This week on Makers, I’m going to show you how to make your very own Pom-pom Planet Mobile AKA the Solar System in wool!
Time: Approx. 5-6 hours.
You will need…
• 2 x pom-pom maker machines in different sizes (I used Clover machines in sizes 85 and 65, equating to about 80mm and 60mm diameter)
• 1 x pair of sharp fabric scissors
• 1 x 30mm diameter keyring
• 1 x 300mm diameter metal ring (available from Spotlight in the embroidery hoop section)
• Wool in a variety of colours. For this project I used:
White, cream, light yellow, yellow, mint, light blue, dark blue, navy, purple, green, red, orange, grey-brown, dark brown.
* 1 x ball of silver twine
• 1 x A4 sheet of cream-coloured stiff felt
• Someone/thing to help hold the mobile up while you assemble (I had a camp light stand)
How to use the pom-pom machine
1. Open up the machine so that the two coloured hemispheres are splayed out as shown.
3. Trim the end of the wool still attached to the ball. Don’t worry about it falling out, as it will eventually be attached in the last step.
4. Close the hemisphere with the wool around it until the clasps shut with the white centre.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the other side is full of wool.
6. Once both hemispheres are closed, use your scissors to cut the wool straight down the centre of the machine, letting it guide you and being careful to not let the wool fall out.
7. Once both hemispheres are cut, use your silver twine to tie the pom-pom tightly together by wrapping the twine through the centre of the machine and completing with a tight knot. Leave 450mm of silver twine hanging out of the pom-pom so you can attach it to the mobile later.
There are three techniques I used to create each planet pom-pom design using the pom-pom machines.
1. Mottled colour: When you wind two or three pieces of wool around the machine at the same time to give a dappled colour effect.
Below notes the colours, size and technique for each Planet:
60mm Pom-pom maker
Mercury: Mottled colour (cream, grey-brown and silver)
Venus: Stripes (grey-brown, light yellow and silver)
Earth: Sectioned colours (light blue, green and white. Use the white to make the polar caps by sectioning white on the right and left of both hemispheres.)
Mars: Mottled colour (orange and red)
80mm Pom-pom maker
Sun: Mottled colour (yellow and light yellow)
Jupiter: Stripes (orange, yellow, light yellow, grey-brown, dark brown, silver)
Saturn: Stripes (purple layered with red and mint mottled together)
Uranus: Mottled (mint, light blue and silver)
Neptune: Sectioned colours (light blue, dark blue, navy)
You might wonder why Pluto isn’t included? Pluto was actually re-classified as a dwarf planet and is now no longer included as part of the major planet listings.
1. Cut two pieces of Silver twine 500mm long.
2. Hold them together parallel, and loop them through the 30mm keyring until the two pieces hang even on each side.
3. Tie a knot below the keyring to secure.
4. Evenly splay out the now four pieces of twine, and tie each end to the 300mm ring. Space each tie evenly at 90 degree intervals, ensuring the 300mm ring balances straight (This part is a bit tricky, and will require some patience. Tie each know loosely in case you need to adjust it.).
5. Tie the sun to the centre keyring, and let it hang in the middle.
6. Now loosely tie each planet in their order around the ring (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune), letting each one hang a little lower than the one before it. Neptune should hang at the end of the 450mm silver twine. I found the planets balanced best with the first five on one half of the ring and the last three planets on the other.
7. Finalise all knots, then trim the loose end close to the mobile.
8. Cut out a 150mm circle from the stiff felt with a 70mm hole in the centre, and hang over Saturn.