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?


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

  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!

    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!

  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?


    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!

    2. Here is the tutorial!

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


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