My gorgeous friend of 23 years, Sivan, is about to have her first baba and I am so bloody excited for her it may as well be mine! Isn’t it weird seeing your precious friend shift into motherhood? It’s amazing and strange and so incredibly beautiful! I knew I had to do something extra special for both mom and baby girl, so I set my sights on a cloud mobile. I’d made one before for another baby shower, but I really wanted to up the ante this time and I’ve been dying to share the tutorial! Now that mama has her gift, I can finally spill the beans!
So, I won’t lie to you – this is a bit involved, but it’s also a total labour of love. I am so happy with the result that I would do this again and again for the ones I love (and definitely for my own baba one day!), irrespective of the involvement. I recommend setting aside some proper time to do this, and really just revel in the experience (or maybe that’s just me…).
DIY CERAMIC CLOUD MOBILE
01. Download the template for the clouds and cut them out. Roll out some clay and, using the template, cut around the shape with the Xacto knife. Smooth the edges with some water. Do this twice for each of the 4 cloud sizes, so you end up with 8 cloud shapes in 4 different sizes.
02. For each pair, roll out some thin sausage shapes and line the edges of one of the clouds. On the bottom edge push a nail against the clay at equal intervals to make 3 holes. You’ll be threading the fishing gut through these holes once the clay is dry.
03. Attach the two sides of your cloud pairs, smoothing out the edges to attach the three layers so you have a nice, fat little cloud. Before the clay is left to dry, push a nail or pin through the top of the cloud. Leave to dry thoroughly. You can’t see the holes in the pics below because I only made holes for the raindrops in two of the clouds – the one in the pic is one of the solid clouds (sorry!).
TIP: Before inserting the nail, hold the cloud up between two fingers to find its centre of gravity so it will hang straight and not all wonky like. Win :)
04. Ok, so here’s where it gets weird, but stay with me… You need the clay to be dry before you can glue in the fishing gut (obvs…), which means you have to cut your gorgeous creation in half again! I know, I know, but trust me – I tried it before by keeping the clouds separate but they dried all skew and cracked into a million pieces when I tried to attach them. So it sounds nuts, but really it works this way!
Once your cloud is dry, use the knife to cut along the attachment line and separate the two sides. Thread your fishing gut through the holes, making a loop at the end and secure it with super glue. You may need to hold it down for a minute or two until it dries. Then, once you’ve secured all three lines, attach the two dried clouds with some more clay and smooth it out. See? Not so bad ;)
05. Once the edges are dry, sand them down to smooth if necessary and then paint in your choice of acrylics. I went with two white clouds, one light grey and one charcoal cloud. I also taped up the tops of the fishing gut to protect them from the paint. You can see in the pic below there’s a tiny hairline crack from opening the cloud up in the previous step – don’t stress! I patched it up with some watered down clay, let it dry, and then sanded it. Also the paint covers it up completely! Give each cloud a few coats if needed.
06. For the raindrops, I made some little rounds of clay and then pinched the tops to form a teardrop. Use the nail to make holes in the tops. Once they were dry, I painted mine gold so even when it’s raining there’ll be something for baby to smile about :) Thread the bottom end of the length of fishing gut through the top of each rain drop and knot tightly. You can even drop a small dot of super glue on each knot just to be extra sure. Thread more fishing gut through the tops of the clouds too.
07. Using a metal hoop (I upcycled mine from an old lid) or an embroidery hoop, tie on the the fishing gut from each cloud. They’re pretty heavy so it’s a good idea to double up the gut and tie it on to the hoop tightly. Dot glue on each knot again. Then tie on four more lines of gut from the hoop and tie into one knot to hang the mobile from. I used a keychain ring to loop through.
TIP: It may take some adjusting of the lines from the hoop to the top so make sure you use a bit more than you need while you adjust for the different weights and then cut off the excess.
Yay! So much excitement and so many bonding moments for mom and baby ahead! I hope this little mobile brings them both so much joy and so much peace. Congrats again, Siv and Brad – I can’t wait to meet the little munchkin! Eeek! I’m about to burst with all the love! I’ll be posting about the cake I made for the shower too, so keep an eye out!