by Rachel Ansari
Well, I dropped the ball. I completely forgot about his photo album idea until he asked about it the day before her birthday. It was important to him and I've been trying to instill in him the value of homemade gifts so I wanted to make it happen. (You can read about more of our homemade gifts here.) So, while the other kids napped we got to work. Thankfully, when he first mentioned the idea I daydreamed up some plans. Despite my persistent baby brain, I was able to quickly recall my original thoughts and our project was on. Now I'll share it with you.
What you'll need:
Flannel receiving blankets in fun, coordinating prints. I used 4 different blankets, but had lots left over. (I have a ton of these saved up)
Vinyl (I used the packages that sheets and comforters come in which made it free - yay!)
Decide on a size for your album. This will largely depend on what size photos you want to use, 3x5, 4x6, 5x7, etc. I decided on 4x6 because that's what I had the most of. I found a book that looked good with the photo in the middle. It had just enough fabric on all sides keeping in mind the vinyl will be cut an inch larger than the photo to allow for sewing. So, if your photo is 4x6 you'll need to cut your vinyl to be 5x7.
I let my son experiment with the rotary cutter and scissors. We were both more comfortable with the scissors. You know the ability of your child so you be the judge and it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, supervise your children during this project, especially when sharp objects are involved.
Using the first one as a pattern trace and cut out three additional pieces (or however many you want). I used 4 coordinating patterned blankets for each piece, but you can cut your pieces from the same blanket if you prefer and have enough fabric. His edge is uneven, but because we will be creating fringe on the edges it won't be noticeable.
Now time for the finishing touch. On the edges of the rectables, very carefully cut in towards your stitching all around the outside approximately every 1/2" or so to create the fringe. I did this part so that my son wouldn't accidentally cut the seam. Wet it or throw it through the wash and then dry on low heat or air fluff to give the fringe that messy shabby chic look. Add your favorite pictures and you're done. Seriously, my 5-year-old handled this like a pro.