January 31, 2010

a book pocket to be envied

I am back and I absolutely promise to post more frequently.  It is my Groundhog's Day promise to all 27 of you!  Now, on to a delicious little craft that is so ridiculously easy you will want to whip one up for every kid you know.

Debate over whether or not a 2 1/2 year old should still be in a crib aside, a crib-friendly book pocket is a delightful accessory for any book-loving kidlet.  This project took about an hour to make and it was so easy to throw together that my own book-loving kidlet actually assisted.  Which of course made him love the finished product that much more.

I came up with this idea while making the craft apron (note the use of that same bolt of green home dec fabric that I bought 10 years ago).  This book pocket is not just for cribs; it could be used in any bed with a rail situation.  I do not recommend this for children under 18 months for safety reasons.  We all know that any 18-month-old worth his salt would either have these straps unknotted and wrapped around his neck or use the whole contraption to launch himself over the rails in no time.

Before you begin, select a book that is a reasonable size to be hanging over a child's body.  This will be your size template.  I'll give you the measurements I used--my finished product was 9"h x 12"w with a 6" pocket and three 9" straps to tie onto the rail.  I made my straps, but you could use pre-made webbing instead. 

Now, cut your fabric into two large pieces (mine were 10" x 13") for the pocket back, one 10" x 13" piece for the pocket, and three 4" x 13" pieces for the straps. 

Sew the three straps (or cut your webbing).  Evenly space them between the two back pieces (right sides facing) with a good four inches hanging out and pin them in place.  Fold the piece of fabric for the small pocket in half, iron it, and pin that into place, between the two larger pieces, as well.  Sew around the three edges, leaving the bottom open and double stitching at the straps.  Turn everything right side out and iron.

Sew across the bottom with a double stitch.  Turn the pocket out so that the unfinished edge is tucked inside the pocket.  Done.  How easy is that?

I added an applique on the pocket using Wonder Under (one of my favorite things ever) and some scrap fabric.

May I also recommend two books to tuck inside your new pocket?  In our house, we absolutely love Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace and Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems.  Both are hilarious and delightfully illustrated--you will love reading them as much as your book pocket recipient will love hearing them. And I like to think that wonderful, creative, hip illustrations instill a certain design sensibility in my offspring.


  1. Awsome idea! I will definitely make this! -LSE

  2. Hi! I'm a Maryland granddad. Sometimes I get snow day duty. Any suggestions for activities the non-sewing guy could tackle with little kids? I want to make the most of my time with them -- so cartoons are not the answer!

  3. One activity that always keeps my kids busy is a game we call "What is it?" My son gets watercolors and I get a pen--he makes a mark (or several marks) with his watercolors, then he says "What is it?" and I add to his painting with my pen, turning it into a cat, car, whatever it sort of looks like. He loves it, and we are doing it together. It's like playing the cloud game inside.