When we were visiting a new kindergarten for Claire a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a lovely mobile hanging in a window with little bits of fabric tied in nondescript fairy or angel-like shapes. A couple of weeks later, I saw a similar mobile for sale in the Ziezo tent at the Bizarre Bazaar.
Noticing the cute mobile the second time, I thought it would be a fun project to make for the girls’ bedrooms. I did some Internet research, and it turns out that these simple fairy mobiles have been around forever! There are dozens of tutorials out there, all featuring the same simple pattern. I followed this tutorial from Beneath the Rowan Tree, and give it some Kenyan flair by using kikoy fabric.
I have a drawer full of kikoy scraps at home from other sewing projects, and I also happened to have a bag full of wool stuffing, so I was pretty good to go for this project. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need:
- 12 x 5 inch squares of fabric
- Some wool fiber, or cotton balls
- a hoop or even a branch from your garden
- Yarn or ribbon to hang your finished mobile
After selecting the kikoy fabrics and cutting them into 5″ squares, I gathered the rest of my materials and got started. I cut a 24″ piece of thread, knotted the end and threaded my needle. I took a bit of wool and rolled it into a small ball (think the size of a marble). I placed the wool in the center of a fabric square, and gathered the fabric around it.
Pinching the fabric at the “neck,” I inserted the needle and wound the thread around 3-4 times. Once the thread was wound, I inserted the needle just under the thread “collar,” and pushed the needle up through the top of the head. I gave the thread a little tug to tighten everything up. I kept the thread long, and will use it to hang the fairies from the mobile. Voila! A kikoy fairy!
I really wanted to hang our fairies from a ring, so I could make a cascading spiral. I didn’t have a wooden hoop on hand, so Jesse went into the garden with the kids and picked some soft, green branches and bent them into hoops to string the fairies from. All we had was masking tape to fasten the hoop, which wasn’t very pretty, so I wrapped the branch with some batik fabric I had in my scrap drawer.
Hanging the fairies in a cascading spiral was honestly the hardest part of the project! I wish I could say that I did some simple calculations and got it perfect on the first try, but in reality I just winged it. I had to undo it a couple of times before I got it more or less right.
We hung the finished fairy mobile in Claire’s room by the window, next to her bed. She gets lots of great light in her room in the afternoons, and with the open window the breeze makes the fairies swing and sway! It brings a little bit of color and wonder to her space!
(Note: If you’d like a fairy mobile like this, but you’re not up to the DIY challenge, you can get one locally from Andrea at Ziezo. (Check out a photo of Ziezo’s lovely dyed silk mobile here!) Andrea makes tons of beautiful hand-made goodies for kids. I once bought a pair of gorgeous silk butterfly wings from her, which Claire plays with to this day!)