A sewing friend of mine, Terri with Blue House Joys, creates the best products for great reading nooks for our kiddos. She sells book slings, reading canopies and reading pillows with some of the best prints. She also does some great occasional selfish sewing that you can follow on her IG account @bluehousejoys. She decided to create a pattern for her book slings and just released the pattern yesterday. She asked me check out the pattern, and I was so happy to do so. My youngest just turned 2 and I was really struggling with what to get him for his birthday. He recently moved out of his crib and is now sleeping in a full bed with my other son. Now that we can move the crib out of the boys room, we have the perfect space for a little reading nook. A book sling turned out to be the perfect gift.
If you are an experienced sewist, you can probably figure this out on your own, but this is such a great project for a sewing newbie. I know I have some followers that have a sewing machine, but have been too scared to dust it off and make something. This is a really great first project. Even, if you have sewn before, this pattern creates the perfect booksling and takes out the guesswork for you. Terri walks you through the process in great detail and the finished product is so great! She also included some fun children’s books facts with her pattern. You’ll have to check out the pattern to see them! A really great bonus with this pattern is a video walk through is included. So, for all you visual learners, you don’t need to worry about vague directions that don’t make sense. You’ll be able to actually see the process. Terri is offering $3 off the pattern for the next 2 weeks, so now is the time to purchase. Just use the coupon code PATTERNRELEASE when purchasing.
I chose a black and white canvas graphic print by Nate Berkus I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics. It’s a fun design my boys seem to like. Cutting and sewing, with a lot of distractions from my little ones, I probably sewed this up in less that 30 minutes. I am so happy with the results.
My husband had last week off and he’s been working on some projects around the house. There’s a chance we might be moving in the next few months, so we’re trying to get our home ready to rent, just in case. He’s super handy and seems capable to make anything, if only he had the time! I had him make the brackets for the book sling in oak, which he stained and put a couple coats of poly on. The perfectionist that he is, he was super bummed that he accidently left a coat of the stain on too long and had to strip some of it off. He probably would have sanded and started over if he had his way, but I kind of like the more imperfect look of them and told him not too bother. Plus, we still have about 5 yards of dirt in our driveway that needs to be moved! Terri sells wooden brackets in her Etsy store that her dad makes (I LOVE that her dad is involved in her business!) or you can use double curtain rods. You’ll also need to pick up a couple wooden rods that you can find at any hardware store.
Pattern: Book Sling PDF Pattern
Designer: Blue House Joys
Materials: Black and White Canvas Graphic Print by Nate Berkus, 2 48″ long 7/8″ wooden rods, wooden brackets made by my wonderful husband.
All my kids absolutely love reading books, so I thought this would be a great post to share some of our favorite Children’s Books. Here are my current favorites in no particular order.
We currently don’t own this book, but we borrow it from the library quite frequently. It’s such a sweet story about how a little girl transforms her front yard into this amazing meadow filled with butterflies, a pond and so much more. I really love how her parents participate in the transformation, encouraging their daughter’s dreams to become reality.
This is one of my favorites in the fall, but really enjoyed year round. The story is about a young girl who picks up a butternut squash at a Farmer’s Market and turns the squash into a baby she takes everywhere with her. Eventually the squash starts to soften and rot and she burries the squash in her backyard, which eventually grows into a new plant later in the year. It’s a super sweet story and enjoyed by everyone in our family.
Beep! Beep! Beep! We love the little blue truck. It’s such a cute story about a little blue truck who is friends with all the animals throughout this little country road and how his friendships help get him out of the mud, literally. This is a good story to teach our kids the importance of valuing our friendships and being kind to all those we come across.
This is one of my all time favorite Children’s Books. Perhaps it’s my love of old homes or living in the country, but this story is such a great classic. It’s a great story to show your kids how things have changed throughout the years and how we can value and take good care of older things.
Another great book by Virginia Lee Burton. Again, this book shows value in older things and the importance of taking good care of our things. The story is about Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Anne, and all the great things they accomplished together. But things change as steam shovels get replaced by the newer diesel trucks and the pair find themselves unable to find work. Mike Mulligan doesn’t give up on Mary Anne though and they go out into the country to dig a cellar for a new Town Hall in a single day. There’s a great message in this book about perseverence and good old fashioned hard work. Such a great read.
This is a great story about a wooden boy, Punchinello, who discovers his worth is not determined by what the other Wemmicks think of him, but instead by what his Maker, Eli, thinks of him. And, Eli thinks he’s pretty special. Max Lucado is a Christian writer and although “You are Special” never mentions God, it is very apparant Eli represents God. I love reading this book to my kids and then having discussions with them afterwards about how much God loves them just as they are, no mattter what.
Jon Klassen’s illustrations in this book are what drew me to the book the first time I saw it at the library. They are the sweetest illustrations and I love how the little town starts out dark with greys and browns and eventually is filled with colorful knit sweaters everywhere you look. The main character, Annabelle, is so calm and peacefully knitting throughout the entire book. It’s a sweet story and shows how one person can turn a town around and make something beautiful out of simple yarn. All you knitters out there need this book!
I actually just discovered this book. My sister in law gave it to my youngest for Christmas. But, it has already become a favorite. I’m a huge fan of good illustrations and Emily does not dissapoint. The drawings are so sweet and all the characters have the sweetest little outfits. There’s even an illustration with a little boy sewing up a pair of pants for a squirrel. So cute! The story is just all the things about our children that we love and all the wonderful things they will do with their life. It’s a simple and sweet story with beautiful illustrations I could read over and over again.
We have a few books by Susan Jeffers and we love them all, but this is probably my favorite. My daughter had a huge obsession with horses for about 3 years and she absolutely loved this book. It’s a story about a little girl who really wants a pony, but her mother says ponies cost too much money and her father says they have no place to keep a pony. Instead, she dreams about a pony she calls Silver. She goes on these beautiful rides with her pony Silver, exploring the cold mountain streams, riding through a forest in the moonlight, and even flying through the sky like a comet. Susan’s illustrations are extremely beautiful and compliment the story perfectly.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t a young children’s book, but we are currently reading it and everyone in the family is enjoying this great classic. When my oldest was probably about 2, I had a woman from church with 4 teenage children tell me how they still read everynight together as a family. They just take turns reading now. I really loved that idea and I hope that we can continue reading books together as a family as the kids grow up. My 2 year old is asleep by the time we read this book, but my 3 1/2 and 6 year old will stay still listening for a chapter a night. I will admit, it helps that they have seen the movie, so they are already familiar with the story. I like to ask them after each chapter what some differences were between the book and the movie for that particular chapter. It’s a good way to check their reading comprehension.
Happy Sewing (and Reading!)