April Showers Mobile
By: Amanda Formaro
Age: 6 and up
April showers bring May flowers! This adorable mobile says it all with the sun peeking out of the clouds and raindrops falling down to feed the flowers.
What you'll need:
- 3 sheets of pretty patterned papers
- Something round such as a wide mouth jar or ramekin
- 3 five-inch long chenille stems in springtime colors
- 5 medium yellow pom-poms
- 6 medium white pom-poms
- 1 medium purple pom-pom
- 15 clear blue pony beads
- 7 pieces of string, each 18" long
- 1 wire coat hanger
- Light blue fabric (an old t-shirt or pillow case works great)
- 50-60 cotton balls
- 4" square piece of yellow paper
- Hot glue gun
- White craft glue
- Pen or pencil
How to make it:
- Turn the patterned papers over so that the pattern is face down. Use something round, about 4" in diameter, to trace a circle onto each of the papers. (See photo.)
- Draw a line from one edge of the circle toward the center, stopping in the middle. Cut out the circle, and use your scissors to cut along the line. This creates a slit in the paper. (See photo.)
- Take one of the strings and with one of the circles, pattern facing down, insert the string into the slit. Tape down the end of the string to the bottom of the patterned paper circle. (See photo.)
- Lift up the circle off of the work surface. Holding the open ends of the paper at the slit, overlap them enough to make an umbrella shape. Tape in place. The long end of the string should be coming out of the top of your umbrella. Repeat for each umbrella. (See photo.)
- Bend the end of each chenille stem into a hook to create the umbrella handle.
- Turn the umbrella upside down again, put a dab of white craft glue into the center. Insert the straight end of the chenille stem into the glue and gently through the top of the paper umbrella. The top of the chenille should be poking out just a little. (See photo.)
- Loosely tie the strings somewhere so that the umbrellas can hang to dry. Allowing them to dry sitting on the table will cause the umbrella handles to dry crooked.
- While the umbrellas are drying, gather the pom-poms to make the flowers. Position 5 yellow pom-poms around one white pom-pom. Position 5 white pom-poms around 1 purple pom-pom. Glue the pom-poms together to create the two flowers. (See photo.)
- Insert the end of a string between two of the pom-poms and add a little extra glue. Let dry. (See photo.)
- To make the raindrops, start by taping the end of a piece of string to the work surface. This will stop any runaway beads from falling off the other end.
- Thread a pony bead onto a piece the string. Run the open end of the string back through the bead to hold it in place. You should still be able to slide the bead up and down to change its position if you like. Repeat this process, spacing out the beads a bit so that they look like raindrops. We did 5 toward the top and 3 a little farther down on one string. On the other string, we did 4 at the top and 3 a bit lower.
- Tie a knot with the end of the string through the last bead. Add a bit of glue to secure it and let it dry. (See photo.)
- Place the coat hanger on top of the blue fabric and trace around the outline of the hanger two times. Cut out the two pieces. (See photo.)
- Lay the two pieces of fabric directly on top of each other and use fabric glue to seal both angled sides. Do not glue the top or bottom opening.
- With the fabric laying on the work surface, insert the hanger hook into the small opening. Pull the fabric down over the hanger, as if putting on a shirt. Add a bit of glue to tack the fabric together once it's on the hanger. Do not glue the large opening just yet! (See photo.)
- With the coat hanger lying on the work surface, position and tie each of your umbrella, flower, and raindrop strings onto the hanger. Stagger each one so that they do not bump in to each other when hanging. Trim the tied ends, then tuck them inside the fabric. Glue the fabric closed. (See photo.)
- Cut a half circle from the yellow paper. With the hanger still lying flat on the work surface, glue cotton balls and yellow sun to the front of the hanger.
- While this project seems to have a lot of steps, it's actually very easy to put together. You may need to help your child with tying the strings to the hanger.
- You can substitute fabric glue for hot glue, but beware -- glue guns can burn! Please use caution and supervise children when handling a glue gun.
- If you prefer, you can sew the fabric pieces together and then hand sew the bottom shut.