Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tutorial: Kids-Can-Sew Nesting Book

This was my entry for the kids-can-do round of SYTYC. I really wanted to create something that not only a kid could make, but was super cute as well. While we were in Maryland visiting my parents at the end of April we got to go to Assateague Island and see the wild horses on the beach. This visit included a trip to the park station where they had all sorts of fun interactive displays and a cute little book shop. In the shop I saw an adorable board book that made it look like you were looking into a bird’s nest. It was so cute it became the inspiration for this project!


I started by sketching out the book to get an idea for how many layers/pages I would make. I then bought four shades of brown felt.


After making a pattern for the book to follow, cut out two layers of felt for each page (you’ll be sewing the two layers together so the pages will have more sturdiness to them). I cut out enough for 5 complete pages.


Pin each page to its matching page. My six-year-old nephew was my helper for this project. It was fun to explain each step to him (even though I don’t think he was all that interested in what I was doing).


Zig zag stitch around the edges of each page. If you’re using this project to teach a child how to sew, explain to them where to line up the material so it will go straight, etc. On my machine, you can push a button to make it sew instead of always having to use the pedal. I just set my sewing speed to slow and pushed the button, and then Josiah guided the felt. I did try to up the speed a bit once, but he got scared and had me slow it down. Had we been using a pedal, I would have controlled that part for him as he became more comfortable with guiding the fabric.


He was more interested in watching what was on TV than having his picture taken.


Sew all the pages together around the outside edges. Figure out the order you want your colors to be in.


Fold your page in half, with the binding edge to either your left or right. Cut out an odd shaped hole. Make sure it’s big enough so that your holes can get smaller on the next pages, but not so big that your page looses its stability.


Cut each page’s hold, with the second to last page having the smallest hole. Your back cover will not have a hole in it. Zig Zag stitch around the holes.

Now it’s time to embroider the words to the story. On the lighter colored pages I first wrote the words out with a ball point pen. Then I just traced the letters with my stitches. On the dark colors I had to just free hand it, so they weren’t as straight. The words to the book were adapted from a finger puppet play that my mom had. “The birds are building nests today / With twigs, grass, mud and string / The birds are building nests / They’re using everything!


To bind the book I put grommets on each page and then tied them together with leather string. You could always sew it closed, though.


Make a finger puppet by first sewing a tube that’s big enough to fit over a finger.


Turn it inside out and cut out two bird shapes from a contrasting color of felt. I used a red, adhesive backed felt so I could just stick the pieces together on the tube. If you’re doing this, make sure and cut your birds as mirror images of each other.


The bird could have been left as is, but I thought it would be cute to do white decorative stitching around the edges. Just make sure you don’t sew the tube closed!


Sew a small piece of velcro to the center of the last page and the back of the bird.


And now you have an adorable book!




Take a moment to check out these great parties I’ll be linking up with!


  1. Hey thanks for the great tutorial! I have been wanted to make a little book.I am very impressed again how you can think these things up.

  2. Very cute.
    Most kids do want to see what's on TV! LOL

  3. This looks awesome! I posted a link to it on my blog:

    I'm hoping to make one like it this summer. Thanks!

  4. What an adorable book! Thanks for visiting and your nice comments!

  5. What a fun book!! Thanks for linking @'Sew Cute Tuesday'!

  6. well I have a confession, I don't know hot sew! (I know-I really need to learn) but this book is adorable and once I learn, I will have to try it. great ideas.

    new follower!


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