If you're a regular reader, you know how much we love books at our house. A couple years ago, I made Firecracker a felt book ornament to commemorate her learning to read.
After a little experimenting, I came up with these little mini-books. They're SUPER easy...
...so that might explain how I ended up with all these.
Seriously though, if you're going to get the supplies out to make one, you might as well make 9 or 10...because that's how many book covers you can print in a sheet.
I've seen tutorials around for printing directly onto fabric, but hadn't gotten brave enough to actually try it. It's opened up whole new worlds of possibilities, including making these.
If you want to try it, here's what you'll need.
- Green and/or red felt. I happened to have some glitter felt in my stash, but regular felt works great too. (I used felt-by-the-yard from my stash, but by trimming the books a tad more, you could get four books out of one piece of colored felt and two pieces of white felt.)
- White felt
- Plain white, cotton fabric
- Heat'n Bond Lite (Regular Heat'n Bond would work fine too...and there are other brands that accomplish the same goal. Heat'n Bond is iron-on adhesive. It comes with a paper backing, so you can iron it onto a piece of fabric, peel off the backing, and then attach your fabric to another piece.)
- Sewing machine or needle and thread to sew by hand
- 7 inches of 1/8 inch ribbon for hanger
First you'll need to print your book covers. I got all my images doing Google Image searches for the books I wanted. Then I resized them in Word. You come up with your own favorites or you can use the ones I came up with.
Click here to download a Word Document with the book covers I used. If you have Word, you can edit to have just the covers you want.
Click here to download a PDF with the bookcovers I used.
To print the covers, I followed this tutorial from Modern Day Moms. You'll want to go read her directions. The only difference was that instead of using freezer paper, I used Heat'n Bond Lite. ( That way I could iron it right onto my book after cutting out each piece.) I cut an 8 1/2 x 11 size piece of Heat'n Bond Lite and ironed it to my plain white cotton fabric. Then you trim around the edges and put it through your printer like you would a piece of paper...just make sure you put it in the right way so it prints on the fabric side rather than the paper side.
You should end up with something that looks like this:
Cut out the covers. I liked the way it looked if you leave a white border around the edges, but you can trim it as close you you want to.
Peel off the paper backing.
Fold your colored felt in half to figure out how big you'll need it to make your book. For the amount of border I left on my book covers, I found I needed to cut the felt about 6 1/4 inches by 3 5/8 inches for most of the books.
Iron your cover onto your colored felt.
Cut out your white felt pages and pin inside book cover. I cut my pages slightly smaller than the cover. As a general rule, it's an inch less in width and 1/2 inch less in height. Mine ended up being 5 1/4 inches by 3 1/8 inches. You can't see it well in the picture, but I also used a pencil to lightly mark the middle of the book.
Then you just sew right down the middle.
Tie one double knot close to the book. This will help keep the book closed.
Then tie a square know at the tips to finish off the loop.
One of the great things about these, is that they're easy enough for a school aged child to help with. Firecracker was able to help with some of the sewing and ironing...and LOVED it.
Something else I love about these, is that you can easily add the child's name and year inside with a little note. (I used this fabric pen. I tried a ultra fine point sharpie and that didn't work well. I think a regular tip sharpie would work though.) Here's Little Brother's...
We gave a whole set of about 8 or 9 of these to Firecracker's librarian who has been super extra nice at encouraging her to read...just when she was getting tired of hearing about it from Mommy and Daddy. I tried in particular to choose books with characters the elementary school children would recognize.
We also included one as the gift tag with the gifts to Firecracker's teachers. (More about those gifts tomorrow.) I wrote their names and the year inside and then Firecracker signed them on another page.
I've had to hide the ones that are still in the house because Sweet Pea wants to carry them all over the place and I'm afraid they'll get lost...and she can carry a lot of them by looping their hangers over her finger.
If you plan on mass producing these, I suggest cutting getting all your materials cut out at once. I used a cutting mat and quilting ruler, but those aren't necessary. You could also cut out a template with a piece of cardboard and just trace it.
Then the construction goes really fast putting them together. I cut all the covers and pages out to fit the typical upright book (like the Grinch, Fancy Nancy, etc). Some of the book covers were smaller, and for those I just trimmed them down a bit...first the cover and then the inner pages.
Then I had to cut out the extra wide books (like Polar Express) seperately. You could just choose to use covers of the same size to keep it simple...but I just couldn't leave out Polar Express or a few of the others.
Edited to add:
I also tried out a few variations when I made a few more.
- No-sew option...I tried using my glue gun down the spine of the book to hold the pages in and it works great!
- Muslin page option...I ran out of white felt, so I tried using some muslin. The muslin is easier to write personal messages on, which is nice. On the other hand, it also results in a much thinner book, so it all depends on the look you want which one you'd prefer.
Now here's the fun part for you. I have a few extras that I'm offering as part of a little giveaway in celebration of Christmas and my 501st blog post!
Here's all you need to do to enter...first you must be a follower/ subscriber (via blogger, Facebook, a blog reader, whatever) to enter. Then all you need to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas book and how you follow my blog. Please be sure that you either leave your email with your comment or your blogger account is set up, so I can easily reply to your comment. Each person can only enter once, so if you make a mistake, go back and delete your extra comment. The giveaway closes at midnight, December 13th, so I can be sure to get these in the mail in time for Christmas.
And if you love reading as much as we do, you might be interested in my Children's Book archive page here.
And if you're interested in the Baby's First Christmas version, see my post here.
Please show my sponsors some love...
|Christmas Sticker Book - From Lisa @ Usborne Books||"Holiday Cheer" Reversible Bib - From Mimi and the Boy||The Real Santa - Art Print from Prints of Peace|