SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Thursday, July 15, 2010

Touch-and-Feel Children's Books | Family Economics

By Cathe

When I was a young child, my favorite book, The Case of the Cat’s Meow, by Crosby Bonsall, was a very special touch-and-feel book. Its wonderfully tactile pages had different patterns or textures throughout. Calico and plaid patterned fabric was attached as the shirts of the characters and corduroy fabric and denim as their pants. My little book didn’t actually come from the publisher that way,  I crafted it myself, a technique my big sister taught me. Together we would dig through discarded fabric scraps and cut and snip away at the different pieces of material to create shapes for shirts and pants, wagons and kittens to glue throughout the pages.

A child’s favorite book can be made into a touch-and-feel craft that can keep school aged children quite busy and happy creating. Or, you can craft for your toddler or preschooler. These tactile books can be made even more special as a keepsake when pieces from your child's favorite clothing are used once the item is outgrown.

Picture books with larger images of people or clothed animal characters work best for this craft; however, items other than fabric can be used on illustrations to create dimension and texture such as cotton balls, dryer lint, yarn, wood shavings, sandpaper and glitter. It's best to keep any glued-in textured items as thin as possible in order to allow the book to close fairly flat.

Basic white paper glue works great for attaching fabric and other embellishments when applied sparingly. For draped items pictured in the book, such as a blanket, glue only a portion of fabric cut to fit the drawing so the blanket can be gently lifted if desired by the reader.

You can create an even more special keepsake by making a photo album of your child using the same technique, dressing family members and pets in fun textures and patterns. Do you have anything in mind that you plan to use?

4 Comments so far

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On Friday, July 16, 2010, Jacquerose wrote

What a great idea! I have several little grandchildren that would love a book like this. I will start looking for a good book to alter today! Thank you!

On Friday, July 16, 2010, Emanda of wrote

What a wonerful idea! But instead of using glue, why not use the heat sensetive fusible webbing for fabrics. You won't have to worry about the glue distorting the paper.

On Friday, July 16, 2010, sasksak wrote

Brilliant! What a wonderful idea. And I really enjoyed seeing the picture of it on your blog. Your sister sounds pretty creative too, does she have a blog?

On Thursday, July 15, 2010, Cathe Holden wrote

I show a photo of a touch-and-feel/altered book that I mention in this article over on my blog, you can check it out here:" shape="rect">  It's so fun to buy favorite childhood books to share with your own kids. I'd love to know your favorites! -Cathe


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