I love creating new play things for my children. My mind is always overflowing with ideas and I enjoy spending time in my studio creating something out of a bunch of materials.
A while ago I made a an underwater small world for my mermaid obsessed daughter and on impulse we ended up making this ocean ceiling or under the sea tent. The idea was to create something that would hang above their heads with ‘things’ hanging from it. These things could represent the waves, coral, seaweed, fish and so on.
This is what we came up with:
This diy ocean ceiling project is a lot easier than it looks. So even if you think you can’t sew, don’t be intimidated, you can totally do this!
I’ve always considered myself to be someone who can’t sew but since I started selling my creations on Etsy, I realized I needed to change that perception! The reality is that everyone can sew. The trick is to take it one little step at a time and not let yourself be overwhelmed by the final result. So relax, you’re in good hands, I will hold your hand and talk you through the entire process.
Creating the Ocean Ceiling Step by Step
1. Measure your table. Cut out a piece of blue fabric that size and zigzag stitch all around the edges to stop them from fraying. Or if you want a nicer finish, tuck the ends in and top stitch closed.
2. Make 5 or so ‘ocean curtains’. You do this by lining up pieces of blue/green-ish fabric (here’s your chance to get creative!) or ribbons first. Then you take a strip of fabric about an inch and a half wide, fold it in half and press it. Tuck all of the pieces of fabric or ribbons in there and top stitch it closed.
3. Stitch the entire strip of hanging ocean curtain onto your ocean ceiling with a zigzag stitch. Be sure to go back and forth a few times at the beginning and end to make sure it won’t come loose.
4. Stitch a whole bunch of buttons onto your ocean ceiling. The more the merrier. In the images I’m showing you I stitched on far too few. I recommend at least 15 buttons. Even if you don’t plan on hanging that many crafts, it’s nice to have options and children will love moving their crafts around.
5. Cut 8 long (about 2/3 the width of your table) and narrow (about two inches) strips of fabric and zigzag stitch all the way around. Then attach these strips around your ocean ceiling: four near the corners and four around the 1/3 and 2/3 mark of the long side. (See first image.) With these strips you’ll tie the ocean ceiling to the table. Here’s how you sew them onto the main piece of fabric:
6. If you want you can cut 4 more strips of fabric, zigzag around the edges and sew them onto the 4 corners so you can tie them around the table legs. This will help keep the ocean ceiling in place. Here’s how you sew them onto the main fabric:
Set up your Underwater Small World
Now we’re all finished you can attach the ocean ceiling to your table, cover the ground with some blankets, sheets and pillows. Throw in the children’s favourite soft toys and hang some ocean crafts from the buttons.
You can read all about how we made our underwater small world come alive here!
Makers Gonna Make!
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and that you feel inspired to create your own ocean ceiling. Go and dig through your fabric scraps, your ribbon collection or go hunting for some nice fabric. Make it your own and feel free to take this diy project to another level.