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

I spy book

The book is folded accordion-style so your little one can read it like a book!

child with book

or unfold it to seek and find on multiple pages all at once:
child laying out book
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?

sewing book

fabric book

quiet book pages

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”:

quiet book fabric
Then I added 6 pages that I pieced together using smaller scraps for even more things to

sewing project
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.

measuring fabric I spy paper
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.

freezer paper
Cut out your freezer paper pieces.

freezer paper templates
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.

freezer paper pattern

Lay your quilting ruler so that it overlaps the one edge of the freezer paper by ¼” and cut.measuring
Repeat on all four sides.

fabric pages

Repeat for the remaining fabric pieces.

measuring fabric pages
Peel away the freezer paper and sew the smaller pieces together using ¼” seam
allowance. Press the seam allowance open.

remove freezer paper
Peel away the freezer paper and sew the larger piece to the smaller pieces using ¼” seam
allowance. Press the seam allowance open.

sewing pages
Trim page to 6 ½” x 6 ½”.

quiet book page

fabric page
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.
quiet book pages

Assemble your Fabric I spy book

Once you’ve decided on your layout, sew each set of six pages into a strip.

book pieces all laid out
Iron fusible fleece to the backside of the bottom strip of pages.

backside of fabric
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.

red fabric
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.)
making book closure
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.
book closurePlace 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.

sewing instructions
Trim corners and turn book right side out through the opening. Push corners out neatly
and press well.
book laid out

Neatly topstitch the opening shut 1/8″ from the folded edge.
instrument fabric
Stitch “in the ditch” along the seam that separates each of the pages.
close up of fabric
Fold your cover page in towards the page next to it and press the fold very well with a hot
steam iron.
quiet book
Fold the next page in the opposite direction and press the new fold well.
accordion book
Repeat this process until your whole book has been folded accordion-style and pressed so
that the pages lie neatly.
book for kids
If you’re fastening with a metal snap, apply the socket to the tab fastener.
snap closure
And, you’re ready for hunting!
finished I spy book

This tutorial is generously shared from Bonnie from Fishsticks Designs.

About Bonnie Ferguson

Learn More

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  1. Love this idea. I made an I SPY quilt for my grandsons; I’d like to make this for my granddaughters. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  2. Finally! I know what to do with all the I-Spy blocks I got from a swap about a year ago. This one is going on my to-do list for sure, and I would love to see pics of books from others that have been sewn.

  3. While I’m familiar with I Spy quilts, this is the first I’ve ever heard of an I spy book. Such a great idea and well written tutorial.

  4. Thanks so much for posting this! I have tons of fabric, and I made this in one night. This is a must have for our church bag!!

  5. SO sweet. I’m thinking I’ll be needing one for plane trip with a 2 year old next month. THANKS!

  6. Perfect for my two year old granddaughter!!! Now to find the best fabric scraps. Ohhh, soooo many projects I am working on!!! I am still trying to finish the “Special Message Hot Pads” for my sisters and daugther. I am so excited to find so many great gift ideas to make. I hope you will keep all these ideas accessible this year at least, if not for next year too. I am running out of time already. =) Thanks a bunch!

  7. This is the cutest idea! I have a new baby cousin on the way and this is just a perfect gift for her. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Excuse me, but where do you buy those marvellous fabrics? i’m from Spain and i’d like to make some faboulous things like you. i admire you,truly. Please,mail me with an answer! Kisses!

  9. That’s it! I’m learning to sew. I need to make this 🙂 Wonderful idea!


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