Saturday, March 16, 2013

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How to Make a Quiet Book: A Guide to Making One of Your Own

I started making a quiet book for each of my boys back in September 2012.  They were intended to be Christmas presents, but, frankly, I was just too excited to wait until Christmas.  I have also made a mini quiet book as a Christmas gift for a friend's son, but that one was a lot less detailed and was easier to make overall.

So when I posted pictures of the quiet books on my personal Facebook page, the responses were overwhelming. Soon I had friends asking me, "How do I make a quiet book?"

Well, here are my tips, tricks, and suggestions for how to make a quiet book, including lots of quiet book ideas to inspire you!

How to make a quiet book guide with lots of quiet book ideas for kids And Next Comes L

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How to Make a Quiet Book Tip #1: Look for Inspiration Quiet Book Ideas

The first thing that I did was to browse the internet for some ideas.

You can start by browsing my quiet book pages or my ABC quiet book pages.

Then follow my quiet book board on Pinterest where I pin lots of amazing quiet book ideas.

How to make a quiet book guide with lots of quiet book ideas for kids And Next Comes L
My original quiet book pages.
Some of the best quiet book pages though, in my opinion, are on Imagine Our Life.  She hand sews her quiet book pages, which is more hardcore than I would ever attempt to be.  Regardless, they are some of the most beautiful pages I have come across.  And she includes a pattern and instructions for most (if not all) of her quiet book pages.

Another blog that has some quiet book page templates is Serving Pink Lemonade.  Her pages are a lot more simple than the ones on Imagine our Life, but they are still pretty nice.

How to Make a Quiet Book Tip #2: Play Into Your Child's Interests

Think about your child's interests and think about how you can incorporate those interests into a quiet book page.  For instance, J enjoyed playing with letters and spelling words.  So I made two quiet book pages that had individual letters of the alphabet on velcro and a pocket filled with three letters words for him to practice spelling.  Another example would be the number train I had made for the mini quiet book.  The little boy it was made for loved trains, so it just made sense to include a train page.

How to Make a Quiet Book Tip #3: Consider Your Child's Age

Depending on the age of your child, you may want to consider the following:

  • Exclude small pieces that might present a choking hazard
  • Design pages that practice developmentally appropriate skills (e.g., buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, etc.)
  • Make pages that can grow with the child
  • Make the size of the finished quiet book appropriate for the age of your child (e.g., smaller book for smaller toddlers like the mini quiet books I made for Garrett or Emma) or for its intended purpose (e.g., smaller book for use in the car or at doctor's office)
  • Design pages that represent real life activities and skills (e.g., brushing teeth, setting the table, brushing hair)
  • Include pieces that crinkle or rattle or jingle

How to Make a Quiet Book Tip #4: Plan Out Your Quiet Book Pages Before You Sew

Sketch out the pages that you want to make, marking what colors the pieces will be or what supplies you will need for each page.  Or print off any templates that you may find on the internet.  

I was terrible at this step.  I am more of a spontaneous crafter so there were times when I didn't have the supplies on hand and had to put the page on hold until I got the necessary piece.  Or I decided to make pages that were completely different than the ones that I had sketched.

Other considerations while planning your book:

  • Your budget for the project (if you have one)
  • How big do you want the book to be?
  • How many pages do you want to make?
  • What fabrics do you want to use?
  • How do you want to make them?  Sewn by hand?  Sewn with a machine?  Hot glue?  Or a combination?

How to Make a Quiet Book Tip #5: Collect the Needed Supplies

After you have sketched out your pages, you will have a better idea of how many zippers you need or how much velcro you need, etc.  You'll also know what colors of fabric you need.  Purchase what you don't have so that you can have everything ready. Here are some suggestions for supplies that you may need:


How to Make a Quiet Book Tip #6: How to Assemble the Quiet Book Pages

I found it helpful to cut out the pieces and organize them onto the page.  This step allows you to see how it will look when it is sewn together.  It also allows you the flexibility to make changes to the design before anything is actually sewn.

How to Make a Quiet Book Tip #7: Be Prepared. Making a Quiet Book is Time Consuming...and Addicting!

Perhaps one of the most surprising things about making a quiet book was how time consuming it actually was.  I spent the better half of 2.5-3 months cutting, sewing, assembling, and even dreaming of quiet book pages!  So don't say I didn't warn you!

Also, I found that designing and sewing new quiet book pages became somewhat addicting.  I just wanted to make more, more, more.  Like I said, I started to dream about new quiet book pages.  

My Final Suggestions for Making a Quiet Book

Here is my final list of tips and suggestions:

  • Use binder rings to put your book together.  Doing so allows you to swap pages in and out or from book to book.  It also allows you to add to the book in case you want to make the quiet book bigger.
  • If you are making quiet books for more than one child in the same house, make duplicates of pages that you think might be ones they fight over.  I should have made an alphabet page for K's book since he always wants to play with the one in J's book.  It causes fights and tears almost every single time.
  • Put a handle on the spine.  Both of the boys love being able to carry their own book around.
  • Make a velcro or magnetic closure for the book so that it closes up nicely.  K loves to play with the closure over and over.
  • Put your child's name on the front cover if you are making quiet books for more than one child.  That way they know whose is whose.
  • Plan out the order for the pages in the book, especially if sewing pages back to back.
  • You don't have to be an amazing sewer.  My sewing was rushed and sub-par in many places, but that did not detract in any way from the enjoyment those pages still brought to my children.  They don't care if you can't sew straight or that you used thread that didn't match the fabric.  I have also seen quiet book pages made entirely using a glue gun!
  • Finally, have fun!  They are a lot of work, but totally worth it.  They make an amazing keepsake for little ones and will keep them busy for many hours.
Have you made a quiet book before?  Do you have any tips to add to this list?  Add them in the comments below and/or post a link to your quiet book pages.  I'd love to see them!

Other Quiet Book Ideas You'll Love

30 No Sew Quiet Book Patterns

Garrett's Mini Quiet Book

Dress Up Minion Quiet Book Page {Free Printable Pattern}

Emma's Mini Quiet Book

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36 comments:

  1. Lovely! It's been on my to do for ages and I even bought a lot of felt etc for it. Maybe if I start now I will have it done for next Christmas.

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    1. Hahaha....yes, I think 9 months should be plenty of time!

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  2. I have too many inspiration pages!!! I need to narrow mine down and start doing some planning. I also hope to have a book ready for Christmas. :)
    Thanks for the tips.

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    1. Start with your favorite ideas. You can always make some of the other pages later once the book is made. Good luck!

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  3. I have so been dying to make a quiet book for Kingston! I started an "Under the Sea" themed one before he was born and never finished. You have so inspired me to try to find the time to continue! :)

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    1. Under the sea themed would be adorable! And I am glad I could inspire you. There will be lots more pages being posted in the future so be sure to check back often.

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  5. I really want to make my son a train themed quiet book. My husband got hired onto Union Pacific Railroad not that long ago and I think a "daddy's job" themed book would be fun. :) Its a good thing my guy is so little though, pleanty of time to work on it.

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    1. What a great idea! I have a number train page that I made. I will post it one day.

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  6. Beginning crafter here: what do you put into the felt to make it more durable so that you can put the binder rings in?

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    1. Nothing. I sew my quiet book pages back to back because I find that the two pages of felt make it quite sturdy.

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  7. So you just use the normal cut felt that you buy at the store and sew 2 pages together? Did you use any of that pellon stuff, or special felt from the fabric store? I have wanted to make one and have been planning and pinning, but am reluctant to start, because I just am weary of the actual "making" of the book itself. Is your cover the same too?

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    1. Yes, I sew 2 pages of normal cut felt back to back with no pellon or special felt or anything else to make the pages sturdy. Once you start sewing stuff onto individual pages, you will find that the pages become quite sturdy on their own. So any stiffened felt or pellon is unnecessary, at least in my opinion.

      The covers I made are slightly different, but you could definitely do them in the same way. I chose to make my covers have a spine so that I could put a carrying handle on the spine.

      Hope that helps! And good luck on your quiet book!

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  9. Thank you very much, for all the tips and pictures. I want to start two books for my children but I'm unsure if my son who is 7 will enjoy it still. Thank you again

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    1. Happy to help! My niece who is six has been bugging me to make one for her as she loves playing with the pages that I have made. I'm sure your 7 year old would enjoy one, especially if you make pages that tap into his interests.

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  10. Great ideas! I just made my plan for one! I would LOVE to see a video of your completed project with your explainations of how you do stuff, like i cant even picture how you would do a handle. Just a quick video to see your final products in action. :)

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    1. That would be a good idea! I honestly made up the handles as I went along.

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  11. are you using felt?? and what kind of holes are on the spine?

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    1. Yes, I use felt and I use eyelets for the spine.

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  12. I have just complete the 16 pages for my niece's 1st birthday and it has taken me forever! I now face the rather daunting task of putting it together!

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    1. WAHOO! Wish I could give you a high five! What an accomplishment it is to make one. You must be very proud and excited to give it to her. I would love to see some pictures of it when it's put together, if you wouldn't mind sharing them.

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  13. What type of stitch is best for attaching everything on the page? I was thinking a zig zag stitch, but I wanted to get some input to be sure.

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    1. I just do straight stitch and my pages have held up great so far. :)

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  14. I absolutely love the idea of a quiet diy book,these are great ideas,so adorable. I was wondering if I could make moveable figures without Velcro,would regular felt stick to felt or would I have to use something?

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    1. Yup! Regular felt does stick to felt without using Velcro. :)

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  15. This is a beautiful idea for your children

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    1. Thanks! My boys have certainly loved their books.

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  16. What size do you recommend for the pages? My daughter is one and I am hoping to make one for a friend whose daughter is three. Thanks so much for all the tips!

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    1. I like to make big pages, personally. So I usually make mine the size of one sheet of felt (9" x 12").

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  17. This is amazing! Dyan do you make them (for sale) or do you know someone that does? I live abroad in Uganda and don't have access to the things I'd need to make it (and frankly also am quite too busy as it is) but I would love these to help my 3 year old develop his fine motor skills and sensory processing tolerance. I don't have a great deal of money but something like this would be an amazing resource and I would be willing to pay someone to put one together for us.

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    1. Hi! I wish I had the time to make and sell some, but I simply don't. There are lots of great quiet books to buy on Etsy so I would try there.

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  18. hi, i have seen images of quiet book pages, where there was no visible velcro dot or glue. ex - dressing up a person, fruits on a tree, assembling a vehicle from parts, match the shapes etc. where baby would seem to place the parts on the felt page randomly. any tips on how to do that? i dont know to sew, so looking for alternatives. thanks!

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    1. Hi, Jasmine!

      Felt sticks to felt so no need to use velcro or glue or buttons, etc. You'll also want to check out this fantastic no sew quiet book tutorial from my friend Nicolette: http://www.powerfulmothering.com/how-to-make-a-quiet-book-the-no-sew-way/ All you need is a hot glue gun, which might be the perfect alternative for you!

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  19. really good information thanks for sharing :) I've shared your page on my blog hope that was ok

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