Custom Fabric Photo Book

**I am no longer taking orders for these books.  Sorry!**

I’m so excited to share this project with you because it is definitely one of my favorite creations thus far.  I love it because my daughter really loves it.  It’s totally one-of-a-kind, made with love for each specific child.  It’s definitely not something you can just buy in a store.  So here’s the story behind the book.

I thought of the idea back when Yuki was very young and a bunch of things kinda came together.  1. Although we loved reading her books, they didn’t stay nice very long.  Yuki would bite off pieces or rip them out with her hands.  Despite our best efforts, most of our books ended up looking like this . . .

Even the heavy duty board books would not withstand the powerful combination of saliva and baby teeth that Yuki would inflict upon it.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a book that really wouldn’t tear?

2. Yuki loved looking at faces.  She loved photos of friends and family members and even strangers.  Babies just like looking at faces.  We also have family that doesn’t live near by, so wouldn’t it be nice to have pictures that she could look at to learn their faces?

3. I found this awesome color fabric book online at Homegrown Happy:

And there are a lot of other amazing fabric books out there too.  Clearly, fabric books were not an original idea, but I LOVED it.  A soft, durable, unique book with pages perfect for little fingers and the potential to become a treasured keepsake.  The possibilities were endless – a color book, a book of shapes, textures, a peek-a-boo book!  But first, a photo book.

The first book I made was with iron on transfers.  I’d used these several times before to make t-shirts and they seemed to hold up pretty well in the wash (a very important test for anything that will be around babies).  I chose photos of all of Yuki’s family members.  I printed them as 5×5 squares and ironed them onto white cotton.

The rest of the book was just kinda made up as I went along.  I cut strips of fabric and made borders around the photos.  I sewed all the pages together with an embroidered cover and a velcro closure.  It came out exactly how I imagined it to be.  I was so pleased!

The best part about it has been watching my daughter interact with it over the last year.  First she would just stare as we turned the pages.  Then she learned how to turn the pages herself.  We’ve seen the recognition on her face as she saw each familiar face.  Now that she’s learned to kiss, her favorite activity is flipping through the book and giving a kiss to all her relatives.  It melts my heart!!  And soon she’ll be able to start saying their names as she points to each smiling face.  I know that this book will stay with us for a LONG time.  Maybe even until she is an adult and can look back at her family as they were in 2011.

In that bottom picture she is leaned over kissing a picture of Hideko’s dad, who passed away over a decade ago.  She’ll never get to meet him, but she’s so familiar with his face because she looks at this picture of him all the time.  It’s very sweet.

The next photo book I made was for a friend’s son, Julian.  For this book I used printable cotton (instead of iron on transfers).  It’s fabric that feeds through your printer and you can print directly on it.  Then you can iron them on to something or sew them and they are permanent!  I really like the results.  The images are sharp and the fabric is very sturdy.

And that’s the story behind the fabric photo book!  Do you know a little someone who’d like one of these?  If so, this truly unique, one-of-a-kind, and long lasting gift could be in their precious hands by Christmas!  I’m taking ONE more order for a custom book before the holidays, then I’m totally booked like crazy with projects, so if you’re interested, buy NOW!  SOLD OUT!

**I am no longer taking orders for these books.  Sorry!**


36 thoughts on “Custom Fabric Photo Book

  1. i loooove this cherie!! so precious and so wonderful that yuki will remember these faces and think of them as familiar even if she can’t see them in person very often.

    ps. byron and i got a sewing machine! we haven’t opened the box yet… but i can’t wait to start up some projects!! 😀

  2. I love looking at everything you’ve done! It’s so inspiring! Haha, now I’m all excited and wish I was at home to start up some projects.One day when I have my own baby and if you’re still doing these by then I’ll definitely put in an order for one! It’s just the sweetest thing ever. The smiling images of loving family members, adorable patterns, and just a soft, warm vibe overall from it. It’s a must have! =D

    – Jenn

  3. Your books are beautiful, and thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and tips for making one! My husband and I are in the process of adopting and think this would be the perfect gift to send our child as we wait to finish the adoption process. That way, she can begin to meet her new family! If you don’t mind me asking, did you place any fabric in between your pages before you put everything together? I’m a novice sewer, but hopefully I can handle this special piece. If not, I’m sure I will see if you’re accepting orders. 🙂

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Christin! Sorry for the super slow response. I think that is a very sweet idea. I’m not entirely sure that I understand your question though about the construction of the book. Each page has a layer of batting in between the pictures pages, does that answer your question? Good luck and let me know if I can answer any other questions, otherwise we can talk about me making one. Email me anytime: cheriemie (at) gmail (dot) com.

  4. I was wondering if you are taking any orders now that the holidays are over? My kids love looking at our family pictures, but they also usually destroy them! I absolutely love this! I need three of them! One for each kid!

    • I think it could be so awesome!! The only problem is that with the thickness of each page, I really could only get 14 pictures in there, so to get all 26 letters of the alphabet, you’d either need to combine 2 letters onto each page or somehow make the pages thinner so you could sew more together . . . I’m sure it could be done though, and it’d be super cute! I made a “colors” book like this too. 🙂

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  7. Cherie,

    Any chance you are considering taking an order for your amazing book? I have been scouring the internet for something like this and cannot find anything as perfect as your albums!


  8. Hi there! I see that you are not making these books anymore, but I would LOVE to have one for my daughter. Do you know of anyone else that makes these? I love the photos on the fabric.

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  10. I was told you can only print photos on material that is 100% polyester. (per local t-shirt / print shop in town. I dont have advanced enough equipment to print at home. Have you heard of this or can the photos be printed on cotton too?

  11. Hi there
    I am from Cork in Ireland and just found your photo book online. Its absolutely what im looking for for my 7month old. When are you retaking orders? and how much?
    Thanks so much

  12. I know you are no taking orders now. Your work is so beautiful. Is there any way you can help me to make one? For the fabric border, what sizes did you make the strips? And were they all the same size? Also how did you bid it all together so that it looked so nice?

    • Thanks Brandy! You know, I feel like I have my measurements written down in a notebook somewhere and if I find it, I’ll try and write up a tutorial. The strips were not all the same size. I learned from experience that the pages in the middle needed to be smaller than the outer pages, otherwise they’d stick out. It was a lot of trial and error to figure out the perfect sizes – I’m sorry I can’t give you any exact measurements right now. As for binding, after the pages were constructed, I machine sewed down the middle of the pages – as many as would fit under my machine foot. And then I hand sewed the pages into the cover. I hope this helps and I’m going to make it my goal to write up a tutorial for this some time this year. Sorry, I know you probably don’t want to wait, but I’ll be working on it!

  13. Hi! These photo albums are just precious!!! My husband and I are adopting a beautiful baby boy from Africa. He is currently 9-months-old and won’t be coming home for a few more months 😦 We absolutely would LOVE to send him one of your beautiful fabric albums so that he can start getting to know us. Please, please, please let me know if you are still taking orders and if you would be able to make one for us.

    Thank you 🙂

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  16. Was wanting some information on pricing please im a photographer an i sew thought these would be great gifts can u tell me about how much you charged for these

    • Hi! Sorry for the delayed response. I was charging about $75+ for these books, but I honestly think that I was undercharging considering how many hours I was spending on each book.

  17. Did you put up the actual tutorial for this yet? I don’t even have a sewing machine and I’m going to try some super strong craft glue safe for babies or like stitch witchery maybe. Unless I can find someone with a sewing machine. I know in the comments you put batting in between the layers of pages but my grandson loves the crinkle noise found in fabric, I’m gonna try to find and add that in a few pages too. My email is if you can send the tutorial that way if its easier for you, I would be so grateful, thank you!

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