Friday, December 30, 2011

Name Books

You wouldn't believe it by reading the internet, but making handmade gifts for babies is difficult!  Most of what I find on the web (that's something cute and something I would actually want to or could make) is for toddlers.  So this year, I was wracking my brain, trying to think of something to make for Daniel and Nickolas (last written about here).

Then, I went shopping with my girlfriend, Karina.  We talked about soft books and Daniel's incessant desire to chew on things.  We talked about how many baby gadgets Daniel owns already.  We talked about how Karina didn't purchase any books for Christmas.  Enter my bright idea!

Faithful readers, I give you the name book.  This personalized book measures about 5" square and is made entirely of scraps, including some of my precious Jay McCarroll stash.  Each page is dedicated to one letter of the child's name.  I tried to choose bold, bright prints for my letters, and I'm pretty sure I was successful.


I used an iron-on adhesive in order to attach the letters to the page and top-stitched around each one for durability.  In order to keep this book truly soft and satisfyingly puffy, the pages are stuffed with fusible fleece.  Every page is neatly top-stitched.



These name books are based on an alphabet instruction concept commonly known to instructors of early and emergent readers.  When learning letters, it's a great idea to start with a child's own name, since those are the most interesting letters of all (it turns out that reading your own name is pretty motivating)!  Many teachers will help students create alphabet books using a child's name (and the names of their family or classmates) to help enforce alphabet recognition.


Books like this are excellent toys because not only do they enforce letter recognition, they enforce print concepts, too!  When children play with books (and when we read to them), they learn that books start with a cover, that letters are found on the page, that we read from left to right.  Although this book is a little simple, it's a great introduction to print concepts like turning pages and seeing print on a page.

Although I made a soft name book for Nickolas and Daniel both, what you see in this post is a custom product created for a client.  Okay, not a client.  Karina asked me to make one for a coworker as a Christmas gift, and I obliged (And then she obliged by paying me. Cha-ching!).

I have future plans for other soft books and am considering creating a tutorial and pattern with templates for the name book and others.  Any interest?


  1. This is a great gift! I'd love a tutorial.

  2. Oh i would SO love a tutorial - i have brand new twin great nephews and a great niece - all under 4 months that these would be GREAT for!!!!!!!