Thursday, August 29, 2013

DIY Baby Photo Album Soft Book

Hello friends!  I have a project to share today that I am really excited about.  I've been planning it for months and finally got around to making it.  It's a photo album for my daughter!  All of our family lives far away and I wanted to help her learn who everyone is (eventually).  She also really loves the soft fabric books.  Family+Fabric Book= Family photo album soft book!


I used Spoonflower to create my fabric.  If you don't know Spoonflower, you should check out their site.  You can get custom-printed fabric.  I wanted to go this route rather than printable iron-ons because I was worried about bits flaking off as she chewed on it.

I created the fabric design in photoshop and scaled it to fit a fat quarter (18"x 21").  If you need more info on how to do this, see this post.  You can also just look at the picture below to see how everything was laid out.  I planned it so the pages going across could fold in half (you'll see what I mean further down.)

I smudged out the cousins names in case their parents don't want that on the internet.  They actually have names in the book :)  And in case you are wondering, Halmoni and Haraboji are grandma and grandpa in Korean.

Once I ordered my fabric, I checked the mail excitedly for awhile until it came.  Yay!  Then I got to work.


I started by cutting my images into three strips.  I trimmed right to the edge along the top and bottom but left the side edges as they were.


Next, I folded each page in half with the right-sides together.  I ironed the fold to hold it in place and then serged the other edge.  NOTE: Be careful about this.  I wasn't thinking about where my stitches were going to end up and I sewed too far in.  It didn't really hurt the project, but when I turned it inside out, the pages on that side were slightly smaller than the other side.



Next, I cut out pieces of fusible fleece that were slightly smaller than the pages.  By leaving a gap in the middle of each page spread, I was hoping to reduce bulk at the spine and make the pages easier to turn.  I ironed these onto the wrong sides of the pages.



I then sewed the top and bottom of the pages using my normal sewing machine and leaving a small gap along one side.  I then turned the pages inside out and sewed along the entire outer edge.


Finally, I stacked the pages and sewed several times through the middle to hold it all in place.


It's done!  I was really excited to make this so I worked through it really quickly.  If I make another, I think it might be fun to add little ribbon "tabs" to each page.


I'm pretty sure my girl is a fan.  She started screeching really loudly when she looked at it.  Excitement?




10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I had a lot of fun making it.

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  2. I stumbled across your page while looking for ideas on how to make my son a fabric photo book. I like this idea better than using the clear plastic and putting in an actual picture, and definitely better than an iron on. What a clever idea!

    Two questions: What kind of fabric did you order from spoonflower and did you wash the fabric before you put your book together?

    Thank you!

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    1. Hi Hope. I'm glad you liked it! I ordered the basic combed cotton and did not wash it before assembling. Hope that helps!

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  3. Hi, this is exactly what I want to try to do. Would you post a tutorial on how to prepare the image file for spoonflower?

    Thanks

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    1. Hi Amy-

      You're the second person who has asked for this this week, so I will try to get it posted in the next couple of days. Thanks for asking!

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    2. Here is the tutorial! http://theexperimentalcrafter.blogspot.com/2013/12/family-photo-cloth-book-creating-image.html

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  4. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

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  5. Hi Jenny! We are bringing our son home from China an would love to make this book and send it too him before we arrive. He is 2. I am not a really crafty person, though I have been a elementary school teacher for years and so will give just about anything crafty - wise a college try.... And i have a friend to help so.... I just have a couple of questions ... I don't own photoshop and haven't ever used it, but have wanted to try it out. Which "suite" do you use, element or CS? And forgive this question, i know it is really obvious! I don't understand this direction: "Next, I folded each page in half with the right-sides together. I ironed the fold to hold it in place and then serged the other edge." Haha, I know I am going to feel foolish with that question! Thank you in advance for answering these questions. We are very excited about our little boy and are waiting for news of when we can travel to get him. Hoping for a date in 2015! Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your question! How wonderful about your son and your idea to make him this gift.

      I have Adobe Photoshop CS3. I honestly am not a big photoshop person either but my husband does computer design and he put this one my computer for me. It's great for the simple photo editing projects that I do.

      Not a silly question at all! I'll do my best to help explain but you can ask more if it is still confusing. Do you see how I cut the fabric into long strips with four pictures? I folded it in half so that the pretty side of the fabric was toward the inside. If you are confused by the term "serged," it's just a fancy type of sewing. If you don't have a serger, you can use an ordinary sewing machine and sew a straight line. The serger helps to keep the fabric from fraying but it really wasn't necessary in this step. The end result will be a big fabric loop with the white side of the fabric on the outside and the pretty picture side on the inside.

      I hope that helps! Feel free to ask more questions. :)

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Thanks for your comments! I love hearing from my readers :)