Are your kids into astronomy? Then you will love this Galaxy Lunar Wall Hanging Art project by Tara of the Sewing Rabbit Team! Teach them all about the various moon cycles in a cool, fun way that will have them excited excited learn and star gaze with you! I love fun projects like this.
Galaxy Moon Phases Wall Hanging DIY
Hello Sewing Rabbit readers! I’ve got something extra nerdy for you this month. Recently, I started doing a little bit of studying about space with my 3 and 5 year old girls, and I wanted to make something visual for them to learn from. We had already done some projects about the planets, and the moon seemed like it was getting left out. So that’s where the idea for a lunar phases wall hanging came from!
Plus, galaxy things are kind of awesome right? Exactly.
My husband referred to this as a tapestry, and I can’t help but think of Indiana Jones and the last crusade when I hear that word! Hahaha.
Indiana Jones: The old man is dense, this is a castle isn’t it? there are tapestries
Butler: This is a castle and we have many tapestries, and if you are a Scottish lord then I am Mickey Mouse!
I just used what I had on hand and winged it for the most part, and I think anyone could use the bare bones of my idea and customize it for their supplies and preferences.
Here’s a list of what I used:
- Large piece of thick black linen (you can use anything that’s pretty sturdy and black or even dark blue!)
- Scraps of unbleached muslin
- Sharpie marker
- White semi gloss house paint (not my first choice but it’s what I had)
- Various fabric paints – some shimmery purple, blue, and copper, plus matte white, pink
- Embroidery thread
- Paint brush
- And this really official and scientific looking cheat sheet below
- You will be cutting a piece of cloth
- masking off spaces for your moons
- throwing paint all over your fabric
- creating a freezer paper stencil for your the white space of your moons
- painting it
- and adding labels.
1. First I cut out a rectangular piece of black linen roughly in the size I thought I wanted. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure where I was going with it when I started and how I wanted to hang it. But I spread out a cut of fabric and just chose a length, cutting all the way across the width of the “bolt”. At the end I then trimmed it down and hemmed to where I wanted it.
2. Create masking stencils with freezer paper. Use a compass or stencil to draw circles or do like I did and choose the most wonky shaped “round” container in your tupperware box and trace 7 circles in the moon size you want onto freezer paper
3. Position them in the center of your fabric with padding space on all sides and pin them down. You can see that I have one space left blank. There’s a reason for that! You can put a circle there but you really don’t need to
4. Iron the circles on with your iron on high
Note: what you’re doing here is masking off your moon spaces so that there are dark spaces left for them when you’re done flinging paint all over your project. You don’t want stars and comets and stuff all over where your moons are supposed to be. The dark parts of your moon are still moon! It’s just not illuminated by the sun.
Next you get to make a mess! Grab some paint. I used a mix of fabric paint and regular acrylic because I don’t really plan on washing this. Though, acrylic sticks pretty good to fabric anyway. Good luck getting it out of your clothes when you don’t want it there!
In case you’re curious, I used jacquard shimmer fabric paint in purple, blue, and copper. Martha stewart acrylic in a rose pink color. White and glow in the dark tulip fabric paint.
1. Gather your supplies and add a bit of water to your paints in containers of some sort.
2. Use a paint brush to fling and flick paint all over your fabric. This is pretty messy! Do it outside or cover up a good deal of space on your floor.
3. Use a sponge to dab “galaxies” into the fabric. Just keep dabbing and flicking and flinging till you’re satisfied.
4. Try to act like you’re doing something more involved than making a colorful mess when your kids ask if they can help.
Once the paint has dried a bit, grab a piece of freezer paper that’s big enough to cover your moon circles.
Tape it down and trace all the moon spaces.
I used the original stencil container for the circles because it’s quicker to whip around that thing with a marker than to trace all the circles without it. This piece of paper is going to be your stencil for painting the moon shapes. You could also applique moon shapes! My first plan was to sew white fabric to the back and reverse applique the white parts of the moons. But I changed my mind!
Ok, now you follow the cheat sheet I made and draw the phases in order on your freezer paper template. I barely realized I’d made a mistake on the waxing gibbous moon before it was too late! I blacked out the side that was supposed to be white/cut out. Oops. Anyway, follow the cheat sheet I put up at the top of the tute^^^.
Take your template off (leave the masking circles underneath on the fabric though!!!) and CUT THE WHITE portions out of your template with an exacto knife.
Take it back to the fabric and align the holes with the circles. Tape it down. The space with no circle to peel off is your full moon. No dark space means you’ll be covering it all up with paint in a minute so no need to mask it off beforehand!
Next caaaaaaarefully peel the circles out from under the template.
You should be able to see your shapes taking…..shape now.
Iron the template on, paying attention to edges.
My first plan was to use spray paint to fill in the moons, but I have really terrible luck with that stuff. I swear, every time I go to use spray paint it doesn’t work right! My can wasn’t spraying any color out so I had to use something else. As you can see, it ended up being house paint. Lol. Hey, it works! One coat, yo! You could use fabric paint but it would take a lot of paint for my size of project.
So, whatever kind of paint you decide on, you will now put it in the negative space of your stencil. Try not to brush towards the edges. Brush towards the center of the stencil hole to minimize paint getting jammed under the edges of the stencil.
Adding glow in the dark paint over the white paint would have been a good idea now that I think about it….
Now you get to do the fun part. Ripping off the stencil to see what it looks like! I decided that it was definitely missing some oomph so I opted to define the border of the shadowed portion of my moons with embroidery thread. Dude, I HATE embroidering. I always think I’m going to enjoy it and I never do.
I didn’t take a picture of my wonky embroidery process. Just trust that it happened, and it wasn’t any fun. I just followed around the perimeter of the dark portion of the moon, and completely outlined the “New moon”.
Then I cut little name plates for each phase from unbleached muslin. I just eyeballed the size and cut a bunch of rectangles of the same size. 2×4″ I think.
And God forbid I should have to do any more embroidery, I grabbed a fabric sharpie.
Boom. Now I’ve quickly used my terrible handwriting instead of slowly laboring over my terrible embroidery!
Pin them all down where they belong and sew those suckers on with a zig zag if you’re lazy. You could also spend a few more minutes and iron the edges under. It would look nicer….heh.
Pause to think of Edward and Bella as you buzz over the New Moon phase. Hahaha. Did you realize that the new moon phase isn’t illuminated? Weird, right? Things you fail to notice in the age of artificial light!
Adding a big label to the top:
I thought I had a photo of my big “Lunar Phases” label in progress, but I must have accidentally deleted it. Oopsies. But I just eyeballed that too, cutting a piece of muslin and writing it with sharpie.
My eyeballs often replace my brain when I’m making things.
Then you hem or bind the edges. I turned my edges 1/2″ to the wrong side twice and stitched it down.
There are many ways you could choose to hang this. I hemmed all the edges and put in a couple of buttonholes at the top corners to hang with a hook.
You could sew a tube through the top when you’re hemming and hang it with a rod, stretch it over a piece of plywood and staple it down like upholstery (this was my first plan but I realized that this was going to end up pretty big and HEAVY if I used wood), or even back it and quilt it and make it into a playmat.
There’s my really fancy hanging method.
And it’s done! Pretty, decorative, and educational!
Thanks for reading ^_^, and Happy Sewing!
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- Galaxy Moon Phases Wall Hanging DIY - April 17, 2014