How to Make a Cloud


There are so many different crafts, projects, and experiments you can do with clouds! You can try your hand at making a cloud mobile that’ll catch the sunlight even on rainy days, sew cloud pillows for cute decorations or gifts, or even do an experiment to learn more about how clouds form by making one yourself in a bottle!

Part 1
Crafting a Cloud Mobile

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You’ll need a Styrofoam ball (any size from 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) will work), 3 wooden skewers, 1-2 packages of crystal beads of various colors, beading wire, crimp beads, pillow stuffing, and a hot glue gun.[1] You can purchase everything you need at your local craft store.

Crafting a Cloud Mobile on How to Make a Cloud

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Use a skewer to pierce a hole through the center of the Styrofoam ball, remove the skewer, and then thread the wire through the hole. Use at least 3 feet (0.91 m) of wire so that you’ll have lots of room to work with when you go to hang the mobile up later. Loop the wire around the ball and make a knot, securing it with a dot of hot glue.[2] Try to keep the long length of wire clear from the rest of your crafting supplies so it doesn’t get tangled up in anything else.

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Place them perpendicular to the hole you made for the beading wire. Position them so that there are 6 equidistant ends protruding from the ball that are all level with each other.[3] These skewers will be used to hang the crystal beads.

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Cut 6 or 7 different strands of beading wire, varying the lengths from 16 inches (41 cm) to 6 inches (15 cm). Place a crimping bead on the end of each one and crimp it into place.[4] You can make as many different strands as you like and make them whatever lengths you prefer. The beads you’re going to put onto them will resemble raindrops, so varying lengths look more realistic.

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On each strand of beading wire, add 3-6 colored crystals, securing a crimping bead in place after each one to separate the crystals from one another and give the appearance of falling raindrops.[5] You can use any combination of colors you want for your cloud! Try a range of blues and greens, or you could even go bright with reds and yellows. Part of the fun of making your own craft is getting to use your imagination!

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Take the top end of each string (the end opposite to that first crimping bead you secured) and tie them in the middle of each skewer. Some skewers may have more than one strand coming off of them, and that is okay! Put a dot of hot glue overtop of each knot to keep them securely in place.[6] Position the strings near the center of the skewers rather than at the ends or super close to the styrofoam ball for a more natural look.

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Start with the bottom of the Styrofoam ball, being cautious to not get the beaded wire caught in the glue or stuffing. Once that side is done, add more hot glue to the top of the ball and continue adding stuffing to it.[7] Use pillow stuffing that you can buy at the craft store. You could also use batting or “polyester fill” stuffing. Don’t push the stuffing down too hard—you want it to be fluffy!

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Carefully squeeze hot glue onto the entire length of the skewers on both sides and continue putting stuffing into place, crafting a full, fluffy cloud. Vary the amount of stuffing you put in different sections to mimic the mounded shape of a typical cloud—you don’t want it to just look like a fluffy circle![8] You can put more hot glue on the stuffing you already glued into place to layer more stuffing on top.

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Hang a hook from the ceiling wherever you would like your mobile to be. Then tie the end of the beading wire around the hook and make a strong knot to keep it in place.[9] Try placing your mobile near a window that gets a lot of sunlight so that you can enjoy the light refracting through the crystals!

Part 2
Making a Cloud in a Bottle

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You’ll need a clean, clear plastic bottle with its label removed, water, and matches. If you’re making clouds with kids, gather several bottles so everyone can do their own experiment.[10] If you work near the sink, it’s easy to fill your bottle with water, and you also have safe place over which to light your matches.

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If the bottle has a label, make sure to remove it beforehand so you can see what’s going on. Use hot water from the tap rather than boiling water (you don’t want to burn your hands!).[11] You can use any size of bottle, though you’ll be able to see the “cloud” better if you use a bigger one. It’s also best to use a clear bottle rather than a colored one.

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Secure the lid so that the bottle won’t leak, and then shake it a few times so that the water warms up the entire bottle.[12] Swirling the water also saturates the air at the top with water molecules.

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After you light the match, let it burn for 2-3 seconds before you blow it out. Then remove the cap from the plastic bottle and deposit the match head first into it.[13] If you’re a child, make sure your parent is around during this part!

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Be careful to not squeeze the sides of the bottle until after the lid is back in place. Squeeze the bottle 3 to 4 times in a row, waiting 2-3 seconds between each squeeze. You’ll see the top of the bottle fill with the cloud![14] Adding pressure to the sides of the bottle makes the water particles compress, and then when you let go, the air lowers the temperature because it’s expanding. As the air cools, the water particles clump together around the smoke molecules from the match!

Part 3
Sewing a Cloud Pillow

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To sew a cloud pillow, you will need fabric, a sewing machine, sewing pins, thread, pillow stuffing, a hand sewing needle, scissors, and an iron and ironing board. Make sure you have a large area to work at, like a table or clear counter.[15] For the fabric, you’ll need anywhere from 3 to 9 feet (0.91 to 2.74 m), depending on how large you want your pillow to be. Part of the beauty of making your own pillow is that you can use whatever kind of fabric you like! You could use flannel for a soft, rustic cloud pillow, cotton for a soft-to-the-touch stretchy option, or even fuzzy or textured fabrics.

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Type “cloud pillow pattern” into your search bar to find a free pattern that you can download and use. Or take some time to design one yourself—just make sure to vary the sizes of the cloud’s “humps” so that you don’t end up with a cloud that looks more like a camel.[16] A fun idea is to make a “family” of cloud pillows—make one for each member of your family! For kids, you could make mini-clouds.

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Take your time and do your best to follow the pattern so that your 2 pieces will be as identical as possible. Use fabric-specific scissors if you can for the best result.[17] Get creative with your fabric! You could use white, patterned, or even fluffy, textured fabric to make your clouds!

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Every 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 cm), place a sewing needle through both pieces of fabric so that they will stay neatly together when you sew them. [18] You put the fabric inside out so that when you’re done sewing and turn it right side out, the seams will be on the inside of the pillow and won’t be visible.

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Choose the basic straight stitch function, and use your sewing machine to sew about 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) from the edge all the way around your pattern. Stop once you are almost back to the beginning, leaving 5 inches (13 cm) so that you’ll have room to add the stuffing to the pillow.[19] If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could stitch the entire pillow by hand.

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Remove your fabric from the sewing machine and lay it out flat on your workstation. Use your scissors to cut small triangles out of the fabric on the outside of the seams of the entire cloud. Be careful to not accidentally cut through any of the stitching.[20] Clipping the edges makes them smooth once your fabric is turned right side out. If you didn’t clip them, the material would appear puckered rather than smooth.

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Carefully pull the fabric through the opening so that your patterned/textured side is on the outside. You’ll be able to see how the seam of the pillow looks smooth and natural, rather than crimped or puckered.[21] Be careful when pulling the fabric through the opening and take your time—you don’t want to accidentally rip your seams!

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Turn on your iron and let it get hot. Then place your fabric on the ironing board and go around the edges with your iron, smoothing down the seams. You can also iron the rest of the fabric if there are any wrinkles.[22] Be careful when using your iron! Make sure to set it down on its bottom so it’s standing upright and doesn’t burn anything.

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Take large handfuls of pillow stuffing and push them through the 5 inches (13 cm) opening you left. Make sure to get the stuffing into all the crevices of the cloud shape.[23] If your pillow is really large, you may need to use a long wooden spoon to push the stuffing into all the corners of the cloud.

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Use your hand-sewing needle and thread. Make a simple straight stitch to match the stitches you created with your sewing machine. Stitch across the opening until you get to the end, then make a knot and end your stitch.[24] Use double-strength thread if you can, since the seam is holding in lots of stuffing.

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Place them in front of other pillows for a whimsical touch on your bed, or put them on a chair for a fun decoration. You could even give them as gifts![25] You could even embroider someone’s name onto the cloud if you’re giving it as a gift.