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DIY Fabric Photo Book

Here’s how to create a soft and durable personalized photo book that showcases everything that matters most in your baby’s world and that doubles as a treasured keepsake, too.

Note: You don't need to possess super-sophisticated sewing skills to pull this off. We've kept the sewing to a minimum!

Here's a quick snapshot of what's involved:

You'll be....

  • Creating a series of book spreads (double-sided spreads made up of four pages in total: two on the front and two on the back). These will serve as the pages of your book.
  • Printing out your photo images on special inkjet printer fabric that is designed for this purpose.
  • Sticking your photo images on to the book spreads.
  • Stitching the book spreads together to create a book that baby will love.

Pretty straightforward, right?

Now here are the instructions in detail....

What you’ll need

Equipment

Computer and inkjet printer

Scissors and/or rotary fabric cutter

Iron

Tapestry needles and/or a sewing machine with a denim needle

Supplies

Six 11” x 5” rectangles of fabric for the front and back of three book spreads (each book spread consists of two 5” x 5” pages separated by a 1” gutter up the middle, with the gutter being used to sew the book spreads together)

Three 11” x 5” strips of fusible adhesive (an iron-on adhesive fabric that you'll be using to stick the front and back of your book spreads together) plus additional strips of fusible adhesive trimmed to the same size as your printed fabric photos

One package of inkjet printable fabric sheets (specially-designed sheets of fabric that are backed with paper and designed to be fed through your inkjet printer)

Thread (for sewing the three book spreads together)

What to do

Step one: Assemble your book spreads

You will need a front panel and a back panel and a panel of fusible adhesive for each spread. Stack the panels in layers with the good side of the fabric facing out on each side of the book panel and the fusible adhesive sandwiched in the middle. Iron both sides of the panel until the fusible adhesive has fused the front and back of each book spread together. Repeat until you have three fully assembled book spreads.

Step two: Print your photos on the fabric

Start out by using the photo editing software on your computer to crop each image to the desired shape and size. You may want to consider using circles rather than squares in order to encourage your photos to remain stuck in place over the long-term. (Sometimes the corners on squares have a tendency to want to come unstuck.) You might also want to use your favorite graphics program to create some eye-catching graphics or text-blocks (perhaps a favorite quote or a family member’s message of love to your child). Once you’ve edited your images, follow the inkjet printable fabric manufacturer’s instructions for printing. You’ll want to pay particular attention to the recommendations regarding image resolution; and you’ll want to feed the fabric sheets into your printer a sheet at a time.

Step three: Wash the printed fabric

Remove the paper backing from each printed sheet of fabric and then soak each sheet of fabric in a basin of cold water. Then press each sheet of fabric between white paper towels, gently applying pressure so that you are able to remove as much excess water as possible. If the fabric is still damp, either allow it to air dry a little longer or carefully press it dry using a hot iron.

Step four: Trim the printed fabric photos

Cut out your photos and trim away any excess material. Then, using each photo as a template, cut pieces of fusible adhesive to the exact same size as each photo. (You'll be using this inner layer of fusible adhesive to stick the printed fabric photos to the book spread in the next step.)

Step five: Add the printed fabric photos to the book spreads

You may find that it works well to preassemble your book before you use the fusible adhesive to position each photo permanently. Stack the three book spreads on top of one another so that you’ll have a sense of the book’s flow. Then note which photos should appear on the left and right sides of the front and back of each panel. When you’re happy with the way everything looks, use your iron and appropriately sized pieces of fusible adhesive to attach each photo to the desired location on each book spread. (Once again, you'll be using the fusible adhesive to stick two pieces of fabric together. In this case, you'll be sticking your printed photos to the book spreads with the layer of fusible adhesive.)

Step six: Sew your finished book spreads together

Stack the book panels in the correct order (the way you want the book to flow) and then stitch the book panels together up the middle (either by hand sewing or using a sewing machine). Voila! You’re finished. Time to share your book with your baby!

Image : Getty

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