Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to Make a Children's Book

I was recently tasked with making my own children's book.  This was a ton of work.  There is SO much to think about so that you aren't just creating a bunch of fluffy children's nothing. It's not just about cute stories here people. Every word, font, size, illustration etc. should prove a purpose. Every punctuation mark, dialog box and speech bubble is an opportunity to teach a child about literacy.  So guess what? I did a counting book. haha.  There is slightly less to remember because there is a pretty set formula.
Here I am just going to cover the design basics because you could use them to create a photo book or a fun little story book for a boyfriend, new baby etc.  I didn't get great pictures of the inside but I got some of the inside.
Choose materials and color scheme- I wanted a night time theme so I chose a dark blue felt (felt is only .29 cents and is already cut in the size of most paper) and some gold tone thread and beads. I also chose some green to make leaves.  You will also need pins, measuring tape and needles.  The thread is crocheting thread and for the beads you need just a normal sewing thread in the same color as the felt.

Choose some pretty beads to attach to the cover. I chose a shimmery crystal bead to be the stars on my cover.

First step is to measure out a space for your words and where you want them on the felt. Follow the measuring tape with pins so that you create a box of pins- This will allow you to stitch words in a straight line. To start the words simply thread a needle with your choice of crocheting thread (use quite a bit of thread) and pull it straight through where you're going to start your first word.  Tie a knot in the thread once you pull it all the way through to stop the thread.  To make words simply stitch up and down through the felt following the shape of a letter.

As you can see larger stitches create a more solid looking line (and goes faster).  

Now you can add the beads.  You do the same technique with tying a knot but this time use normal weight sewing thread.  Pull the thread through exactly where you want a bead to go.  Once its pulled through place a bead through the needle and push it down to the felt (on the thread).  

You will then pull the needle through the felt again right underneath where the bead it sitting so that it secures it down to the felt. Pull the thread all the way through and then poke it back through the felt in the next place you want a bead.

Continue to do this until all your beads are on, cut the thread and tie another knot.

The back will look crazy like this. If you have some time and a sewing machine... Sew a piece of fabric or another piece of felt to the back to cover up all the thread.

Do not let a plastic container full of needles spill in your supply bag....

Show off!
(the pins on the side are to ensure an small allowance of fabric for binding)
Here are the insides, simple water colors I did using googleimages for inspiration.  Sorry for crappy cell phone quality photos.

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