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What are the best handmade gift ideas?
Fabric Book from linen fabric scraps
The latest project will be a bliss for anyone in love with handmade gift ideas and upcycling DIY projects that are not only affordable but helpful too! If you’re also a sewing enthusiast like me or even a sewing beginner, you will have a few piles of fabric cuts that have been left over from your previous sewing projects. It always seems such shame to throw anything away BUT the pieces cannot be stored forever! This is why I am always interested in creative ways to recycle the fabric scraps! Whether it is for patchwork, minimalist textile collage or my latest exciting DIY project and wonderful handmade gift idea – a fabric book!
What is a fabric cloth book?
A cloth book is a book entirely made of fabric, from the cover to pages – all is cloth and handstitched together to create a beautiful piece of art or a DIY gift. If you love sewing, chances are you also enjoy weaving, embroidery, fabric painting and printing, or mixed media techniques used on paper and canvas. The precious thing about a cloth book is that all these techniques can be applied to each of the pages! If your fabric scraps have any printed pattern on them, that in itself is a piece of art and you may want to leave them that way. Or if you have two or three really nice prints, you may want to combine them and create a patchwork page.
Onto the project!
Bellow I will share with you how I made my cloth book and what techniques I used to create this lovely DIY handmade piece! You may also want to read more about creative gift wrapping ideas that will add the extra touch of love and detail to your handmade present!
Fabric Cloth Book
What you’ll need for this handmade gift idea?
- fabric scraps – linen, cotton or felt fabric sheets (ideally a fabric that doesn’t stretch, it will be much easier to work with)
- sharp needle for hand stitching and blunt needle for embroidery
- sewing thread
- embroidery thread and yarn
- glass beads
I decided to make the cloth book about an A5 size, with 4 double pages wrapped in a cover/title page. I mainly went by the size of my fabric scraps but you can make yours any size you like!
- Double your fabric and lay it down nice and flat. Use the magazine as a template for your double pages, mine was 23x30cm. Draw a line around until you have three even rectangles on a double fabric. Before cutting them out, choose one and allow half an inch seam allowance all around as shown on the image. This will be your title page/book cover. The extra space will ensure the pages can fit nicely inside.
- Once the pages are cut out, you can begin decorating each page using different techniques as shown bellow:
- When you’ve decorated all parts of the cut pages, iron them at mild temperature from the wrong side.
- Once ironed, the pages will be nicely flat which will help you sew them together. Place the pages together with the decorated sides facing as shown on the image, and sew around the edges leaving a small opening for the fabric to be turned inside out.
- With the pages sewn together, turn them inside out to make the right sides visible. Then iron them again on low temperature to make sure the decorating doesn’t get damaged. After sew a top stitch around the edges to close the small opening with a neat finish.
- Take the larger piece which will form the book cover and stitch two lines across the middle about 1cm apart. The stitching will ensure the double layered cover stays in place to hold the binding. It will also allow you to hand stitch through one layer only. Using only one layer to hold the pages will not be visible on the cover.
- Take the pages and fold them in half, forming a small book. Place them on top of each other with the folds facing in the same direction. Then place the pages so that the folds face the middle stitching of your book cover. Use the invisible stitch to bind the pages and the book cover together. Do so in between the two lines of simple stitching to keep the binding in place.
More creative ideas for your own fabric cloth book!
What I love about this project is that it is very artistic. I also love that it upcycles any left over material you tend to gather when sewing! A lot of skill and attention go into different areas of textile art. Making your own fabric book allows you to use quite a few of these techniques while reusing scraps. Let’s have a look at some more ideas you can use to decorate your own book!
To begin with, you may try a different size. Looking at the fabric scraps I had available, I decided for the journal size. However, you may wish to try a miniature style diary or the opposite. Large A4 size may allow you to apply large scale techniques. These could be block printing or hand painting your fabric using Pebeo Setacolor textile paints. Just make sure you choose the correct type of paint. There are usually two to choose from, based on the nature of the fibre. Silk or wool as animal based fibres behave differently compare to plant based cotton or linen. Remember to also fix your paint with iron if you plan to wash the fabric!
Simple floral, bead or sashiko embroidery are also beautifully decorative. However, there are other types of embroidery you may want to explore. Have you come across punch needle embroidery yet? This technique allows you to literally paint your fabric with faces, flowers or abstract art!
Lastly, as mentioned above the fabric scraps often have their own print. Some of the fabric patterns are so beautiful! Choose your favourites and use them to create pages using the patchwork technique. Not only prints but also broderie anglaise lace textures will look amazing!
Don’t feel like trying this project yourself? Visit the shop gift section to purchase final products handmade for you by Le café de maman!
Did you enjoy this project? Comment your progress or questions bellow, and pin it to your Handmade DIY Craft or Art & Design Pinterest boards!