Thursday, September 17, 2015

Paper Dot Mobile

This is yet another example of something I meant to make and then it got pushed back...a lot.  Partly because I slowly bought the supplies when I had Jo-Ann coupons.  Also I can make myself think I'm busy when that's only sometimes true.  And THEN this took waaaaay longer than I expected.  Like around 10 hours total.  That was a couple weeks of my craft time (which is pretty much two nap times a week).  BUT it's finally done and hanging and I am mostly happy with the outcome!  Enough that I would do it again, but with much better time expectations.

Dot Mobile
-card stock
-hole punch (or be crazy and cut these all out by hand, your choice.  But that would probably double your time)
-embroidery hoop
I have a collection of card stock from my scrapbooking days (which actually comes in handy for many projects!) but still bought a packet of prepicked colors so I would have enough.  It was also around $3.  I was able to get 35 dots from each sheet of paper (five rows of seven) and cut out 3 sheets of each blue and green and 2 sheets of white.  That gave me:

105 dark blue dots
105 light blue dots
70 white dots
105 light green dots
105 dark green dots

That sounds like a lot of work but with the punch it took me less than the Backstreet Boys documentary, Show 'Em What You're Made Of, to get them all out.  And none of you could get through your day with knowing exactly. what. I. was. watching. while working on this.  AND I really enjoyed it.  This is not the first time I've mentioned it. 

So I had all my dots punched out and then it was onto stringing them which is the part that took forever.  I used a piece of white thread roughly the length of my wrist to elbow to wrist.  I made 3-4 knots on one end and threaded through a needle.  Then it was poke a dot (I did on top of a pillow), tie two knots (hopefully on top of each other, if not, knots until two were on top of each other) about the radius of the circle (so 3/4 inch, if my geometry terms are correct).

Then another dot, two more knots, dot, two knots, etc. etc. etc.

I made over 1000 knots making this.  I did not expect tying knot after knot after knot to take so darn long.  It did.  Easily 7 hours in knot tying and dot threading.  That is not an exaggeration.

I ended up with 36 total strands.  Most strands had 14 dots (3 dark blue, 3 light blue, 2 white, 3 light green, 3 dark green) but I did 14 shorter strands - leaving one dot off each.  So three strands with only 2 dark blue and the rest of the same, etc.  This gave the bottom some variation.

On a lovely day without power a few months ago, I was struggling to be productive (it felt like a wasted day) and did all the yarn wrapping.  That took 45 minutes - an hour but was easy enough to do with Luke bouncing between Matt and I.  I wrapped the yarn loosely, but as close together as possible, around the inside of the embroidery hoop.  It's not visible in these pictures but our porch is mostly blue & green with pink accents to the hoop color doesn't look out of place (you can see more of that here).

Once I had all my strands assembled and my hoop wrapped, it was time to assemble.  I started with a full strand, each about 1/4 around the circle (12, 3, 6, and 9 on the clock).  With 36 strands that meant 8 in between each of my initial strands.  I tried to vary the shorter strands with the full length ones but wasn't super particular about it, it's supposed to look imperfect! 

Once tying all the stands the leftover thread parts at the top were pretty obvious.  I wrapped another layer of pink yarn around the hoop, making sure all those thread ends were tucked in the yarn.  It was a bit of a pain trying to wrap around all the strands but I think it made for a much cleaner look.

To hang it I added 3 extra pieces of thread to the hoop and knotted those around a ring.  I originally used yarn but that looked WAAAAY too bulky and the knot around the ring was too visible.  The white thread pretty much disappears when hung so it was a better choice.

Then it was just slipping it on the existing hook and done!

I've thought many times about painting our porch ceiling or painting the upper piece of trim because there is just a lot of white between windows, trim, and the ceiling.  For now, this adds a nice spot at color up there without the time and commitment of paint (although, painting the ceiling would probably be quicker than this project!). 

With such high ceilings I probably should/could have done longer strands with more dots or more spaced out BUT...I also wouldn't want to add any more knot tying to this project.  I think if this ever gets moved to a room with a lower ceiling it would be perfect.  As it is I was worried that the wind through the windows would blow and tangle the strands but I because it's so high (above window height) that that has yet to be an issue.  So, maybe a good thing it's short.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this project, maybe not the time it took but with the final outcome!  It is something I would attempt again with different colors for a different room.  It was fairly inexpensive (and a next one would be even more so without needing to buy a punch!) and adds some color where some was needed.  All those knots were worth it.

Inspiration 1 and 2

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