Directions for Handmade Cloth Books

Written by rose smith
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Directions for Handmade Cloth Books
Books made of fabric make memorable gifts. (seahorse fabric image by Katrina Miller from

Handmade cloth books make memorable gifts for baby showers, birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings or other special occasions. Most fabric stores carry the preprinted books with easy to read instructions; however, there's something special in creating a handmade book from your own imagination. Creating a book from scratch allows more personality by adding several personalised touches to the book, said A-B-C 1-2-3 Craft Book author, Phyllis Fiarotta. You can personalise the story itself to fit the person you give it to.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Storybook fabric or 1 yard regular fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Light-weight batting
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing notions
  • Embellishing materials

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  1. 1

    Purchase the fabric suitable for a soft cloth book. Choose story fabric, material with a storybook woven into the fabric, or a soft or sturdy jean-like material you can write or mark on. The choices vary with your imagination. Storybook fabric already has the book printed on the fabric, dotted cut lines and page numbers to keep everything in order. If creating an original cloth book with a personalised story on the cloth or covering an existing book in cloth, purchase one to two yards of fabric.

  2. 2

    Cut just inside the dotted lines of each page. This ensures no black lines are seen in the book. Iron the fabric. If using fabric without dotted lines, cut the fabric allowing 1/4 inch over the ends of your book.

  3. 3

    Cut pieces of lightweight batting; one piece to match the book cover. The cover of the book will be slightly bigger than the pages. The other pieces need to match the pages of the book. Or use a book to trace a book pattern into the blank fabric and add 1/4 inch to all sides for fabric ease. Cut those pieces out. Make the cover slightly larger than the rest of the book.

  4. 4

    Lay down the batting that goes with the cover of the book. Place the cover on top with the face side up. For a 10-page personalised book, put pages one and 10 on top of the cover so the face side of the material faces down. Pin pages one and 10 together. Repeat this for the rest of the pages. Pin pages nine and two to pages three and eight. Pin pages seven and four to pages five and six. Before sewing, check the correct alignment of the pages.

  5. 5

    Begin sewing. On most storybook fabric, each page will have a section that says "leave open for turning," do not sew these spots. If the fabric does not say that on each page, leave a 3-inch space open at the bottom of each page. Sew all four sides of the book except for the bottom section where you turn the pages.

  6. 6

    Crop off any extra fabric with the fabric scissors. Turn the book outside in. Pull the corners out as straight as possible and iron all the corners.

  7. 7

    Turn the edges of the turning sections in and hand sew shut. Iron the entire page after sewn shut.

  8. 8

    Baste stitch the middle of the book and then machine sew. If stitching the book by hand, simply hand sew it shut. Embellish the book with glitter, lace and other objects.

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