benzie Design Maker Team tutorials from KD and the rest of the team!