amberskyfire (amberskyfire) wrote in doingwithout,

Handmade Quiet Book

Want to make this quiet book for your child? It's easy! As you can see from the photo, the little ones find it very difficult to keep their hands off of it. This quiet book is slightly girlish in theme because I made it for my daughter, but you can easily make one with a boy or unisex theme. The book is completely hand sewn (I can't afford a machine) and it took roughly two to three hours per activity to sew so you can have it done in about twelve or thirteen days with the last day to sew the whole thing together if you make one activity a day. I used sheets of felt from the craft store (18 to 24 cents a sheet). I'm afraid I do not have any patterns available. I did it all from my head and I never use patterns - just cut and sew. Believe me, it's easier than it sounds.

If you do not know how to sew - hot glue works AMAZINGLY well on felt but does not look quite as nice.


These are the second and third pages of the book. Each activity is done on a single piece of felt, then two of the pieces are sewn back to back around the edges using a blanket stitch and darker colored embroidery thread. The flowers can be removed from the flower pot which is a pocket and then matched by length to its corresponding button. This is good for length matching. The stems are braided yarn and are attached inside the flower pot and between each flower and its leaf.

The next activity is hanging little items of clothing on the line. I purchased the tiny clothespins from a craft store and threaded the laundry line through the holes in the metal spring to keep them from becoming lost. When sewing the pictures onto the page, a blanket stitch looks nice sometimes, but a running stitch is much faster and easier to do.


This is an image of the front and back of the book. I typed out the title on the computer in a font that I liked and printed it out. Then I cut out the letters and used them as a pattern for the felt letters. I used a blanket stitch to sew them on. The activity in the cover is an I Spy Bag. All of the little items on the outside have a matching piece inside the bag which I filled with grain. Clean the dust out of the grain by spreading it onto the back of a towel and rolling it around for a few minutes. The towel will catch all of the dirt and dust and can be washed.


This is a dress-up doll. The pocket for the clothes is just the space between the two pages. Simply sew a zipper into the side of the page. There are a lot more little outfits than this, but I didn't have room to lay them all out. For a boy, you could do a boy doll or maybe a boy with various super hero costumes. The doll is sewn to the page with a blanket stitch and I made her hair from embroidery thread.

On the facing page, there is a felt envelope with a little Valentine from Mommy inside (embroider the words and lay another piece of the heart behind the first and stitch around the edges to hide the embroidery stitches). The cat has a bow you can tie around its neck. The caterpillar is made from a chenille stem and the thread that sews him to the page gives him his stripes. The cocoon opens with a zipper I cut from a plastic disposable toiletries bag and inside is an embroidered and beaded plush butterfly.


This first activity I will complete just before giving it to my daughter. The large pocket will hold a small pad of notepaper and the little sleeve will hold a pencil stub. Include only a 2 inch stub and be sure the pencil is not too sharp so that a child cannot become impaled on it should you have an accident while they are playing with it in the car. The facing page is an apple tree with little hooks and the apples have eyes on the back for hooking on the tree. They can be harvested and put into their little woven basket.


Here, I used the extra pieces I had left to make a weaving activity. On the facing page, there is a tic-tac-toe game with hearts and stars cut from felt.


At the end of the book is a doll with yarn hair that can be finger-combed, braided, and styled in a variety of ways. Two ribbons are strung between buttons on which to clip a collection of hair clips (I will add more before it is finished) to put in the dolls hair. For a boy, you could make a face with different eyes, noses, and mouths that can be changed out to make silly faces. On the opposite page is a lacing/stitching activity with yarn. To make the "needle," I wrapped clear packing tape tightly around one end until stiff like the end of a shoelace.

Match two pages of the same color and lay them back -to-back, then use a blanket stitch around the edges with embroidery thread. The handles and buckle strap should be two pieces sewn together to make them strong enough to hold the whole book. Once you have all of the pages, Lay them together and sew them all down the spine about 1/2 inch in using doubled-up thread. Cut a piece of felt to cover the spine and sew it around the edges using embroidery thread.

In hindsight, I would not advise doing the I Spy Bag in the book. It ended up being quite heavy and makes a large, heavy, thick pouch in the front. Still fun, but I wouldn't do it again.


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