ATTENTION: IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN POSTING A LINK TO THIS TUTORIAL ON YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITE--AWESOME! THANKS SO MUCH. I'M FLATTERED. YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO USE ONE OF THE PHOTOS HERE, AS LONG AS IT IS ACCOMPANIED WITH A LINK TO THIS PAGE. BUT PLEASE DON'T COPY THE TEXT AND POST THE ENTIRE TUTORIAL ON YOUR OWN SITE. THANKS. HAPPY SEWING AND BLOGGING!
If you're here just for the book sling tutorial, skip this intro and scroll down a bit. It begins with the bolded word "tools."
My tutorial on making a hanging book display for kiddos is up on Ohdeedoh now.
Again, this is my entry in the Apartment Therapy February Jump-Start contest, which called out for small home projects that can be completed in a weekend or two. The person with the most "thumbs up" in each category (kids, kitchen, general home, office/high tech, and green ... am I missing one?) win a $250 gift certificate to Etsy. Heaven, huh?
You can look at all the other entries here, and if you want to know who I'm up against just look at the projects in the Ohdeedoh column. Even if I don't win, there are some inspiring ideas there worth bookmarking for later.
FYI--If you're not familiar with Apartment Therapy, it is the umbrella site for several more focused sites, like Re-Nest (green topics),The Kitchen (cooking/kitchen topics) and Ohdeedoh (babies and kids design and parenting issues).
I'd been meaning to make something like this book display for Bo for a while, and the contest truly inspired me to get off my duff. Nothing like a prize to really get me going, I guess.
So if you like my project, please head on over to Ohdeedoh and click on "thumbs up" to support it. Thanks!
Here are the directions with a few more photos than I was able to submit to Ohdeedoh.
-A 47-inch by 42-inch piece of fabric (I used Amy Butler's daisy bouquet). (When you're buying the fabric, ask for 1 1/3 yard, then wash and dry it before cutting it to 47" x 42". It will shrink a bit.)
-Two double curtain rod brackets. I bought mine for about $5 each at Lowes.
-Two, 4-foot long wooden dowels or curtain rods that fit into the brackets. Shouldn't cost more than $3 each.
Drill and drill bits
-General sewing supplies, like a sewing machine, thread and scissors
-Optional: paint, paintbrush and sandpaper (options 1 and 2) and wooden balls or other end caps for the dowels (option 3).
We’re bonkers for books at our house, but allowing our 3-year-old daughter to choose her own every night before bedtime can be a lesson in patience. She’s a dilly dallier as it is, but what makes it harder is that her bookcase, like most bookcases, only displays the spines of the books. Since she can’t read the book titles, she pulls every book off the shelf until she recognizes the cover art of the one she wants.
I made this hanging book display to help solve that problem. It’s modeled after school-grade book display cases that show the fronts of books, and hopefully will make choosing a bedtime book easier (and faster!).
-Fold the fabric lengthwise, with right sides facing, so you are working with a double thickness rectangle that is 47 inches by 21 inches.
-Using a 1/2-inch seam, sew the fabric together around one of the short sides, the long side and about half-way down the other short side.
-Turn the fabric right side out through the opening, poking out the corners with a turning tool (a pencil will do—just don’t poke all the way through).
-Sew the opening shut by folding the raw edges toward each other, then top stitching down that short end of the rectangle.
-Now you’ll need to sew casings for the dowels on the two long ends of the rectangle. Working with one side at a time, fold the long end over so it overlaps by 2 inches. Pin, then stitch all the way down the length of the fabric. Repeat on the other long side.
-It’s time to hang the hardware on the wall. Locate two studs 47 inches apart on the wall where you want to hang the book holder. (Note: my studs were four feet apart. It’s not a bad idea to find your studs before you start the project and make a book sling that aligns with your studs. Or just use those little plastic things they sell to hold screws in the wall. The bracket packages I buy come with them.)
-Using a level, mark the locations where you'll need to drill lightly with a pencil, then drill the holes for the screws.
-Screw the brackets onto the wall. Hang the fabric on the dowels, then insert the dowels into the brackets. The brackets should come with tiny screws that tighten onto the dowels, holding them in place.
-Load with books. If you screwed the hardware into studs your book holder should be able to handle a good amount of weight, but don’t go too crazy.
-Option 1: Before getting started, you could paint the ends of your dowels a color that matches the décor of the room or the fabric.
-Option 2: If you don’t like the color of the brackets, you could paint that, too, with a paint that adheres to metal. Sand the metal first so the paint has something to grab onto.
Option 3: In addition to or in place of the tiny screws that hold the dowels in place, you could cap off the ends of the dowels with a cute wooden ball or some clever object. I plan to do this but haven’t found the right thing yet.
Option 4: The brackets don’t jut out very far at all, but if you’re worried about someone bonking their head, sew slipcovers for them with a little padding inside.
Option 5: If you have enough wall space, make four or five of these and install them above one another. It could be cute to make a rainbow-like display—red patterned fabric for the top one, orange for the next, then yellow, blue, green, and purple.
Option 6: Make the sling reversible, sew a pocket on the front for holding little treasures or applique an animal shape, alphabet letter, etc. Here are some of the slings I've made since I first wrote this tutorial:
This one was made for Finn, the son of Meg from Sew Liberated:
And here are some slings I've seen on blogs after folks followed my tutorial ...
By Kunz Family:
By Little Dash:
Melanie's double book slings for her office/nursery, featured on Ohdeedoh:
These alphabet book slings were made by reader Angela Chevalier:
This book sling was made by Sarah over at Trixie's Table:
I know I've seen others out there, so please drop me a line and attach a photo or a link to your blog. I'd love to add more book sling pictures here. (email@example.com)