I wanted to create a decor piece that was sweet, girly and unique for my daughter’s nursery. I came up with this pretty and feminine DIY mobile as part of the Crafts Unleashed Plastic Canvas Challenge!
SO. I dove in face forward to our challenge, but OH MY if I wasn’t challenged! I have never worked with plastic canvas before and to be honest — I don’t really like plastic. I started using a clear and sparkly Rex lace to celebrate the “plasticness” of the plastic canvas, but I just wasn’t feeling it.
So I had to go back to square one and rethink the way I was using the canvas. Instead of focusing on the canvas as PART of the end product, I started thinking about it as the SKELETON to my project. Then all the pieces began to start clicking into place.
Now, once we found out we were having a little girl, I knew I wanted to go full on PINK and girly for the nursery. No over-designed, adult inspired spaces for this room. Instead, I wanted to celebrate the BABYNESS of this baby and add in whimsy, wonder and PINK at every step along the way. The first thing that came to mind when I wanted a whimsical space was butterflies. The way they flutter around the garden all summer long seems so magical, as if they have this secret world and are hurrying about their business, caring less what we lowly humans are doing. So the very first project for this little girl’s nursery was a simple butterfly DIY mobile that hangs over the window instead of the crib. (Crib ceiling installation coming soon!) …and that terrible, awful, no-good plastic canvas? It became the PERFECT mold-able, flexible skeleton for the butterflies.
Supplies needed to make your own plastic canvas butterfly DIY mobile:
- Plastic Canvas – Super Soft
- Scrap fabric (I used 100% Cotton — check the remnant bins at your local fabric store or try sites like etsy for a good selection online. I love this blue print!)
- Large Oval Embroidery Hoop
- Clear Beading Thread
- Hot Glue or Other Adhesive (just a little!)
- Knitting Needle
Step 1. Using your scissors, cut little notches into your fabric. These are the starting point for ripping the “strands” of fabric.
These little strips will form the wrapping ribbons for your butterflies, the backdrop for your butterflies to fly against, and also the “tail” of the largest butterfly. Start with your butterflies, then use the remainder for the backdrop.
Step 3. Simply knot them in a semi-circle around the back of the embroidery hoop!
Step 5. Slightly bend the canvas with your first couple lengths of fabric so that they look like they are “in flight.” This is why you need that super soft canvas as opposed to the more rigid plastic canvases available.
Step 7. Continue wrapping and securing your strips, essentially “bandaging” the canvas so it is completely covered. Every few strips, make sure you wrap at least once around the middle to keep all those knots secure and hidden.
Step 8. Once all the edges are “bandaged” and your fabric is showing the right amount of print (I had to work the fabric a bit to make sure those pink roses showed up!), secure the final strip on the back of the butterfly with a tiny bit of glue. Your butterfly will be flying with its belly down and wings back, so that is the “front” side that needs to look perfect.
Step 10. Secure the butterflies to your embroidery hoop with a very, strong clear thread (like fishing line or beading thread) so they look as if they are floating in air.
Step 11. Hang the hoop from the ceiling (I used a combination of fabric strips and fishing line attached to a small hook in the ceiling) and celebrate the DIY mobile and little bit of whimsy you have just added to your space!