This book is a project that I finished last October during a time when I often found myself crocheting random odds and ends with a sleeping baby on my lap (aaaah, so sweet). I saw the animal alphabet appliqué patterns over on Repeat Crafter Me and knew that they were just too cute to ignore. But I didn't have the time or patience for an entire afghan back then, so I decided to make them into a soft book for my son.
This book has definitely been through a lot since then. I was hesitant to include it on this blog, especially since some of the shortcuts I took are starting to become very apparent, but I was recently encouraged to post it anyway as inspiration for anyone who might want to make something similar.
So this book is faaaar from perfect and there are things that I would do differently if I were to ever make another one. But I still love it and my son loves it, so I call it a winner!
In order to make this book, I first crocheted the appliqués and then hot glued them to a small piece of felt (my pages measure approximately 6 inches by 9 1/2 inches). I knew that the book would already be pretty bulky, so I used both sides of the felt and put two animals on each side, meaning that there were approximately four animals on each piece of felt.
Some of the pieces have fun extra features, like the pouch on the kangaroo. (The kiddo likes to stick his finger in there when he looks at it since he's really into poking things right now.) Other things can become more fun just by the way you place them. For example, I left the legs on the jellyfish loose so that they'd dangle off the page. I figure that the more entertaining something is to a small child, the longer I can do other things in peace, amiright?
In order to identify the animals more easily, I added labels underneath each. Because I wanted to devote most of my spare time to catching up on sleep, I simply wrote on scrap fabric with a Sharpie and then hot glued it to the page. But as you can see in these pictures, it's already starting to fray all over the place. If I had a chance to redo these pages, I would definitely take the time to sew the edges of the fabric after I cut it to keep it nice. And I would love to embroider the letters, although it would be very time consuming.
I also made a couple of small modifications here and there, like adding eye stalks to the snail or changing the edging on the queen bee. But for the most part I left the patterns as they were written. They're super cute and available for free, so you should definitely check them out! It's a great stash buster project.
Once I had my pages, I attached grommets and then crocheted a quick ring to bing the books (I chained the length I wanted, slip stitched over the length, and then sewed the ends together once they were through the grommets). You could also use a binder ring if you wanted it to look a bit more professional, I was just concerned with making it as soft as possible.
There are so many different ways that you could use these appliqués. I think they would make a super cute block set or would work great on children's clothing. Or you could make a book like I did. If you do, I'd love to see a picture! You can reach me on Twitter, Facebook, Ravelry, Pinterest or by email or in the comments section below. I hope this inspires you to do something creative today!
Thank you for stopping by to visit my own personal corner of the web! Feel free to take a look around and check out what I've been crafting, crocheting, or baking. Hopefully you'll find something to inspire your own creativity!