sewing: felt family photo book

This post is written by Laurel of Sing All You Want.

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

When my youngest daughter turned one, I made her a beautiful soft baby book. The front had a hand embroidered panel that I spent so many hours stitching. The book included fabric from her baby quilt and pictures of her and our family along with sweet sentiments from each of us. I was so proud of how it turned out and how special it is. But, here’s the thing…she never, ever looks at it. Like zero. interest. It mostly just sits in her bedroom collecting dust. I’m ok with that because I know one day she’ll pick it up and she’ll suddenly get what it’s all about. But, I’m also not one to let a one-year old rain on my handmade parade! I’m one to try again.

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

So, recently, I had this idea for a new and different kind of soft book – one for kids of all ages, full of familiar funny faces, and bright happy colors. This, my friends, is what I’m here to share with you today. I can now attest to the fact that this book has seen more action in the past 24 hours than the aforementioned baby book received in months – it has been shared with friends, dragged to the sand box, and even fought over a little bit. I call our book “My Silly Family” but I could think of a million alternative themes and titles (some of which might involve the word knuckleheads).

Call it what you like…the best thing about this book are the images. Put on your best silly face, try some extreme closeups, or dig deep in your photo archives and make an entire book of family bloopers. Make it your own and make it awesome!

I chose felt for this book – it’s soft, durable, easy to sew and won’t fray. It is quick to put together and will be treasured for years. Are you ready to make one? Let’s go…

Supplies

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

Note: Supplies listed are for a finished 8″ square book designed to hold 6 pages/pictures.

- 4 pieces felt measuring at least 8″ x 16″ – I recommend a high quality wool or wool blend felt. The felt used in this book is from Maureen Cracknell Handmade on Etsy.

- felt or fabric scraps for the letters and/or embellishment – I used some Stick It Felt Letterssewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats {affiliate link} and also cut some of my own.

- fabric printer paper – I used Avery Printable Fabric for Inkjet Printerssewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats. Alternatively, you could print your pictures on fabric via Spoonflower.

Prepare and Print Images & Text

The first step in creating the book is to take, edit and prepare your images for the book. You will probably spend the most time on this step, and that’s good – make it fun! Once you’ve taken (impromptu family photo shoot, anyone?) or chosen your images, consider how you’d like to arrange your book and if there is any text you’d like to include.

I chose 6 images and arranged them along with some text in Photoshop prior to printing. You could also use Microsoft Word or a number of other programs. I recommend cropping images to 5″ x 5″ square. I did some basic editing to brighten my images and remove shadows. I also chose to use black and white images, since I love how they stand out on the brightly colored felt.

I have tried a few different types of fabric printer paper and this is by far my favorite. It is easy to use, prints beautifully, dries very quickly, and fuses to the fabric. A couple of tips: make sure to do a test page, and always feed the pages individually!

Assemble Your Book

1) If necessary, trim your felt sheets so that they measure 8″ (H) x 16″ (W).  Fold them in half as shown below and decide on an order. The order of my book is red, blue, yellow, green – remember this!

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

You will be sewing the pages together in pairs, as shown below. So, for text and picture placement, here’s where things will go:

  • Front cover/title – RED
  • Page 1 image – BLUE
  • Page 2 image – YELLOW
  • Pages 3 & 4 images – GREEN
  • Page 5 image – YELLOW
  • Page 6 image – BLUE
  • Back cover – RED

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

Make sense?

2) I recommend tagging what will go on each page. This seems totally silly for such a little book, but trust me, it will keep you from getting mixed up when it’s time to fuse or sew the images onto the pages!

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

3) Make the cover/title page. What you choose to do here is totally up to you! I gave my book a title, used some sticky felt letters along with some I traced and cut out on my own.

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

I pinned and stitched them down. No need to worry about the edges of the felt since it doesn’t fray.

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

Stick a heart on the back if you like!

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

4) Sew all of the images and text onto the proper pages. This is where you’ll appreciate those handy “tags”. I recommend trimming all of your images so that they measure approximately 5″ x 5″. You can add text or embellishments as you like. Another fun option would be to add a felt flap on top of each picture making it a lift-the flap book.

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

The printable fabric I used included a fusible gloss on the back. I wasn’t sure how my iron would handle both the fabric and the felt so I tested it first with some scraps. I found that the fabric fused immediately with a veeeerrrry quick press and a puff of steam. Alternatively, you could just pin your images and embellishments in place.

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

Once fused or pinned, simply zigzag stitch around the edge of the images and text pieces.

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

5) Stitch the felt together to make pages. Take the cover page (RED) and the next page (BLUE) and place them wrong sides together. Make sure your pages are both oriented properly. Stitch around the edge of the felt pieces with a 1/4″ to 3/8″ seam allowance.

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

Repeat with the next two inner pages (YELLOW and GREEN).

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

6) Now, let’s assemble the book! Line up your pages with the cover face down and the middle of the book face up. Mark a vertical line along the center of the book. Pin and stitch along this line to finish your book!

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

Share with your family and listen to them point and giggle!

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

Happy Stitching from my family to yours!

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

 

sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

Laurel Krynock

I am a wife and Mom to three who I’m blessed to be with every day. As a new Mom, I taught myself to sew and quilt, and found an unexpected creative passion which I now cannot live without. I love taking a stack of bright modern fabrics, cutting them up into pieces and turning them into something beautiful and functional. Some of my favorite things are chai tea, campfires, hiking with my family, and shopping for fabric!
sewing: felt family photo book || imagine gnats

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13 Responses to sewing: felt family photo book

  1. Melissia May 20, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Adorable!!

  2. Sherri | Thread Riding Hood May 20, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    This is so cute! What a great idea and so easy to make :)

  3. Emma May 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    I absolutely love this idea! Thank you for the inspiration. Make me a bit sad my kiddos are too big for this – but I do have a baby niece who lives far away from us and this would make a GREAT gift we could make and send her!

  4. Robin ♥ May 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Very very sweet, Laurel! Good idea…

    • Laurel May 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

      Thanks Robin! Mwah!

  5. Florence May 22, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Great idea !
    thank you for sharing !!

  6. Anne May 22, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    This is so awesome!! I have a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that links to your tutorial:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-felt-family-photo-book/2014/05/22/
    –Anne

  7. K Frer May 22, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    I love this! Might be a little late for my near 2 year old, but I bet it would be great for a sibling in the future for those long distance relatives

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tutorial: Felt family photo book | Sewing | CraftGossip.com - May 22, 2014

    […] Lauren from Sing All You Want guest blogs at Imagine Gnats with a tutorial showing how to make this felt family photo book.  The entire book is made of felt or fabric, including the photos.  (Printable fabric is awesome stuff!)  The soft fabric book is good for young hands.  They can flip through it and love it all they want, with no chance of tearing or creasing the pages.   Go to Imagine Gnats for the tutorial. […]

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