I like projects that help me use up the scraps that threaten to overwhelm my craft space. I also like projects that can be gifted. So this one's a win-win: The T-shirt Baby Book is perfect for using the T-shirt sleeves that have been cut from another project (like a tank top) and it makes a great baby gift. Did I mention it's personalized? Once I picked the recipient (my friend's new baby, Elliot), I enjoyed figuring out what words to have each letter of his name represent (in other words, what could I illustrate easily?). I settled on: E = earth, L = light, L = love, I = ice cream, O = orange, and T = tree. No pictures of baby Elliot and his new book just yet, so the book is presented by these two cute corduroy pals.
-T-shirts or T-shirt scraps (in multiple colors)
-Lightweight cardboard (cereal, snack, or tissue boxes work great!)
-Tulip 3D Fashion Paint Blazin' Brights (variety of colors)
-Clothespins (optional, for clipping in place while gluing/drying)
1. Measure and cut one more 4" x 4" square of cardboard than there are letters in the baby's name. (Example: Elliot has 6 letters, so I cut 7 squares.) Then cut as many 5" x 10" rectangles from the T-shirts as there are cardboard squares.
2. Squeeze a small ribbon of glue along one long side of one of the fabric rectangles. Then fold over the edge about 3/8" and press. Repeat on the other long side.
3. Find the center of the rectangle and line up one edge of one of the cardboard squares. Squeeze a small ribbon of glue along the fabric at the top and bottom edge of the cardboard.
4. Fold the fabric in half, sandwiching the cardboard in between the layers. Press the glue into the edges to seal them. Squeeze another ribbon of glue against the cardboard and between the fabric layers on the open side. Press it closed.
5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 until all of the cardboard squares are covered. These are the pages of the book.
6. Use the air-soluble ink pen to begin outlining the letters and images on the book pages. (Or, skip this step and freehand them with paint--I outlined the earth, but skipped to painting for them rest.)
7. Color in the lines with fabric paint!
8. Paint all the right-folio pages first (including the front cover), let them dry, then paint all the left-folio pages, making sure you match up all the letters and images.
9. Trim the raw edges (the side of the pages that will go into the binding) down to 1/2". Then squeeze a line of glue along one of the edges you just trimmed and press it against the adjacent page. Keep gluing and adding pages (in the correct order!) until the book is complete.
10. Let dry completely. Optional: Clip the binding closed with clothespins while it dries.
11. Then it's story time! E is for earth. L is for light. L is also for love. I is for yummy ice cream. O is also for a delicious orange. T is for Tree (and Totally Terrific and....T-shirt book!).
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