DIY and crafts · Inspiration · Pregnancy

DIY Felted Solar System Mobile

I recently shared a post about my baby girl’s space-themed nursery. The final touch for this nursery is a handcrafted, felted mobile featuring the eight planets of the solar system and a cheerful little sun. I had a great time making this piece and look forward to having it in her room for years to come!

To create my felted planets, I followed this absolutely fabulous set of Instructables by kellechu with several modifications to fit my size restrictions.

You’ll need:

  • Roving wool in a variety of colours – I decided to be artistic and incorporate some vivid pinks, purples, and reds to really make my solar system pop!
  • A barbed felting needle
  • Patterns for reference (thank goodness for Google!)
  • Hot water, cold water, and soap
  • A mobile frame (I used this one from Amazon)
  • Fishing line and a thick sewing needle

Since I wanted to create a tiny mobile, I aimed for the following approximate planetary diameters:

  • Mercury: 0.5 inch
  • Venus/Mars: 1 inch
  • Earth: 1.25 inch
  • Neptune/Uranus: 1.5 inch
  • Saturn: 2 inch (before rings)
  • Jupiter: 2.25 inch
  • Sun: 2.5 inch

Overall I met my size approximations (although the Earth did get a little large). I did not use styrofoam balls, as recommended in the Instructables tutorial, but instead used tiny rolls of yarn at the core of the sun and four largest planets. This was probably not a great choice, since my larger planets and sun ended up being slightly lumpy! Oh well :)

I had a really hard time with the wet felting, so I started all of my planets off using my barbed felting needle as illustrated in the following YouTube tutorial from OhSewGeeky. This is a great tutorial if you’re interested in making small planets using just 5 colours of roving wool!

To create distinct lines in my planets, I used a barbed felting needle to apply the specific colours over a previously felted ball, and then wet-felting each ball a second time in my sink. The resulting shapes are far better than what I would have come up with on my own!

The greatest challenge was Saturn’s rings.

I started with the method outlined in the Instructables post – I created  flat disk by laying my wool on a towel, wrapping it in a circle, and stabbing it with my felting needle until relatively firm. I then added rings of pink, orange, and brown using my felting needle. Next, I wet felted the ring on a plate – I pressed it flat between hot and cold water washes.

After the rings dried, I cut around the inside of the circle to create two layers. I slid the rings onto the planet and attached the two layers on either side using my felting needle. I wet felted one more time and FINALLY had the result I was after!

Nursery-11
Saturn with rings – what a challenge!

I attached the planets to the mobile frame using clear, 4 pound fishing line, and a thick sewing needle. After tieing off each planet, I doubled-back through the ball to hide the ends of the line. My planet sizing worked in my favour; the overall balance is just a bit off, but this seems fine for a tiny solar system.

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