DIY Driftwood and Felt Ball Mobile

Before I even started on the nursery I knew in my head what I wanted it to look like.  I had a very detailed list of items I wanted to use that we already owned, items I wanted to make, and items we needed to buy.  We are all about saving money in the Vail household, so finding cheap shortcuts was the name of the game when it came to the nursery (and the rest of our home).

I saw a pretty felt mobile on Etsy a few months ago and I immediately knew that I wanted one for baby Vail’s room…I just didn’t want to shell out $40 for something I could make myself.  I am a firm believer in supporting small businesses, but if you have the time and can do it yourself for less money then sometimes that’s the way to go, especially when you’re on a budget.  I already had some driftwood that I collected on Whidbey Island, WA so that part was easy.  I also planned on creating a few other items with felt balls, so when I did the math it made sense for me to make it myself.

I ordered the felt balls from Hello Maypole.  They have an amazing variety of colors that cost $18 for a pack of 50 balls.  I ordered 2 different packages because I wanted to mix it up a bit for the mobile.  While all of the color combos were enticing, I settled on the California and the Little Boy Blue packages.

Materials Needed:

Note: These aren’t the pieces of driftwood that I used.  I used one longish piece and one short, fat piece…but I had already made the mobile so these two pieces shown here are just for looks and probably wouldn’t work well together due to the disproportion in size.

–  2 Pieces of Driftwood
–  Felt Balls (I used 27 total)
–  Fishing Line (I used 20 pound strength)
–  1 Sharp End Chenille Needle (I bought a 6 pack of size 18-22 needles for $1.49 and believe I ended up using a size 19 or 20 needle for this project)
–  1 Flat Phillips Head Wood Screw, size #6 x 2-1/2 in. (take your wood to the store with you because you may need a shorter or longer screw to attach the two pieces)
–  2 Screw Eye Hooks, size #210 x 1-3/16 in.
–  Phillips Head Screwdriver
–  Scissors
–  Super Glue (optional…I’ll explain below)

Directions:  (I’m horribly impatient and randomly started on this project while we were watching tv one night…therefore no pictures of the process but it’s super easy, I promise.)

1.  Attach the two pieces of driftwood together with the flat head screw, going from the bottom piece up to the top piece.  Make sure your longer piece of wood is the bottom piece.  I wasn’t quite strong enough to get the screw all the way in there by hand, so my husband did most of this for me.  An electrical screw driver would have helped but I somehow managed to lose the charging cord that goes to ours.  Make sure you get the two pieces of driftwood as centered (balance-wise) as possible so that your mobile isn’t lopsided and unbalanced.

2.  Screw one hook into the top piece of wood directly over where the two pieces of wood connect.  This alignment ensures that your mobile will hang evenly.

3.  String the balls onto the fishing line.  I used 5 separate pieces of fishing line and varied the number of balls on each one.  I used 5 balls on 3 of the strands and 6 balls on 2 of the strands.  Vary the colors so that it doesn’t look overly planned.  I tied a knot on the end of each piece of fishing line and then used the needle to string the balls on the line.  

4.  Tie the strands of felt balls strung fishing line onto the driftwood.  I made sure that the balls were evenly spaced on each line, and then tied the lines spread out across both pieces of driftwood.  I tied 3 strands to the long piece and 2 strands to the short piece. 

5.  Tie a long piece of fishing line to the hook on the top of the mobile.

6.  Here is where the super glue comes in…some of the felt balls kept sliding down the line because the fishing line is rather slippery.  If you run into this problem just put a tiny dab of super glue on the line just below the base of each felt ball.  This ensures that they won’t slip down…just make sure you use clear glue and just a teeny tiny dab…otherwise the glue will run down the fishing line.  Check on the glue after about 15 minutes to make sure no glue dripped.  Simply use a paper towel to clean up the drops that slid down the fishing line.  I did this while the mobile hung on a broom handle that I placed horizontally between the bed and the dresser.  It’s much easier to fix this problem before you hang it over a crib!

7.  Screw the second hook to the ceiling where you want the mobile to hang.

8.  Tie the other end of the fishing line that’s attached to the mobile to the hook that’s in the ceiling.  (Note: You want to make sure that this is very secure because you don’t want it to fall on your baby’s head.  Beware, because slip knots won’t work on fishing line!  My husband did this part for me because he knows how to tie knots better than I do.  I suggest you get a partner to help you with this final stage because there needs to be a person on the ground that holds the mobile up at the appropriate height while the other person works on the knot.)

9.  Trim all the loose fishing line ends.  And you’re done!

Stay tuned for more peeks of the nursery!  Pretend like you didn’t see the gallery wall that I hung…I’m going to do a detailed post on that later 🙂

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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Leave a comment

  1. Bri
    September 23, 2015 / 11:09 pm

    Katie!! Your blog is so cute and it makes me miss you all the more!!! I'm on standby late tonight at ATL so I'm going to sit in the Flight Attendant lounge and read every. last. post.

  2. September 29, 2015 / 1:25 pm

    Awwww Bri, thanks! I miss you too and I hope my blog was able to help you kill some time 🙂 I hope you're doing well! I am so sad that I can't come to your wedding 🙁

  3. Hanna
    November 30, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    Hi, I am about to make one of these mobiles myself and was wondering what size felt balls you used for yours?

  4. November 30, 2015 / 5:00 pm

    Hi Hanna, thanks for reading! These are approximately 2 cm sized balls. I believe it is the only size that Hello Maypole offers (source is linked in the post). Hope that helps!

  5. January 4, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    I am beyond enamored with this mobile!! I am going to give birth in like a month and want to make this!! Hellomaypole is sold out on the colors you used. Do you know of another website that has modern color combos like theirs?

  6. January 5, 2016 / 12:50 am

    Hi Midory! I'm so glad you like it! Unfortunately I don't know of any other companies that offers felt balls in fun color combos. I had a hard time finding felt balls like this in the first place, and the original balls I wanted sold out before I could get my hands on them too. Luckily they change stuff up regularly I think. Good luck finding some you like!

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