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book slings

June 10, 2011

Ever since I spied the adorable book slings that my friend, Erin, made for her sweet baby boy, I’ve been eager to make my own.  I love that they’re colorful & fun, and that they can be mounted near the floor, where little ones can easily see & grab their favorites.  We’re really hoping little Rico will love reading, and if this helps him out, great!

I think that most of the bloggers that I’ve seen with book slings have used curtain hardware & dowels to hold up their slings…  In typical, Jen-isn’t-good-at-following-directions-and-instead-insists-on-making-up-her-own-way-of-doing-things style, we went a slightly different route, and purchased two of these little metal towel rods from Ikea (at $15/each, they’re similar to what the curtain hardware & dowels would cost, but have a slightly more finished end, and, we reasoned that they might be sturdier/more childproof than the curtain hardware + rod approach).  Luckily, the longer of the two towel rods that Ikea sells (31.5″ wide) fit perfectly on the little wall between the entrance to Rico’s room and the closet door!

To make these, I used leftover fabric from the blackout curtains that I made, and I lined them with leftover yellow zig zag fabric from the rocking chair recover.  You probably don’t need two layers of fabric, but the curtain fabric that I had was very lightweight and I worried about the books stretching the fabric or creating holes in it.  Truthfully, I don’t think anyone will know that yellow chevron fabric is even there except me (and now, you).

For each panel, I started with 2 rectangles of fabric (for the larger sling, the inner fabric = 24″ x 31″; outer fabric = 24″ x 32″; for the smaller sling, the inner fabric =15″ x 31″; outer fabric = 15″ x 32″).  Fold each of the short ends of the outer fabric over 1/2″ and iron.  Then, fold over 1/2″ again, and pin, with your inner fabric lined up in the pocket.  Sew shut, using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Once the short sides are sewn, fold each of the long sides over 1/2″ and iron.  Fold down another 2″ and iron/pin.  This will make the little pocket for your rod!  I then sewed this down about 1/4″ from where the green fabric meets the yellow fabric.  (I folded each of the ends in about 1/4-1/2″ so that you wouldn’t see how it was sewn together from the front – you can see this in the foreground of the picture below if you look closely.)

Then, all you have to do is stick the rod through each little pocket & mount the slings on the wall!  (I let Jason do that part… he’s the main power-tool operator around here.)  I think the whole project took maybe an hour?  And that might have been only because we had to search the house for some anchors to set into the wall first…

{side view – these guys stick out about 5″ from the wall}

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2011 12:18 pm

    How cute is that! Brilliant. 🙂

  2. June 10, 2011 3:30 pm

    Love, love, love this! The fabric is great and they look wonderful!

  3. June 10, 2011 4:48 pm

    I love them!!! The fabrics you chose for the nursery are adorable. And I like the size if them.

  4. June 10, 2011 4:56 pm

    That is such a cute idea!! I love the fabrics you have in the nursery too! I have never sewn before, but I might learn just to do this little project for our nursery! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Oh, and if you don’t mind answering a few questions….. what does it look like from the side? How far does it stick out from the wall with the Ikea brackets? Just curious. Thanks!!

    • June 14, 2011 12:25 pm

      Hi Heather –

      I added a photo w/a side view just for you! 🙂 And they stick out about 5″ from the wall!

      Good luck sewing! It’s so (sew?) fun!

  5. Debbie permalink
    June 10, 2011 8:24 pm

    A great idea! Different from the traditional bookcase idea. I can’t wait to see the room in person!

  6. June 11, 2011 12:30 pm

    They came out great, Jen! Yay!

  7. June 13, 2011 10:23 am

    They look fabulous, Jen!!!

  8. June 13, 2011 11:56 am

    So cute!

  9. June 14, 2011 4:32 pm

    Thanks for adding the sideview Jen! I can’t wait to get started on the project. I will definitely let you know when I finish it and I’ll absolutely link over to here so people can see where I got the idea from!

    Can’t wait to see pictures of Rico when he arrives too. I’m sure you are anxious to meet him as well. I am a few weeks behind you, so I’ll be looking for any advice and guidance you can give as you deal with all of the firsts! Best of luck to you and your husband.

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