Picture of Bat-Mobile hanging toy, for babies and goths
carys bats 2.jpg
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carys bats 1.jpg
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My niece, Carys, just turned one and loves wind chimes, mobiles, and other things that hang from above. For Christmas, I decided to make her a cute but spooky dangling toy. The name was a happy coincidence.

Only minimal sewing experience is needed, and in a pinch you could even substitute fabric glue without too much difference. The illustrating photos were taken with some creative use of Photo Booth, but hopefully they are clear enough to help.

You will need:
+ approx. 3' x 1' black felt
+ batting (har har) or cotton balls (I used stuffing from an unwitting pillow - you won't need more than about two handfuls)
+ needle and thread
+ scissors suitable for cutting fabric
+ chalk
+ scrap paper and a pencil or pen
+ ribbon (about 3 yards)
+ seed beads (I used 6 pairs in different colors, so 2 red, 2 yellow, 2 blue...)
+ an embroidery hoop (I used a 12" from a thrift store)
+ little bells, if you want them (I used 6 that were about 1/4" in diameter)
+ spray paint OR smallish paintbrush and acrylic paint in the color of your choice (you will use these to paint the wooden hoop)
+ small ring (key ring, carabiner, wooden napkin ring, etc., from which the mobile will hang)

This is my first Instructable, so if it is unclear in spots, please let me know and I'll do my best to clarify.
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Step 1: Making the pattern

Picture of Making the pattern
On your scrap paper, draw an outline of a stylized bat. I made mine vaguely reminiscent of the Batman logo. If you suck at drawing (it's okay, it took me several tries) go ahead and print one out instead.

Cut it out halfway, then fold it in half to make sure it will be roughly mirrored on the other side. I had to adjust the ears and the tips of the wings on mine. Then finish cutting out the bat.

This cutout is your pattern.
r.magnolia95 years ago
I really like this project, and maybe I missed it, but what do you hang the key ring from to suspend it?
steampunk_rocker (author)  r.magnolia95 years ago
I didn't specify in the instructions, but you can use a small screw-in hook in the ceiling, or whatever else works. Ceiling hook is my suggestion. Thanks for your interest!
bowmaster6 years ago
There is a 85% chance of that kid being a goth later in life.
steampunk_rocker (author)  bowmaster6 years ago
More likely, she'll go through a teenage rebellious phase and become a Republican.
No, she will be a goth.
vulcan7 years ago
dont want to sound like an alarmist. i jsut know how i was when i was young. if it could be torn apart it usually was and if it couldnt be torn apart...i usually looked for a way that it could be anyhow. i like the windchime idea.
steampunk_rocker (author)  vulcan7 years ago
No, that's completely okay. I didn't even consider that problem, and small parts are always an issue with babies. If the eyes were painted on, or maybe embroidered, that would get rid of one issue, and putting bells inside the bats instead of hanging might be helpful as well. Alternatively, maybe having the fabric bats hanging low, and a little cluster of chimes hanging from the ring, out of reach, would produce similar sounds without the danger of choking. It's all worth considering. Thanks for your points.
vulcan7 years ago
first let me say. I love it. I know a guy at work that is really into Bat Man and just had a baby so he's going to love this. I would however like to express a concern. I would be worried about the small pieces of the construction (the seed beads etc). would worry that a child (one such as myself back in the day for instance) would end up getting those torn off and swallowing them. I don't know this for a fact mind you, just something that struck me. however, as I said...I love this and I am going to make one very soon. thanks for posting this. by the way. if I make one for myself it is getting the LED's :)
steampunk_rocker (author)  vulcan7 years ago
Thank you! I hadn't thought much about the baby-eat-little-pieces issue, and you're right, that is a concern. I can't imagine this beastie working off the seed beads and attempting to eat them, but the bells might be worth considering. (Oh, the havoc that would ensue if she stuck one up her nose...) Carys mostly bats at it (agh, no pun intended) and doesn't really pull on those things, but I will let her mom know to keep an eye out. The bells aren't attached as securely as they might be.... And actually, I've found that the bells don't make as much noise as I had hoped - I might suggest cannibalizing one of those sets of mini-windchimes instead. You could probably find a set at a thrift store. Let me know how yours turns out! Thanks for your feedback!
Awesome job, and yes, adding LED eyes would be awesome too, with a button battery on the back, that would be sweet. Great job!
steampunk_rocker (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Thanks very much! Hm, if I could make the eyes glow, I could also make it play music... although that might drive her mommy crazy.
although that might drive her mommy crazy.

You say this as if it's a negative!
True, but maybe you can just put in the LED lights, that would be super cool. ;-)
canida7 years ago
Nice! If you get excited about upgrading later, some glowing red LED eyes would be fabulous.
steampunk_rocker (author)  canida7 years ago
Good call - that would be pretty awesome. I might try LEDs if I made another for a friend, although I think it might freak the wee niece-beastie out.