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Make Your Own Cloth Baby Book

It has been on my mind to make her a book for AJ using photos of our family. Babies are fascinated by faces and what better faces to look at then those who love you most :)  Newborns also like to look at high contrast, black and white images. In fact, AJ’s favourite toy is a dalmatian dog of Immy’s. She smiles and ‘talks’ to it and likes to suck on its nose and ears! So I decided recently to combine both of these ideas to create a cloth baby book.

I must warn you that I am most definitely an amateur seamstress, straight lines are my limit and I am sure that more experienced crafters will laugh at my attempts and explanations in this simple tutorial.

Make Your Own Cloth Baby Book

You will need:

  • White cotton fabric – I used a cotton drill
  • Thin quilting batting
  • T-shirt transfer paper
  • Bias binding
  • Computer
  • Inkjet printer
  • Cotton
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Scissors and ruler
  • Needle

 To make:

make a cloth baby book

1. Choose your photos and using your preferred editing software (I use Photoshop but I believe the free, online programs PicMonkey and Pixlr have similar capabilities) to convert the images to black and white. Crop and resize the photos to suit the size of your cloth book. Mine were 16cm x 11cms. Our book has five images in total.

2. Cut your fabric to size. I cut rectangles of 24cm x 22cm and the completed book is approximately 22cm x 20cm. I used six rectangles, one for each image and a blank for the back cover of the book.

3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to print your photos onto the t-shirt transfer paper and to iron the transfers onto your fabric.

personalised cloth baby book
4. Decide on the order of your pages. Place the first two pages face to face and pin and stitch (I used a 10mm seam allowance) on three sides, leaving the side that will be the spine of the book open. Trim the excess fabric from the two stitched corners and turn the fabric right side out.

cloth baby book
5. Cut thin quilting batting to size so that it will fit snugly inside the pocket that you have made from the two pages. Cut it slightly shorter (about 1 1/2 cm)  that the book’s width so that the spine doesn’t become too thick. Tuck the fabric edges in on the open, side of the pocket (this will become the spine) and stitch it closed. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each pair of pages.

6. I decided to add a bias binding edging to each page of our book, this is completely optional. I used a 2.5cm bias binding and first folded it in half and ironed it to create a crease. I folded the tape over the edge of the page and stitched it into place (on just three sides, not the spine), taking a little time on the corners to make them look as neat as possible (this was probably the fiddliest part of the whole project).

make a cloth baby book

7. Order the pages and stack one onto another. Cut two lengths of bias binding (one for the front cover and one for the back) to run along the spine of the book, including an extra few centimetres to fold over so that it does not fray. Because of the bulk of the spine I hand stitched all of the pages (and the binding) together with running stitch down each side of the bias binding using a needle and embroidery thread.

cloth baby book

Finished!

What have you made for your child/ren recently?

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Comments

  1. I think this is utterly brilliant. Photo albums are so important for little bubs aren’t they? and I think creating a cloth book is wonderful.
    You are one clever mama, and I don’t know where you’ve found the time.

  2. This is such a cute and meaningful idea. Really love it – pinning now :-)

  3. DebbieH says:

    What a beautiful, clever idea! Too bad Sarah is well past the age of needing one ;-)

  4. This is fantastic! My little one was always fascinated with baby faces in magazines etc How creative to create a soft book like this. I’m pinning this.

  5. Amanda Eastment says:

    Awwww….that is really special. AJ is going to love it. If I could sew I’d make one too. Recently I made some fabric set in embroidery rings to decorate Miss L’s bedroom. When Miss M was a baby (now 5), I made her a photo box. It was a cube shape that I covered in bright green wrapping paper and on each side I put photos of the family eg. grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and the immediate family. She loved it and it really helped her get to know who was who, especially since we don’t live nearby to everyone.

  6. My baby was born two weeks after yours and I’m still struggling to find the time for showering and teeth cleaning!!! You are making beautiful cloth books. Hmmm I seem to be going wrong somewhere!!!

    • See now Victoria, you are assuming that I am showered or have clean teeth :) It’s almost midday and I have done neither so far today! Plus my floors really need mopping and I have piles of washing all over the house, actually all of my housework could use some attention ;)

  7. Darla Virgilio says:

    “fiddliest”? I like it.

  8. I love this idea! I am going to have to make a few different ones for our sons.
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi what a great website and great makes one question though im new to all this sewing so how do you get all the pages together to create a book? Sorry if it says I just don’t understand that last step xx

    Many thanks xx

  10. What is t-shirt transfer paper? Btw love your blog.

  11. Hello, Cute idea. How do you recommend to clean/wash the book when needed?
    Thank you very much.

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