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For our “lemons to lemonade party” last week, we wanted to give our friends a custom going away book. After a couple fruitless trips to find a book with both blank pages for well wishes and photo sleeves, I decided to make my own. This concept could definitely expand to all sorts of homemade books (my next big plan is to make one with a collection of tried-and-true recipes).
To make a 8’x6′ fabric covered book, you’ll need:-two pieces 18′ x 7′ of fabric (one for the outside covers and one for the inside… I chose a sunny Amy Butler print for the outside and white cotton for the inside)
-2 pieces of 6’x6′ cardboard or chipboard for the book’s ‘cover’
-2 pieces of 1’x6′ cardboard for the book’s ‘spine’
-about 30 pieces of paper, cut to size (my pages were 7′ by 5.5′)
-a mini 4×6 photo album (optional)
-a sewing machine
-a drill1. Embroider the fabric you’ll be using for your outside cover.
2.Trace the chipboard cover and spine onto the back of your fabric. This will become your guide for sewing.
3. Using your guidelines (again, sewing on the wrongside), sew your two pieces fabric on three sides. Leave a little room on each side from where you traced your chipboard (I used the presser foot along the line I drew instead of my needle in order to give that wiggle room). When you’re done, you’ll have what looks like a long skinny pillow case.4. With your fabric still inside out, iron the one unfinished edge. Do this on both sides of your ‘pillowcase’ so that the ironed edges match.5. Slide your four pieces of chipboard into your ‘pillowcase.’ The order should be cover, spine, spine, cover.
6. Using a fabric pen, arrange the two cover pieces and two spine pieces so they’ll match up when the cover is folded over. Trace the position of each piece. Sew along your traced lines. When you come to the unfinished end, sew the final opening closed. The edge shouldn’t be rough because of your ironing in step 4.7. You now have your basic book cover. Put your book pages as well as your blank 4×6 album inside the book, the way you want them to be arranged in your finished product. I cut the front and back cover off of my 4×6 album before I put the photo sleeves inside.8. Trace the holes you want to drill on your cover.9. Drill through the front cover, the pages of the book, the photo album pages and the back cover (or go my route and have you husband do so for you!).10. Thread ribbon through the holes (make sure you go through the front cover, the pages, the photo sleeves and the back cover). You can really use your creative license here and try threading the ribbon different ways. I chose to thread one end of the ribbon through the front, one through the back (not necessary for function, but I liked the aesthetic better), tie them together and then do it all again for the next hole.11. Using a hot glue gun, cover the rough edges that the drill left in your fabric. I also used my glue gun to tidy the ‘spine’ area of the book on the inside (essentially, I glued my front page to the inner spine, glue the photo sleeves to the paper also in the spine area and then glued the photo sleeve to the back of the inner spine as well).12. Fill the book with written wishes and pictures and give it your friend’s as a going away gift!