Saturday, March 16, 2013

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

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Tips for how to make a quiet book for your kids, including quiet book patterns and a free printable to help you design a DIY quiet book for your kids.

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!

There's also a free printable quiet book planner that you can grab a copy of to help you plan out the pages you want to make.

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

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.

Get Your Copy of the Free Quiet Book Planning Guide Below

Planning out a quiet book doesn't have to be complicated or overwhelming! Use the free quiet book planning guide to make things easier!

To get a copy of this printable guide, click the link below:

>> Click here to download the free printable guide