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Life's a Circus Mobile

Decorate a nursery by dangling fun felt balls and elephants with polka dot ears beneath a big top.


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Finish Mobile

1. Using a flexible tape measure and a pencil, measure and mark four lines on top edge of embroidery hoop (inner hoop only), evenly spaced around hoop. Then mark four dots, evenly spaced between drawn lines (Diagram 3).

2. Wrap one end of a 34"-long piece of yarn around hoop on one marked line, secure in place with masking tape on inside and outside of hoop (Diagram 4).  Wrap other end of yarn on marked line on opposite side and tape in place as before. Repeat with remaining piece of yarn, securing it at remaining two marked lines. Tip: Make sure no masking tape extends beyond top or bottom of hoop so you don’t have to pass needle through when sewing around hoop.

3. Place hoop on a flat surface, hold two pieces of yard centered and taut above hoop, and tie a knot 6" from top. Fold K flag piece in half around yarn above knot and edgestitch along raw edges (Diagram 4). Tie a second knot just above flag.

4. Hang embroidery hoop from top yarn loops. Referring to photo for placement and using an 18"-long piece of heavyweight thread and a hand-sewing needle, stitch an elephant and a balancing ball onto string. Upper and lower part of string should attach to elephant at hanger positions marked with X on pattern piece. Repeat to make a second string with an elephant and balancing ball. Repeat using remaining elephants and felt balls, instead of balancing balls, to make two more strings, each with an elephant and two felt balls. Make sure strings are evenly weighted. For maximum visibility, position elephants at different heights (in photo, elephants are 4", 5", 7", and 8" below hoop).

5. Tie four stings of elephants at marked dots (in photo, strings are 12" and 14" long below hoop); secure with tape, making sure hoop is balanced so it hangs straight.

6. Attach four bunting strings so they drape between strings of elephants with flags on each end approximately 1/4" below hoop, tying them at same points as elephants, and secure with masking tape.

7. Using matching thread, abut short ends of two 11⁄8x18" strips and sew together with a zigzag stitch to make one long strip that lies flat (Diagram 5). Wrap felt strip around outside of hoop and trim to size, again abutting raw ends. Remove remaining felt and zigzag short ends together to make a loop. Repeat with remaining two felt strips, measuring inside of hoop instead, to make a second loop.

8. Place felt loops on inside and outside of hoop. Using a running stitch (Running Stitch Diagram), hand-stitch together with five strands of orange embroidery floss around top and bottom of hoop, 1⁄8" from edges of loop, to complete mobile.

Tip: If you accidentally pull or cut one elephant string off, just sew it back in place to the felt on the inside of the hoop.