A quiet book (sometimes referred to as a “busy book”) is a collection of pages with activities for kids. Activities in the books may include shape matching, pretend play, numbers/letters and others. Many of these books are created using mostly felt, which is what I will be focusing on. These books do come in all sorts of sizes and differing levels of complexity – the pages I have worked on are 9×12 stiffened felt pages and are mostly no-sew to keep them simple (and faster to make).
To start, I will list some information that will help you start your first page. Keep in mind that these are methods and tools that I have found to work for me, play around and find out what will work for you.
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Tools and Materials
Here is a short list of the usual items needed to create a felt quiet book page. This list does not include any items specifically needed for a page (like popsicle sticks):
- Felt: I suggest only using stiffened felt for the page backing and many of the items on a page.
- Glue Gun: While any glue gun will work (low temp, high temp, mini or regular), I suggest a dual temperature (offers both high and low temperatures – I use high temp on almost all the items) and full-sized (mainly so you don’t have to change the glue stick as much – this can get tedious)
- Glue Gun sticks: Make sure to find the right glue stick for your glue gun (see the differences listed under Glue Gun). Ask your local craft store associates for help if you need it.
- Scissors: Any will work, but the sharper the better. If you do a page that requires a lot of cutting by hand, It would be great to have finer scissors to work with so you can get more precision.
- Velcro Dots: While this isn’t a “requirement,” a large portion of my pages contain at least one item that uses Velcro. NOTE: Although these are sticky on one side, always glue them down anyway! Toddlers/kids are not known for being gentle and non-glued velcro dots can be easy to remove from some kinds of felt.
- Optional: Other embellishments (ribbon, string, buttons, etc)
Below are examples of the items listed above (items I actually own and use):
- Die Cutting: Call around to see if you have a craft shop locally that offers die cutting. My local craft store (Ben Franklin Crafts) has tons of die cuts to use for free so long as you buy your felt there.
- Felt pre-cut or pre-made items: Look in craft or fabric stores for discounted or clearance felt stickers, animals, letters/numbers and shapes. I found quite a few of these that inspired some new pages. You can also keep your eyes out for buttons, beads (letter beads are awesome!) or other items you can use on your pages.
- Other glue types: If you have embellishments (like plastic beads or ceramic items) to add to your felt page, the glue from a glue gun may not hold the item. You can try a different glue intended for this sort of fashioning, like Jewel-It Embellishing Glue. You can ask an associate at your craft store for help finding the right glue for your needs.
Sample Felt Page Instructions
Other Felt Page Examples
Below are some images of other felt pages I have made. Remember, each page does not need to be Pinterest perfect! So long as your child enjoys the play or interaction, that’s all that matters.
Advanced Tools and Items
If you have mastered the other tools and want to try something new, here are some other tools for more advanced felt page creation:
- Eyelet Snap Punch and Eyelets: This is a fantastic tool to place eyelets in your pages. This can help with binding your pages together (using loose leaf binder rings), allowing creation of sliding interactions with string (for example, pull the crab along the bottom of the ocean floor) and others.
- Rotary Board, Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat: Some crafters/sewers may already own these tools, which help with cutting straight edges.
- Sewing tools and sewing machine: Thread, needle and even a sewing machine can make some pages easy. This may also help in the multitude of ways you can bind your pages together (if you so choose).
Below are a few examples of the items listed above (items I actually own and use):
Binding Your Book
There are many ways you can bind your pages together (if you so choose). I suggest searching on Google for a method that works for you. I used a combination of hand stitching (sewing) and eyelets with a binder ring. I also have a lot of pages that aren’t bound together so my son or I can just pull one out to play.