DIY Baby Sensory Fabric Book

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Baby E is just starting to find his hands and become more aware of his surroundings. Suddenly I realised I don’t have many toys to entertain him during this new developmental phase. The books say to let him feel different materials with his hands as a somewhat sensory discovery. So I decided to make him his own sensory book.

What you need:

– Eight pieces of 15cm x 18cm scrap fabric
– scrap ribbons, felt, buttons etc
– plastic shopping bags
– sewing pins
– sewing machine

Before starting: If in doubt, pin first and make sure you’ve done it correctly. Turning things inside out is often confusing!

First make a template “page” using baking paper and use this to cut the the fabric “pages”. The shorter edge will become the “spine” of the book. Iron each piece.

Make something fun and interesting on each page. It should be interesting to touch (lace, velvet, fur etc) or visually interesting (think contrasting patterns and colours). Use pins to secure before sewing.

Carefully sew each item to the page ensuring they are secure and not a choking hazard. Don’t sew buttons on the outside, cover them in fabric so they can still be felt, but not chewed on or removed.

Now plan each page and figure out what pieces need to be sewn to each other. Make each two sided “page” face each other so the wrong side is on the outside and pin together. If you choose to, now is the time to pin ribbon between pages so it hangs out the edges (see below). They need to go inside the pages so when you turn it inside out they’re on the outside (I said it was confusing, didn’t I?).

Sew the top, bottom and one side leaving the remaining side open so you can turn the “page” inside out and have the correct sides of the fabric showing. Stuff the inside with cut up pieces of plastic bags (I used half a plastic bag per page, cut into squares roughly the same size as the page).

Sew up the spine to lock the pages in place. Now place each page carefully in a pile and pin the book together.

Sew up the spine (with all pages in between) so it all stays together. You may need to assist your sewing machine by feeding the material through.

Cover the spine in felt (or another fabric or material that doesn’t fray) and sew it together.

There you have it. The choices are endless. Best of all baby E loves his personalised book!