This Fabric I Spy Book is a perfect gift for toddlers to preschoolers, and it’s a great way to use up those scraps that you’ve been hanging on to!
For another sewing project for kids, you might like this felt crayon holder. It is such a fun project.
How To Make A Fabric I Spy Book
The book is folded accordion-style so your little one can read it like a book!
or unfold it to seek and find on multiple pages all at once:
Can you find a white measuring tape? A dalmation with spots? #18 celebrating? two
barbecue grills? a swimming dinosaur with rainbow dots? a mama with six little babies?
Ready to get started? You’ll need plenty of small pieces of busy, colorful fabric, some
freezer paper, a pencil, fusible fleece, a metal snap or hook & loop fasteners (like Velcro
or Aplix) and all your regular sewing notions. You’ll be using ¼” seam allowance
Your book will need 12 pages. I used 6 simple one-piece pages of fabric with plenty of
things to spy. Each unfinished page measures 6 ½” x 6 ½”:
Then I added 6 pages that I pieced together using smaller scraps for even more things to
The pieced pages use a simple freezer paper piecing technique. Start by measuring and
cutting out a piece of freezer paper that is 6 ½” square.
Use a pencil and a straight edge to draw the design that you’ll use for your page on the
matte side of the freezer paper. I used various angles to make the finished pages have a
fun, wonky look to them. I also labeled my pieces to help me with putting them in the
right order and keeping them right-side up.
Cut out your freezer paper pieces.
Position one freezer paper piece on one piece of fabric with the shiny side down. You’ll
be able to see through the freezer paper so that you can position it just how you want it.
Iron the freezer paper to the fabric.
Lay your quilting ruler so that it overlaps the one edge of the freezer paper by ¼” and cut.
Repeat on all four sides.
Repeat for the remaining fabric pieces.
Peel away the freezer paper and sew the smaller pieces together using ¼” seam
allowance. Press the seam allowance open.
Peel away the freezer paper and sew the larger piece to the smaller pieces using ¼” seam
allowance. Press the seam allowance open.
Trim page to 6 ½” x 6 ½”.
Repeat until all your pages are ready to be sewn together.
Decide on a layout for your book. You’ll need two sets of six pages. I alternated pieced
pages with one-piece pages and tried to keep similar colors apart. The page at the far
right in the bottom set will be the cover of your book.
Assemble your Fabric I spy book
Once you’ve decided on your layout, sew each set of six pages into a strip.
Iron fusible fleece to the backside of the bottom strip of pages.
Measure and mark the center point ¾” from the right edge of your cover page. If you’ll
be using a metal snap, apply the stud side of the snap to this point. If you’ll be using
hook & loop fasteners, cut a ½” square piece of hook and sew it here.
Cut a 2 ½” square for the tab fastener.
If you’re using hook & loop fasteners, cut a ½” square of loop and sew it ½” from one
corner of the tab fabric. (If you’re using a metal snap, you’ll apply the socket side when
you’re finished assembling the book.)
Fold the tab fabric over right sides together and sew along one short edge and the raw
long edge, leaving the edge furthest from the loop fabric open.
Trim the corners, turn right side out and press.
Center tab with ¼” overhang on the page at the opposite end of the strip from your cover
page and baste in place about 1/8″ from the page edge. I’m using snaps to fasten this
book, so the tab is bare. If you’re using hook and loop fasteners, the loop fabric that you
sewed on the tab should face up.
Place page strips right sides together and pin in place. Sew all the way around, leaving a
4″ opening in the center of one edge of one page.
Trim corners and turn book right side out through the opening. Push corners out neatly
and press well.
Neatly topstitch the opening shut 1/8″ from the folded edge.
Stitch “in the ditch” along the seam that separates each of the pages.
Fold your cover page in towards the page next to it and press the fold very well with a hot
Fold the next page in the opposite direction and press the new fold well.
Repeat this process until your whole book has been folded accordion-style and pressed so
that the pages lie neatly.
If you’re fastening with a metal snap, apply the socket to the tab fastener.
And, you’re ready for hunting!
This tutorial is generously shared from Bonnie from Fishsticks Designs.