Sometimes I plan projects a long time in advance. Other times, I get an idea and it just won’t leave me alone until I do it! This project is one of the latter.
I really have no idea what set me off on the idea of a texture book. I do know what held me back: the fabric. I thought it was going to be horrendously expensive to buy all of the different fabrics, especially since I wanted a bunch of different and interestingly textured ones.
As I was waffling through the fabric section, though, I passed the cutting table and noticed that they had 1/8th of a yard marked. (Don’t laugh! I haven’t done a lot of fabric shopping in my life, and never for little bits like this. For those of you in the same boat, an eighth of a yard is about 4.5 inches.) 1/8th of a yard, you say? That means that even a piece of a fancy $8 a yard fabric would only cost me $1. In the end, I bought seven different fabrics, and it cost me about $5. I also picked up three sheets of craft felt in a nice tan to help stabilize the pages.
As you can see, I picked up some burlap, plain smooth cotton, striped cotton ticking, some kind of woven fabric, some kind of waffled fabric, terry cloth, and some sort of faux-fleecy fabric. There weren’t a lot of options at my store, but I figured these would do.
Now, a disclaimer: this is simple to make but you make a trade-off! Some of the materials (I’m looking at you, terry cloth) were VERY linty when cut. Just be aware of that and be willing to beat it like a rug when it’s finished, and eventually it will settle down.
To make the book, I cut two five-inch (the fabric counter lady erred on the side of generosity with her cuts) squares from each fabric with pinking shears. Then I cut seven ‘pages’ from felt, about 5″ x 5.5″ …I used straight scissors, as felt doesn’t unravel.
Then I made a ‘sandwich’ of the material around the felt (leaving the extra half-inch sticking out for binding) and sewed all the way around. Some of the more unstable materials like the burlap and the loosely woven one, I used a very wide zig-zag stitch instead of straight stitching to help hold it in place.
I had some unexpected difficulty binding the book. For some reason I thought I could put seven sheets of felt through my sewing machine without any trouble: this was not the case. If you want to bind it together by hand, it would probably work great. I did not want to sew it together by hand. Instead, I sewed groups of pages together (two, three, two) and then cut a long thin rectangle to be the “spine” of the book. I sewed one set of pages to each edge of the spine and sewed one down in the middle. It worked just fine.
This project took me about an hour to complete, and was very affordable. I probably only used about a third of my fabrics, which means that materials for it (including felt) cost less than $3 and I’ve got enough fabric for one or two other books should I want to make one for someone else in the future.
Plus, Ivy loves it! That’s the main thing.