Baby Frankenbook – Variations

When I first started my baby Frankenbooks, I originally planned to make 2 – one for my neice, and one for DD who is 7 weeks younger.  I made the basic structure of pages for both books at the same time, but added decorations seperately. So once I’d completely finished Book #1 (and after a little break), I went back to finish off Book #2.

Typically, I then had different ideas about how I wanted to do the decorations!  For some pages (like page 1), I just added more of the same, but for others I had some completely new decoration ideas too.  So I’m adding them all in here as variations on the original design, and to add more possibilities for your own Frankenbooks.  For each variation, I’ll link to the original page from Book #1, and show pictures of the original and then the alternative option from Book #2.

For how I made the book and its pages, go back to: Frankenbook Introduction Page

But on with the variations……

More Buttons! (Zipped Page Variation)

#1: and #2:

The only difference with this page was that I added more leaf-shaped buttons.  This time I tried to sew them on to integrate with the design on the fabric and look like the button leaves were on the trees or had just fallen from them.

I then realised that I’d originally intended this page to be smaller than it now needs to be, and there was a black line in permanent marker down one side of the pocket fabric (this is why you should always use washable fabric markers!).  After trying unsuccessfully to remove it, I was faced with the fact that it either needed covering up, or I needed to do the whole page again.  So to cover it up, I sewed a strip of coordinating brown fabric down the left hand side of the pocket like this (sorry for really dark pic, will do a better one):

Cross-Cross Ribbons (Taggy Page Variation)

#1: and #2:

Instead of sewing a few little buttons, I decided to lay 4 lengths of 10mm wide yellow, ribbed ribbon/tape across the page.  This gave the page a more textured as well as square, checked effect (to go with the multi-textured patchwork square in the middle).  As the ribbons are not stitched down all the way along, they can also be grabbed or have things posted behind them.

To secure them I first simply stitched each ribbon to the page at either end (this will be hidden by the binding).  For the horizontal ones, I also stitched them in the middle and where they crossed the row of top-stitching, and the vertical ones just where they went under the horizontals.  When stitching them, I used the machine to go back and forth 3 times across the ribbon only.

Beaded Taggy Ribbon (Toy in Pocket Page Variation)

#1: and #2: 

Because DD loves clothes tags/labels, I’m adding lots more for her book.  For this decoration, I took a piece of 20mm wide double satin ribbon about as long as the width of the page.  I then folded back about 2 inches of ribbon at either end, and pinned this down.  I pinned the while thing under the pocket on the page, making sure it was centred, and then machine stitched around the edge of the ribbon, leaving a 1″ ‘tag’ of folded ribbon at either end free.

Lastly, I pinned and then sewed 6 star shaped beads to the sewn-down part of the ribbon.  Here they all are, pinned and ready to sew:

You now have a beaded satiny strip with taggy ends for baby to play with!

Taggy Rainbow (Pockets and Beads Page Variation)

#1: and #2:

Even more tags!  For this page I took double satin ribbon in different widths and in 6 rainbow colours.  Each piece of ribbon started off the same length, about 15cm long.

I then experimented by folding, twisting, weaving and overlapping them into a multi-textured taggy rainbow, pinning the ribbons to the side of the page as I went.  The technique is basically the same as when putting the tags at the edge of the patchwork square on this page:, but I tried out some different ways of arranging the ribbons.  This was all very fun, but I eventually decided that I liked them as a more simple row of tags with a few variations (see pic 3 below).

When I was happy with where they all were, I machine sewed back and forth across the ends of all the ribbons, about 5mm from the edge of the page.

More Flowers, Rivetted Buttons and Loopy Patch (Buttoned Page Variation)

#1: and #2: 

On the first book, the buttoned stripey panel had a little sun motif on it, but the 2nd book didn’t have this so I wanted to add my own decoration here.  I made some little satiny, rose-type flowers by cutting circles of satin and hand stitching them – first I stuck the needle through the edge of the circle and then folded the edge back and brought the needle back up in the middle.  I threaded back down to the underside, and then sewed through the edge again a little way along before going through the middle again.  I did this at 5 or 6 points around the edge so that it looked like this:

[pics to come]

I then repeatedly stuck the needle through the puffy parts of the satin to stitch them down to the middle until it looked a bit like a rose.


I sewed two of these to the buttoned panel, with a couple of ladybird buttons to live on them:

This page already had two crocheted flowers hidden behind a buttoned panel, but I decided to add another with a satiny rose middle to the page next to the pocket.

The flowers under the buttoned panel are basically the same as in book #1, but for one of them I found a rivetted button from a pair of baby dungarees.  Because this is rivetted, not sewn on to the original fabric, I couldn’t unpick it so I just cut around it, leaving a cm or two of fabric all around.  I then pushed it through the centre of the flower, and sewed the fabric down at the same time as hand-stitching the flower to the page.

[need more pics] 

Lastly, I had a piece of red satin with satin loops from the back of an old satin dress (the loops were one side of the back panel which had ribbon laced through for the closure at the back of the dress).  I just sewed this on to the corner of the page, about 5mm from the edge and cut off the excess.

Wide Pocket and Grassy Ribbons (Lift the Flap Page Variation)

#1: and #2:

With Book #1, I found that the flower sometimes fell out of the book and hung down messily.  To stop this I decided to sew a pocket all the way across the width of this page.  to go with the green/pink/purple theme, I took some purple stripey fabric and hemmed it by folding the edge down twice and machining a double row of stitches all along it.  I then sewed this to the bottom of the page by stitching all around the pocket, about 5mm from the edge.

To decorate, I decided to give the giraffe on the pocket some pretty scenery by sewing little green tags of double satin ribbon to look like grass…

…and a couple of flower-motif buttons to compliment.

More of the Same (Covers Variation)

For the covers of Book #2, I basically used the same method, but with different buttons (trying out patterns of little buttons on the initial letter) and pocket.  Here’s the front initial letter:

I pinned and sewed the back pocket as before:

And a little button picture for the back pocket (it’s meant to be the blue sky, sun, cloud with rain/snow, green grass/flowers and rainbow heart between the sun and rain and sort of to represent DD):

For the toy, I changed my mind about how to fix it in.  I drilled a hole in the wooden duck’s head.  I then took a ribbon, rolled and sewed 1cm of the end so taht it would fit in the hole, and used superglue to fix it in place.  I sewed the other end of the ribbon into the spine of the book as before.

This time I didn’t do the poppers to close the book (largely because I ran out of time, but also because I intend to make a proper, nice coordinating bag/envelope for it to live in…though that probably won’t happen for a little while yet!). So I was actually and completely finished!

You could obviously also use whatever fantastic ideas you can think of yourself – use the materials you have at home for inspiration!  You could also use any of these ideas to decorate bags, accessories or clothes! 😀 xxx


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