Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Project - Spring Felt Texture Book

I've been playing around with this idea for awhile now - at first it was going to be an autumn book, then a winter book and when I finally got to it, it turned out to be a spring book!  It was so much fun to make, though, there might be sequels!

Before I go into the tutorial, I want to talk about a couple of things.  First, anything I used can probably have something else you have around the house substituted for it.  I just looked in my scrap boxes and then went to my local fabric/craft/hobby store to find things I came up short on.  So, if you're making this, don't think you have to copy my materials religiously to have it turn out nice!

Second, about attaching things.  Presumably, this will be used with a toddler - since it's a texture book (although I wouldn't mind one for myself!).  When a child under the age of three is going to be using something, one needs to think about whether anything one attaches will be taken off and eaten or choked on - it's just the nature of the critter!  I use Aileene's Jewel-It (and LOTS of it) when I want to attach anything that will be washed many times or that I want to be stuck on very, very well.  It's darn near impossible to detach - however, toddlers are known for doing the impossible.  Like climbing onto the tops of upright pianos when there's no piano stool and taking out the screws that attach kitchen cabinet doors with their bare fingers.  So, you know your toddler and if you think they might demolish the book to get the attached item off, either sew it on in addition to gluing or go for flat pieces of felt and textured fabric that you can secure on flat enough there won't be any edges to use for prying.

*Four pieces of 12 x 9 felt for the book cover and pages
*small pieces of felt and textured fabric (I'll go over what I used as we get to each page)
*small amount of feathered boa, rhinestone tape, furry fabric, fabric spring blossoms, plastic Easter grass and glitter foam, small googly eyes
*pre-cut foam or felt letters - or if you have a die-cut press, you can make your own
*felt glue
*Aileene's Jewel-It
*embroidery floss
*patterns found here

To make the book:
1.  Stack the four 12x9 pieces of felt with all edges even.  With chalk, draw a line down the middle.

2.  Sew on each side of the chalk line to make the spine of the book.

3.  You should be able to fold it closed like this.

I used tie-dye patterned felt for the butterfly wings and black for the body.

1.  Using the patterns, cut out the butterfly wings and body.  Set the letters that spell "Spring" along the side to see where your empty space will be.  Tack on the butterfly wings with a couple small dots of felt glue and sew around the edges with a blanket stitch.  Tack on the butterfly body and attach with a blanket stitch.  Use an outline stitch to make antennae and top each one with a french knot.  Use an outline stitch to make the butterfly's flight path.

Pages 2-3
I used brown felt for the branches.  For the blossoms, I cut the smaller blossoms off a spray of fabric flowers.

1.  You will be skipping to what looks like pages 3-4, since we'll be sewing each page to the page next to it.  This will make the pages a little sturdier and hide any sewing knots, etc.

2.  Set out the letters that spell "Flowers."  Using the patterns, cut the branches from felt.  Tack on and attach with a blanket stitch.  Don't glue the flowers yet - it works best if you do all gluing at the end.

Pages 4-5
I used brown, tan, and gray felt for the nest, gray felt for the umbrella handle, gray embossed felt for the rain cloud, green vinyl for the umbrella, and rhinestone tape for the rain drops.

1.  Using the patterns, cut out the nest, the rain cloud, the umbrella and the handle.  Set out the letters that spell "Rain" on page 4 and "Birds" on page 5.  To make the nest, cut slits vertically in the nest piece as shown.  I used a Sharpie and drew on the wrong side.

Cut three very thin strips of felt and weave them through the slits horizontally. 

Trim the edges.  Tack on the nest, rain cloud, umbrella handle and umbrella (lap the umbrella over the handle a bit).  Attach all pieces with a blanket stitch.

2.  To make birds, I cut about 2 inch pieces of a thin feather boa, doubled it over, and then sewed it together through the fabric core.  Again using the fabric core, sew three birds into the nest.  Tug on them to make sure they're secure and stitch some more if they're not.  Unfortunately, the picture I took of the birds sewn in didn't turn out, but you can look further down at the completed birds to get the idea if this sounds confusing.

Pages 6-7
I used plastic Easter grass for the grass, glitter foam sheets for the eggs and soft "Minky" fabric for the bunny.

1.  Gather a small bunch of Easter grass and place in the upper half of page 6.  Sew down the middle with a very small zigzag stitch.  Sew again right next to the first stitching.  Pull on the grass to make sure you remove any loose pieces.  Trim.

2.  Set out the letters that spell "Easter."  Using the pattern, cut out a bunny and tack it on.  Attach using a blanket stitch.  Following the dotted lines on the pattern, embroider outlines of the head, paws, and ears with a contrasting color of embroidery floss and an outline stitch.  Using small straight stitches, embroider a nose and an eye.

Attaching pages:

1.  Pin the cover page to page 2, matching all edges evenly.

2.  Sew pages together with a blanket stitch.  Repeat for all other pages.

Finishing:  The glue takes awhile to dry and cure.  I glue one page worth, cover with waxed paper, and pile on several heavy books.  I leave it like this for about 4 - 6 hours, then let it dry for either the rest of the day or overnight before I move on to the next page.

Cover:  Glue on the letters and it's done!

Pages 2 - 3:  Glue on the letters and the blossoms.

Pages 4 - 5:  Glue on the letters.  Glue on the rhinestone tape raindrops.  To make birds, glue on small triangles for beaks and googly eyes.  Don't be tempted to glue down the back of the birds' feathers - the glue will wreck the feathers and you'll have to give them haircuts.  I speak from experience!

Pages 6 - 7:  Glue on the letters.  Using the pattern, cut Easter eggs from the glitter foam sheets and glue them onto the grass, hiding the sewing that runs down the middle.

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. What a fun project and it came out SO cute! Thanks for the fabulous idea, I'll be spreading the word about your book

  2. This project is limited only by your imagination!

  3. This is so pretty! I especially love the baby birds and bunny! I want to make one soon :)Thanks for the tutorial.