DIY Pinwheel Nursery Dreamcatcher Mobile

DIY Pinwheel Nursery Dreamcatcher Mobile

I’m part Native American and Mike is Irish/Dutch. For the twin’s nursery I wanted to make something that brought two of our backgrounds together. That is where the inspiration for creating the Pinwheel Dreamcatcher Mobile for our nursery came from. I guess when I’m pregnant I get a “little” sentimental….or something.

dreamcatcher pinwheel mobile
What you will need:
Scrapbook paper – 2 sheets per pinwheel – unless you want the inside of the mobile to be whatever color is on the back of your scrapbook paper – or you have paper that looks good from both sides then you only need one. Btw – if I were a teacher (which I am not) I would love to see these made out of regular college ruled paper and strung as a pendant for a classroom decoration…

Anyhow…you will need:

A hoop – mine was a 9″ diameter brass hoop I bought on Amazon for a couple bucks, but you can use anything – bike rim, quilters hoop, you get the idea.
X-acto Knife
Scrapbook paper – I used 16 sheets
Pinhole paper punch – the one that makes small punches
Paper fasteners – I used brass colored ones – 1 per pinwheel
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Making the Dreamcatcher

Step 1:
Grab your string and measure out ~25 feet and wrap it up into a small ball. This makes the string easier to handle and as the catcher takes shape the ball will fit through the little loops. 
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Step 2:
Take your hoop and your string and attach the string to the hoop with a double knot. Then begin winding around your hoop with loose loops. It’s hard to explain so I’ll let the pictures do the work.
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I put one of these loops about every 3 inches or so…nothing is exact so don’t get hung up on the measurements. When I got all the way around to the double knot I made my next loop in the center of the hole around the middle of the string. Don’t be afraid to start over if you don’t like it, but trust me, once done it looks great even at first if you are like wtf? Making these goes really fast too. Don’t knot the string as you go. It is just a quick loop around the middle of the string.

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Work your way around, looping as you go until you get all the way into the center of your hoop, finish off with a double knot.

Making the Pinwheels

Step 1:
Cut your scrapbook paper into squares. I did this with an X-acto knife and my straight edge. If your paper comes in squares, well lucky you! I made two different sized pinwheels 6.5″ squares and 4.5″ squares. Pick a size the will work with your hoop. Layer the two sheets together when you cut so that they always have the same dimensions. Cut them with wrong sides facing and right sides out. I made four of each size. So, 16 sheets of scrapbook paper total.

Step 2:
Take your two sheets that are cut to the same dimensions, making sure right sides are facing out, and cut, with your scissors from each of the four corners in towards the center. I just eyeball this. Do not cut them apart, you are just making slits.
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Step 3:
Take your hole puncher and punch a hole in the right side of each cut corner. And then punch a hole right in the middle of the square. Again, I just eyeballed this.
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Step 4:
Grab a paper fastener and insert it from the bottom of one hole upwards and then thread it from bottom upwards through each hole, working clockwise as you go.
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It helps to bend the next corner up and push it onto the fastener like this:pinwheel mobile3

Step 5:
When you get all four corners on the fastener it can feel pretty tight just push the fastener down into the hole that you punched in the center of the square. Then open the fastener up and fold the ends in together.
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Repeat until you have lots of pinwheels:pinwheel mobile9

Putting it all together

This part is simple. I just wrapped a string around the back fastener on each pinwheel and hung each pinwheel from the hoop. Space them out however you like, that’s what I did! Then I used my hot glue gun to help the string hold the pinwheel in the position I liked best. I tied four string onto the hoop then tied them together and hung them from a simple cup hook I hand screwed into the ceiling above the cribs. I put it right into the drywall since it wasn’t that heavy…if you make something heavier – obviously fasten it into the ceiling better since it’s going to hang right over your baby’s head.
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IKEA Tarva Hack

tarva hack
I’ve been getting a lot of people asking for instructions on how I hacked the Ikea Tarva dresser for E’s room. Basically I built bookcases to go on top of the dressers (I made two) and they flank either side of her bed. I made the bookcases out of mdf and joined the pieces together with my kreg jig. Then added trim – the same trim I put around all the windows and doors in our house.

I didn’t take an insane amount of pictures – so bear with me.

What you will need:
1 – Ikea Tarva – if you’re reading this it’s probably because you’ve got one of these things and want some ideas on how to make it better…
1 – 4’x8′ sheet of 3/4″ mdf cut lengthwise into 11 3/4″ strips.
2 – 1″ x 6″ x 8′ mdf trim piece
2 – 1″ x 1 1/2″ x 8′ mdf trim piece
1 – 8′ long piece of 3/4″ x 1/2″ square trim
1 – 8′ long piece of crown
1 – 8′ long piece of baseboard
1 – sheet of beadboard (this was enough for two) cut to 29 1/2″ x 4′
All purpose paintable caulk
Crackshot hole repair or other nail filler that is sandable and paintable
3/4″ finish nails
1 1/2″ finish nails

Tools used:
Miter saw
Table saw (circular saw)
Finish nailer – I used an 18 gauge gun.
Kreg jig (You can just screw and nail your bookcase pieces together if you don’t have one of these but you should use a larger nail gauge if you do – at least 16 gauge for the shelves)

Step 1:
Assemble dresser according to instructions leave drawers out of dresser. If you are a super over achiever or a planner or have at least a fair amount of more self control than I have, don’t put the drawers together, until after you paint the drawer fronts – this way you can paint both sides without getting paint on the inside.
tarva hack2

Step 2:
Insert the bottom drawer into the dresser. Measure the width of the base of the dresser and, using your miter saw set it at 45 degrees and cut the 1×6 trim to wrap around the base and hide the legs. I put the drawer in so that the base trim fits just below it – not touching about 1/8″ away from it. Cut the same trim for the bottom sides attach everything with your nailer and 1 1/2″ finish nails.
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Once the initial base trim is attached then attach the baseboard the same way – wrapping all three sides that will show of the dresser. Just like the pic above.

Step 3:
Building the bookcase. Cut one of your 11 3/4″ boards in half so that you have two boards ~4′ tall. These will make the sides of the case.

Step 4:
Cut the other boards into 4 – 27 1/2″ x 11 3/4″ boards – these will be your shelves and top. If you have a kreg jig, using the 3/4″ setting make four pocket holes in each of these boards – two on either side. These will join the two sides of the bookcase together. Decide where you want your shelves and kreg jig them into place.
tarva hack1

Note: If you do not have a kreg jig, then screw the top piece into either side of the case counter sinking the screws and the bottom shelf the same way then go to the store and buy yourself a kreg jig. You probably should use three screws for each side. The other shelves can be nailed in – it’s the bottom and top that give the bookcase some structural integrity. I only attached my bottom and top shelves with the kreg jig. I have a shelf tool – also made by kreg that I used so that the other two shelves are adjustable.

Step 5:
Measure 4″ down from the top of the bookcase and kreg jig your top into place here – this will leave some extra meat for the top trim to attach.

Step 6:
Attach the 1×6 to the top of the book case using the finish nailer and 1 1/2″ finish nails, wrapping the top just like you did with the base of the dresser. See pic above. I wrapped all four sides, the back I used butt cuts not mitered cuts.

Step 7:
Measure and cut trim pieces from the 1 x 1 1/2″ to cover the exposed edges of the mdf case starting with the sides first and then moving on to the shelf fronts. Attach with your finish nailer and 1 1/2″ finish nails. I attached them flush with the outside edges so that the sides over hung into the bookcase. The shelf trim I attached flush with the top of the shelves.

Step 8:
Attach the crown and rectangle trim pieces with 3/4″ nails wrapping just as you did with the dresser. The rectangle trim can be cut just like the other baseboard, but with the crown make sure you cut it like you would crown molding – upside down and backwards. This is the trim I used:

Step 9:
Fill all of your holes. Sand everything down with fine grit sand paper. Wipe it all down with a tack cloth. Caulk all of your seams. Prime everything.
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Step 10:
If you are painting your beadboard a different color paint it before you attach it, otherwise attach it with 3/4″ finish nails. Paint everything. Put it in place and enjoy!
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