We have no shortage of books in this house. We’d have 30+ board books alone, but not one single cloth book!
Miss E is going through the ‘I must put everything in my mouth’ stage, and I was a little concerned that her paper and board books might not survive. So I pulled together some fabric scraps and made this cloth book.
Follow the tutorial below if you’re interested in making your own.
4 fabric page pieces 12×6 inches
fabric scraps (cotton, flannelette, drill etc)
foil / cellophane / muesli bar wrapper
buttons, ribbon, or any other embellishments you would like to use. Keep in mind that anything you put in your book needs to be able to be secured firmly to prevent it becoming a choking hazard.
Cut out your fabric page pieces and the images you plan to sew into your book from fabric scraps. Each 12×6 in page piece will make up one half of a double spread. I chose to make one of my fabric page pieces out of two different fabrics, the sausage dog fabric and the blue floral fabric. If you’re making single pages, add an extra 1/4 inch to the width of each piece so that when you sew them together, your new double spread is the same size as your other pages.
Once you’ve cut out all of your pages and pieces, arrange your decorative fabric pieces on your page and sew them on.
You may like to add extra interest to your book by creating flaps, or sewing interesting items to your pages. I madethe fin on this fish double sided so that it would flap, and plaited some wool to sew on to the dogs as lead’s.
If you’ve made any single pages, place one page on top of the other, right sides together and sew a 1/4 inch seam down the right side to create a double spread page. Open your new double spread and iron the seam flat.
To make the love heart page ‘crinkly’ I sewed foil to the back of the shape. There is probably a product made specifically for this purpose, but I just used a clean muesli bar wrapper. Cellophane or foil wrapping paper could work as well.
The foot on your sewing machine may slide around a little whilst sewing the foil, so it’s best to slow down and take your time with this part. Once you’ve sewn your foil on, trim the excess off before sewing the love heart piece to your page.
Now that you’ve finished sewing the decorative pieces onto your pages, place two page pieces right sides together. Pin and sew a 1/4 inch seam around the edge, leaving a 2 inch opening so that you can turn your work inside out afterwards. Repeat for your other pages.
After you’ve turned your work inside out, take care to push all the corners out, then press with a warm iron. DO NOT IRON THE FOIL. We don’t want to melt your good work! Instead, just iron the edges of the page, staying clear of the foil.
Next, sew a line around the edge of your pages approx 1/8 inch from the edge. This will make your work look neater and close over the opening we used to turn your work earlier.
Now you’ve completed your pages!
Finally, place your double spread pages on top of each other, in their correct order, and sew a centrefold.
Tie up any loose ends, and you’re done!
Here’s my cloth book from start to finish.
and here’s Miss E enjoying her new book!
Play with your pattern and images to personalise your own cloth book, and if you’re an instagrammer, please tag me in your creations (@mummydoesntbake). I’d love to see your work!