Last spring I undertook the most ambitious craft project that I have ever done. I remembered from my childhood having a cloth activity book and decided that that would be just the thing for The Boy’s second birthday gift. I don’t know if my memory serves me correctly and if, indeed, my mother made my activity book. My mom is gone now and my own book hasn’t been seen for probably 20 years. But I thought that it would be ‘fun’ to make the book for The Boy. Little did I know that ‘fun’ would be two weeks worth of a huge project all over the dining room table and several nearly sleepless nights.
A friend had made her son a cloth activity book a few years before and still had the pattern, so she lent it to me. The project was definitely more expensive than I had anticipated. I did, however, learn a lot and I have many supplies left over for future crazy projects.
The material was fairly expensive. I bought pre-quilted material for the cover and duck cloth for the inside pages. I used fabric scraps and buttons from around the house, but I did end up buying velcro, zippers, shoelaces, snaps and some other sewing materials. Oh, and heat-bond hemming material. Did I mention that I don’t have a sewing machine? (And don’t want one – that just opens up a whole new world of crafts that I don’t have time or space for.)
The heat-bonding took the longest. I had to heat-bond each page and most of the activities onto each page. I ended up using some heavy duty textile adhesive for the thicker pieces. All in all, if I ever attempt another one, I think I’ll spend a week with my mother-in-law and use her sewing machine.
However, if you know how to follow directions and like big craft projects, this might just be the thing for you. The book turned out beautifully and The Boy loves to play with it. I even got brave toward the end and changed a couple of the pages to suit us a little better.
There are many store-bought cloth activity books out there, but having the hand-made book really makes it more special to us. In the future, I can tell The Boy the stories behind many of the fabric scraps used in the book.