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Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Great Alaskan Playtime Book

**UPDATE** Click here to see the rest of the book . . .

Eek, I have been waiting for this article to come out so that I could post it here . . . SO COOL - Go Mom and Sis (ps, yes that is my sister's mouth spouting "Peek-A-Boo!")!!

Babies are a crafter's dream. There are so many tiny tot crafts to be made it's almost exhausting. With the arrival of my new adorable nephew, nicknamed Owl, the house has become a total craft zone. My crafty lineage (read: my mother and sister) have really topped themselves this time by designing and creating an Alaskan-themed playtime book from scratch, and lucky for us they were willing to share.

The Book
The book itself is crafted from soft fabrics sandwiched around batting layers to give it a fluffy baby-appropriate texture. Local stores provided the fodder for much of the wildlife-inspired fabrics. The seams are bound with bias tape to create a finished look on the page edges. The pages are built in spreads (this means the pages are combined together, not individually) but individual pages would work like a dream. To help yourself, draw the layout first and assemble the pages separately (just in case there is a - gasp - mistake).

Page 1
To start things off right, page 1 holds Owl's favorite activity, peek-a-boo. To craft this page, take a photo of yourself with a quintessential peek-a-boo expression - you know the one. Use printable iron-on paper to print and adhere your face to the page. Now create the hands using two layers of felt each for a bit of rigidity. Sew around the edges to bind them, and between the fingers to create the right look. Lastly, sew a small piece of hook and loop to each hand to secure them before the peek has been revealed.

Pages 2-3
Not only does Owl love peek-a-boo with his mom, he loves peeking at himself as well. Page 3 reveals a glassy mirrored lake next to grazing caribou that he can gaze at all day. To create this page purchase mirror material from the craft store. This can be sewn directly to the fabric, but you'll want to finish the edge of the mirrored lake with a ring of bias tape so that no tiny fingers get caught on rough edges.

 Right past the mirror lake is Owl's campsite, but watch out, there's a bear roaming around! Not to worry, this bear comes equipped with its own bear bell. Create this jingle bear by cutting his shape out of the printed fabric. Sew the bear to the page about ¾ of the way around then stuff a bit of loose batting and a small bell inside before sewing the last ¼ closed.
What's inside the zippered tent? A tiny quilted sleeping bag on a string! First sew a short zipper into some slick tent-like fabric. Then cut the simple triangle outline of the tent leaving the zipper in the center. Sew a sleeping bag out of pre-quilted fabric and attach it to the page with a short piece of elastic. Now sew the tent over the top of the bag by overstitching the edges. Owl will have fun zipping and unzipping the tent, as well as hiding tiny treasures inside.
Stay tuned for new ideas on pages 6-14, and to find out ways to adapt these ideas for your own kiddo's Playtime Book.

**UPDATE** Click here to see the rest of the book . . .


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