Simple Baby/Toddler Quiet Book

I am not this amazingly crafty, artsy person. I have some basic skills, but I think my ideas often are more complicated than what I can actually accomplish! So forewarning, all of my craft posts will be for the “amateur” crafter. 🙂

After taking our infant son to a vow renewal ceremony, I realized that we needed a quiet book for him. Keeping him still and silent during that ceremony was difficult! I started researching online; the cheapest books I could find were upwards of $30, and they were often too advanced for his age. I’m a bit of a cheapskate, so I decided to make my own.

I started perusing Pinterest for ideas and tutorials, but I was a little disappointed. Most books were MUCH more complicated than I could possibly do, and a lot of blogs didn’t have tutorials to explain how they made their pages. So, I had to learn some things the hard way… Hopefully you can learn some lessons from this post so you don’t make the same mistakes!

I got all of my page ideas from Sweet Juicy April.

A tip: don’t bind your book the way I did mine! Go ahead and buy the supplies necessary to bind the way April did. I didn’t want to spend the extra money (or have to run another errand), so I thought I could just sew a binding on. First, the book was too thick to go through the sewing machine, so I had to sew it by hand. Second, the pages moved on me because I couldn’t figure out a good way to pin them to keep them in place. Third, I did not manage to sew a straight line because I didn’t have anything that would mark a temporary line on the felt (I have a chalk wheel and a white fabric pencil, but neither worked…). Fourth, I messed up a couple of pages by forgetting to switch which side had the binding margin. So, just avoid that way!

I used felt for my pages so that I wouldn’t have to worry about finished edges. April apparently used scalloping shears on her pages, but I didn’t have any – so, straight edge it is! Now, please don’t make fun of my sewing (in)ability… good thing this is for my son, and he doesn’t care! Also, my book is 9×9 inches, but you can make it whatever size you want. I chose that size because I just bought a package of craft felts, and they came in 9×12 sheets.

Here is the cover so you can see the binding (and what not to do!). Yes, it’s very plain – I was so tired of making this book by this point that I was DONE.
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This is by far my favorite page.
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I used a large plastic cup to draw the shape for the face. I freehanded the ears, eyes, and nose. I used a medicine bottle lid for the cheeks. (I cut out two head pieces.) You probably noticed that one cheek is smaller than the other… yeah, I melted it! I used HeatBond Lite to iron the face pieces onto the head, but I’d only previously used HeatBond Ultra. Apparently, you do not need to hold the iron down nearly as long for the Lite! (I’d learned that with felt, since it’s thicker, I had to hold the iron down for much longer than the Ultra instructions stated. Apparently I held it down too long for the Lite!) I used dabs of fabric glue to attach the ribbon to the back head piece. Once that was dry, I pinned both head pieces to the page and sewed them on.

Page 2:
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This is definitely my son’s favorite page! I started by cutting a frame the same size as my page. I pinned each piece of trim in place to the actual book page (making sure I stayed inside the edges of the frame I’d cut) and sewed the ends on. I then went back and sewed the entire trim piece to the page. Then I sewed on the frame. I only sewed the inside of the frame at first because I knew that I would attach the outside when I sewed the pages together.

Page 3:
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My button page is nothing compared to April’s. And this was a difficult page. First, I made the mistake of getting a thread that wasn’t strong enough to sew on the buttons. A few of the threads have broken, so my only solace is that I sewed so many times through the buttonholes that those buttons aren’t coming off any time soon. But, make sure you buy strong thread! Second, if you want to include the backgrounds behind the buttons, make sure you are either prepared to hand-sew or that you leave enough margin for your machine. That’s why mine are so crooked… I pinned them on straight, but in struggling with the machine’s foot and the buttons, they all slid around.

Page 4:
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My son likes this page too. I chose to use just one color per line so that in the future, I can work with him with both colors and counting on this page. Because my ribbon was so thin, I did this a little differently than the trim page. I glued the ends onto the frame itself, then just reversed and sewed over each end twice as I was sewing the inside of the frame onto the page.

Page 5:
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I have NO idea why I wanted to include a zipper… I’ve never sewn on a zipper in my life! Again, too ambitious… but it worked, even though it doesn’t look great! I wanted to do a shapes matching page including a pouch using the zipper. I cut out the area for the zipper from my pouch piece and sewed the zipper on. I then attached the top and left sides of the pouch to the page (the other sides would be attached when the pages were sewn together). I cut shapes out of the felt and used self-adhesive velcro dots for them to attached the matching outlines. I did use glue to reinforce the velcro, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to sew them on. I just used a permanent marker to make the outlines (with a previous craft, I learned that they are non-toxic and therefore safe for my little man, even if he chews on the page). The back cover is sewn onto the back of this page.

Once I had all the pages done, I sewed two pages together to create “book” pages. Then I bound them together.

And there you have it! There are many expensive quiet books you can buy if you’re not a crafter, and there are many complex quiet books you can make if you’re really good with crafts. However, if you’re like me, you need something simpler! So, I hope this has helped!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. theyneedlovetoo
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 02:25:56

    This is great! I absolutely love it! I would greatly appreciate it if you could guest blog on my blog about quiet books! However, I think you shouldn’t put yourself down as much! These are great! You are more talented than you give yourself credit for.

    Reply

    • kaylastanley
      Jul 02, 2013 @ 02:30:28

      Well, I do appreciate that! I have already learned some things I want to change for the next one though! And thank you, I’d be honored to guest blog on yours!

      Reply

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