Just given birth? Fancy a challenge? As well as having a newborn baby to look after, why not make an A-Z felt alphabet book the size of a huge encyclopaedia? (Cue the sarcasim!)
Ok, but on a serious note this is exactly what I did…and it helped me so much when I was suffering with anxiety and depression after LL was born. I’m over the moon with how it turned out. Yes, it was quite a crazy idea deciding that I needed to take on such a project, but it was a release for me and I was so passionate about it and determined that I just went for it. I was feeling pretty low after the birth, it was such a traumatic experience and I also had a wound infection as well as getting my head around the fact I now had the most precious little thing who relied on me for everything. I felt so overwhelmed and needed something to focus on just for me in between all the nappy changes, feeds, crying and dealing with incontinence (yes, both ends I’m afraid. Just thought I’d add that in there). I found it very difficult to “sleep when the baby sleeps” as I just couldn’t switch off. But I’m very creative and love anything arty and crafty, and that side of me refused to let go. I needed to burn off some of the anxious energy and I also loved the idea of creating something special for my baby that she could enjoy and also pass down to her children. It was a labour of love and I really enjoyed making it. It kept my sleep deprived mind from going insane and I could let my creative juices flow with ideas for patterns and themes. So one afternoon I went out and stocked up on craft supplies. I was raring to go and once I got back home I made a start. LL would be asleep and I could just put my feet up and sew and create. It took approximately five months to complete but I’m so proud of the finished piece. LL and I sit down and look through it together. She loves all the bright colours, textures and details, although she is still very little and rather likes trying to yank stuff off! The idea really was for her to have the book when she was older but she loves looking through it so of course I never leave her alone with it as there are sequins, buttons etc. that I’m sure she’d love to put in her mouth (eeekkk!) It’s put safely away once we’ve finished playing with it. I tried my best to ensure everything was securely fastened but until she’s older we just have a quick flick through and then it goes back on her bookshelf. You can never be too careful with little ones around, they always go for the things they shouldn’t!
Hopefully this has inspired you to create something yourself! It’s not as difficult as you might think actually. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like. You can go A-Z like I did or perhaps on a smaller scale, say an A-E book. LL’s book was made without using any patterns. Everything was cut out freehand and it really doesn’t matter if some of the shapes and letters aren’t perfect. The inspiration and ideas were found on Pinterest or would just come to me. That’s the beauty of crafting, it’s made out of love and should be organically created. Of course you can use a needle and thread or a sewing machine, whatever your amount of skill, as long as you enjoy making something it shouldn’t matter how it was put together. You don’t have to be a professional, (I’m certainly not!) You just have to go with it and see how something turns out. If you have an idea then let it blossom! Search the internet for ideas (there’s so much on Pinterest so head over there to get started).
The bits and pieces you’ll need are…
*Felt in a variety of colours. *Scissors. *Needles. *Different coloured cottons and threads. *Decorative details such as buttons, sequins, ribbon etc. *Velcro or poppers. *Eyelet maker with eyelets. * Cord to hold the book together.
The main points to remember are to keep all the bits and pieces safely stored away in a craft box so little fingers can’t get to them. Secure decorative details as much as possible onto the pages. Depending on their age, stay with your little one when they play with it and make sure any pieces that are meant to come off are put back in the appropriate place. Finally, store somewhere out of reach ready for the next time. Of course if you have older children who can communicate properly then they will be fine to play with it at their leisure. Right now I have a 16 month old who can only say dog, lettuce and naughty and do impressions of a fish so I do have to keep my wits about me as there are bits and pieces that are meant to be taken off and put back in her book. She doesn’t understand that she could swallow small parts and shouldn’t be putting everything she grabs hold of in her mouth! It’s common sense really but I wanted to highlight these points.
I hope you enjoyed looking through LL’s book. I’d love to hear about anything you’ve made for your babies! Xxx