Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fabric "ABC" Book with Heat Transfer Vinyl Letters

Pretty descriptive title, eh?

I've got a long list of things I still want to make before this baby gets here, and one of the things on that list is that I wanted to make a soft book of some kind.

I thought I would either make a book of colors (which I still might do...) or an alphabet book.

Colors probably would have been an easier choice to start with because there wouldn't be nearly as many pages, but I decided to go ahead with the ABC's.

I started off by cutting out 28 8"x8"pieces of fabric.  One for each letter of the alphabet plus one each for the front and back cover.

Then I cut out 14 8"x8" pieces of padding to use between each piece of fabric for each page of the book.

If you aren't as picky as I am you could skip this step, but I laid out all of my fabric and tried to choose which pieces of fabric I wanted next to each other...
 (They aren't in the order here)

I just chose a solid color for the cover.

I wrote in the corner what each piece was going to be just so I wouldn't grab the wrong piece.
 Ignore my handwriting.

So then I started piecing each page together.

You want to put your pieces of fabric right sides together and then put the padding on top of that.  The padding has to be on the outside of both fabrics since after it is all sewed you'll be flipping it inside out - which would mean the padding would end up in the middle. 

So I matched up the cover piece, with the ''A'' piece, then stacked the padding on top.

(Then laid them right sides together.)

 With the padding on top, I pinned the pieces together and then trimmed the sides of the padding a bit just to get rid of the extras and uneven parts.

Then laid them back down fabric side up and numbered them to keep them in order.

 They are all pinned/numbered and ready to for sewing!

 You will want to sew your squares with the padding on top, otherwise it is much more likely to snag on the bottom of your sewing machine... The feed dog (I think that's what it's called) is the little rough piece on the bottom of your machine where your presser foot sits when you have it down, and as it's pulling your padding through it can snag it pretty badly.  So I keep the padding on the top.  

I sewed the pieces together with a 1/2" seam allowance.  You only want to sew three of the sides together completely, then leave the fourth side open a bit so you can pull your pieces inside out.

(The fabrics are sewed together straight, I swear, the padding just looks a little skewed in this picture.)

I left the bottom side open quite a bit as you can see so I would have plenty of room to pull the fabric through.
 Turn it inside out.

This is what you'll end up with.

Then you need to tuck in the opening inside itself as best as you can to finish off the straight edge of your page, and pin it down.

Then I sewed a 1/4" seam allowance around each side of the page to end up with this:

It's not perfect, but it works!

Do this for all 14 pages.

Once you are done sewing all of your pages you're ready to do your letters!



This is where the project changed... because I realized that if I wanted to put one letter on every page, then the book would be this thick:

 The stack stood about 4.5" tall...

Uh.  Yikes.

So, I decided to do 2 letters per page and just use 7 of the ''pages'' I made and use the other 7 pages for a different book later on.

I have only used heat transfer vinyl twice before with the "Made in Iowa" onesie I made for our nephew and the ''Made in Illinois'' onesie I made for us, and thought it was really easy and they both turned out really nice.

I had my letters all set up in Sure Cuts a Lot and they were just waiting to be cut.  
When you use heat transfer vinyl you have to cut your images in reverse so that when they get ironed on they will be facing the right direction. So if you are using Sure Cuts a Lot just go to Flip Image in your Properties box for each letter.

And cut them out:

The vinyl has two sides.  A matte side and a glossy side.

 The glossy side is just a lining that you peel off after it's ironed on.

You cut your letters out glossy side down on your mat, then peel them off and flip them over and iron them on glossy side up.
All laid out and ready to go (glossy side up).
Arranged the first page of letters the way I want it:

Then ironed on and peeled the glossy lining off :

Another page done:

And the final page!

All of them:

The back sides:

The fabric for the ''Ii'' and ''Jj'' was obviously a mistake.  You can read it a little better in person, but it's still not as easy as it should be.  I'll have to outline it in something.

Other than that, I'm really happy with it.

NOW for the final step, you'll have to decide how you want to put your book together.

I chose to use eyelets and binder clips.

 Besides eyelets, you'll also need an eyelet tool that works for the size of eyelets that you bought.  I got mine at Michaels.

 Then you just follow the directions on the back of the eyelet tool.

Eyelets are really easy to put on, and the directions on the eyelet tool package are really straight forward and easy to figure out.  I had never used eyelets before and I had no problems.

So, here is the finished book!

Using the rings makes it somewhat less of a soft book, I realize.  I might change my mind and just put ribbon in instead.  We'll see.

But here it is for now:

This is like the longest post in the history of the world and for most people it probably wouldn't be... but I ramble... and it was a really drawn out process for me because I had to wait for the vinyl from Expressions Vinyl to come, then I had to make two separate trips to Michaels (over a couple of days) for the eyelets because I ran out... And sewed the pages together over a couple of days as well.  So I'm glad it's done :)

And I really really like it.

Somewhat Simple
I Heart Nap Time
Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Sew Can Do
Making the World Cuter
Cherished BlissTip Junkie
Not Just a Housewife
Funky Polkadot Giraffe
J&M's Eye Candy 
Lines Across My Face 
Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom
Lil' Luna
Seven Thirty Three
Take It From Me 
Somewhat Simple 
Design Dazzle
Tatertots and Jello 


  1. This is so cute and the baby will love it for years to come!!!

  2. very cute, i love all the fabrics you chose!

  3. I am in LOVE with this project!! This is definitely going on my "to do" list..Thanks for sharing!! I'm pinning it!

  4. I love this! I've been wanting to make a cloth book but I didn't really know where to start. This is a great tutorial. I would love it if you would stop by and link this project up to the crafty link party going on right now at Lines Across My Face.

  5. You did such a great job on this! I would love it if you linked it up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now:
    Hope to see you soon!

  6. So cute! Your baby will love this, the fabrics are all so cute!

  7. Thanks for linking up to this week's Tuesday Confessional. :) You were featured, so grab a button and get your brag on!
    I'm also your newest follower!

  8. You did a really good job. once again I am jealous of your sewing skills and my lack there of!

  9. Those are adorable, what a great shower gift that would be :)

    I run Fun Family Crafts, a site similar in nature to Craftgawker and Spotlight, but different in that it's a library of craft tutorials geared only at kids. I would love it if you'd stop by and submit this to be featured! (I link to you, I don't post your tutorial on the site) Feel free to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like!

  10. You are being featured this week at Lines Across My Face. This is such a helpful tutorial and the book turned out so cute. Thanks for linking up and I hope to see you again this week. (Also feel free to stop by and grab a featured button).

  11. What a great project! Well done!

    Dropping by from the Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop. I am now following and would love a follow back!

  12. This is a great idea and you have managed to stitch the book really well.

    We have a link-up party going on - Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you'd link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.

  13. Love,Love, Love this book and your directions are easy to follow. I was looking for a project to start this weekend. Thanks to you, I have found the perfect one.