Buckle Book

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Here’s another pair of presents I made for Rosa and General Zod at Christmas (they’re only four months apart in age so I can get away with getting them the same thing for a while). It’s a good little distraction to take along with you in the car or at the doctor’s office or wherever you have to sit in one place for a while.

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You will need some fabric for the inside of your little book and some for the outside. I used a quilted red cotton (from the Pie’s caddy) as the interior and a thick denim for the cover. I originally planned to use velcro to keep the book closed, which is why it’s in this shot, but I ended up going in a different direction.

Buckle Book 2

You will also need assorted notions for sticking inside the book: zippers, ribbon, beads, buckles, snaps, and I even picked up a jewelry chain I thought might be of interest. Some of this stuff I picked up at the dollar store and other bits I scavenged from my mother’s sewing room.

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I strung some plastic pony beads onto some narrow ribbon.

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I realized after I planned everything out that I had red zippers on a red background, which wasn’t particularly appealing, so I grabbed a contrasting cotton to slide in underneath.

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So this is everything laid out as I want it in my “book” (which is more like a scroll, if we’re being honest).

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Now it’s just a matter of pinning.

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And sewing it all into place. Make sure you sew it on securely – toddlers can destroy pretty much anything.

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Time to put a backing on it. This is a general idea of how it will roll up.

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There was more pinning, and more sewing. I even mitred the corners, which I learned how to do a few Christmases back.

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Then I added on a wide grosgrain ribbon that would tie it shut and was also long enough that you can tie it around a chair back or car seat so it doesn’t go anywhere.

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Here’s the ribbon loop.

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The finished interior’s got zippy zippers.

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And slide-y beads.

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And slinky chains and clicky buckles.

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And snappy snaps.

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And all wrapped up!

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Busy Board

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I didn’t take as many photos of this as I should have, but it kind of came together in fits and starts when I could work on it and I may have forgotten my camera a few times. In any case, this is a great gift for the toddlers in your life, and it’s very simple to make: grab a board, paint it up, add bits of hardware and you’re set. It’s all the stuff that small children are fascinated with around the house in one convenient spot where they can play with it safely.

So I started with a wide pine board, which I cut in half. I made one for Rosa and one for Gen. Zod for Christmas.

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Drilled screw holes at all the corners so it could be mounted on the wall for added security.

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I later put felt at the corners as well so it could also lay flat on the floor without damaging anything.

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Sanded and spray painted it.

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Added stripes to make it look like a construction sign.

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They didn’t come out perfectly, but if you’ve ever seen the types of signs the construction workers make around here this is a freaking masterpiece in comparison.

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Then I gathered an assortment of hardware: slide bolt (also known as a barrel bolt), casters from my old computer desk, a padlock, spring door bumper (the kind that makes farty noises when you twang it), a hinge from a door and a security chain. I discovered that if you screw one side of a hinge too tightly to its surface the hinge won’t turn (or won’t be moveable by a toddler in any case), so make sure to adjust that accordingly if you use one.

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Then I just painted around them with some craft paint for visual interest and added a little caution sign at the top. Now it’s a toddler trap, because they can’t stay away!

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