Resolution Renovation: Owl Mobile

Resolution Renovation: Owl Mobile

Janie Lee
Jan 8, 2008

During the month of January, we'll be posting photos and tips on DIY renovation projects from our readers. The first twenty submissions posted will receive an AT bib or T-shirt. Please click here for all the details.

We received a wonderful email from Marina in response to our call for Resolution Renovation submissions. Read all about how Marina created this charming cot mobile for her little one.

Your city and location:
I live in a very small village, Reston, in the eastern Scottish Borders. About an hour south of Edinburgh.

Details of your project (what you did, materials used, how long it took, level of difficulty, etc.). When shopping around for the nursery, I decided very early on that I absolutely hated the vast majority of cot mobiles on the market. Not only are they expensive (especially for a couple who have just relocated to the middle of nowhere where employment opportunities are very scarce), they just look ugly: chunky bits of plastic in garish colours, depicting animals or airplanes with big, stupid, fake grins. I know imagination is important, but I'm not really sure I want my baby lying in his cot, imagining that all airplanes have eyes and mouths. Anyway, after trawling the internet for many months I came across the one-in-ten auction and Alex Rasmussen's woowls which I completely fell in love with. Despite being unsuccessful in the auction, I discovered that Alex actually has a "tutowlrial" for making the owls, so I gave it a go and found that they really are very easy to make - and completely addictive! Ten or twenty owls later, I began to wonder if I could turn them into a cot mobile, and if it would look any good.

The owls (and leaves) were easy - the hard part was trying to figure out how to hang fifteen objects from the ceiling. For that, I spent many days researching the structures of cot mobiles, but found nothing suitable (and easy to make) until I was inspired by the star on the top of our Christmas tree. A star contains ten usable points from which to hang things from - enough for what I needed. My second problem was finding something from which to make the star. Living in a small village, and with my partner having the car for work all day, the option of going to poke around a hardware store was limited, so instead I turned to the garage. Fortunately, I managed to find some bits of wooden moulding left over from when the house itself was remodelled (before we moved in), as well as some small sampler pots of paint and a nice, strong building adhesive. Thus, the star was born and from there, it was just a matter of playing around with cotton and thread to attach everything to the star - and eventually to the ceiling. I really liked the way it came out - not only are Alex's owls fantastic, but it just fits so well into our nursery. Hopefully the baby will love it as much as I do!

Your best tip for starting/finishing the project:
Once I'd dreamt up the concept and had an idea of what it was I wanted, my problem was sourcing the materials. Our remoteness meant that I had to look for things we already owned. All the fabric for the leaves and owls came from charms I had leftover from making patchwork cushions; the wood for the star came from the garage (the owners didn't have time to clear out the leftover building junk before the date we wanted to move in, so we agreed to take it on and throw it out/keep it ourselves), as did the paint, building adhesive and even the cup hook for the ceiling. So my advice is not to give up on a project just because you can't afford/find materials you want - but to take a closer look around your home for things that can be recycled and reused.

Thanks, Marina!

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