Did you know you can create felt quiet book pages without any need to sew a thing? In some cases, all you need is some felt, scissors and a glue gun.
A quiet book is generally a handmade book of activities for a child that can range from match the shapes to pretend play (for example, placing felt clothes on a small clothes line to “dry” activity). These books come in many shapes, sizes and levels of complexity. Etsy is a great resource for finding completed quiet books to purchase, but each of the books are understandably pricey for the amount of workmanship that can go into each individual page (it’s rare to find a non-sewn quiet book on Etsy).
I learned about felt quiet books through a local mom group that did a page swap – interested moms all made one page for each mom that signed up (so if six moms signed up, each person would make six felt pages that are exactly the same). Then, the group would meet to swap – each mom left with the page they created and five new pages from the other moms. This was a great way to get new pages without all the work of coming up with ideas and supplies for all of them!
I admit I got a little obsessed with creating felt pages for my son to keep my mind and hands busy when he was a newborn. So, I didn’t have a great tester for a while as I worked through about 40 pages! After he was older (about a year old), I knew what he played with and which bored him (each child will have his or her own preferences). If you decide to make a page, how your child interacts with the page may tell you what would be a great next page to create.
I have created a new page (Felt Quiet Books) to share the basics of what you will need to start your own quiet book. The page also includes some visual examples of other pages I have made. Each page was straight from my imagination (sometimes linked to songs my son loved) or inspired by pages I found through a simple Google search (not to mention the pages I received from the swap as I wrote earlier).
Interested in trying it out?
Sample Page Creation: Matching Shapes
This is by far one of the easiest page to start your felt quiet book (and has been a favorite for my son). Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect! I had no template or instructions and just free-handed cutting out different shapes in stiffened felt. So long as your child can recognize the shape, you’re set!
Supplies you will need:
- Page backing: 9×12* piece of stiffened felt (your choice of color).
- Shapes: stiffened felt sheet in as many colors as you would like (I used 6 colors for the 8 shapes and saved the scraps for other pages – scraps are your best friend!). Each shape will be 2-3 inches high or wide (sometimes both) and will need 3 separate shapes for each (for example, you will have 3 hearts, 3 circles, etc).
- Velcro dots: 8 pairs of Velcro dots (“hook and loop”)
*You may make your quiet book any size you like. Personally, I made mine 9×12 to use pre-cut sizes of stiffened felt and provide more room for my child to play.
See the Felt Quiet Books page for links to view specific tools/products I use.
Tools you will need:
- Scissors: Sharp scissors are the best for getting clean edges and good precision. But, any scissors will do.
- Glue Gun and Glue sticks: See the Felt Quiet Books page for helpful tips on the right ones to choose (though use what you have if you already own one)
As you read through the instructions, it can look very overwhelming. I have included as much information as I can think of in case you get stuck – believe me when I say the only potential challenging part is cutting out the shapes and trying to get them to match as much as possible. The rest is a breeze.
Step 1: Plug in Glue Gun
Plug in your glue gun and load it with a glue stick.
Step 2: Page Backing Selection
Pick the color you would like to use for your page back and place that piece of stiffened felt to the side.
Depending on the size of stiffened felt you have, you may need to cut it to the right size – in my example 9×12 inches.
Step 3: Cut Shapes
Shapes you will be creating: star, triangle, circle, oval, square, rectangle, heart and diamond.
Use your scissors to cut one shape in your selection of color (mine were each about 2-3 inches tall). Once you are happy with the shape, use the one you just finished as a template for the other two (you need 3 total of each shape).
NOTE: You may want to lay out your shapes on the page backing as you go to make sure they will all fit on the page.
Repeat for all the other shapes in the colors of your choice.
Step 4: Glue Shapes Together
Take two of each shape and place them in front of you. Then, use your glue gun to glue them together.
NOTE: Try to spread the glue across to the edges of all your shapes. If the glue dries and you have some extra “oozing” out the sides, just use your scissors to trim it off.
Repeat for all of the shapes.
Step 5: Place Shapes on the Backing
Spread glue on the third remaining piece of each shape (including the edges like before) and glue them to the page backing. Arrangement is up to you!
Step 6: Glue Your Velcro
Grab your Velcro dots and peel 2 of them off. Stick them together (so that the sticky sides of the Velcro are on the outside and the “hook and loop” are stuck together in the middle).
Place a generous dab of glue from your glue gun in the center of one of your shapes on the page backing. Press the sticky side of the velcro on the glue.
NOTE: I suggest making sure the “prickly” side of the velcro is glued to the shape on the page backing. When you child is playing with the shapes, it’s nicer to have the softer velcro on the pieces that pull off the page.
Then, place a generous dab of glue on the top velcro dot, grab the shapes you glued together (that match the corresponding shape you are working on) and press the shape on the top of the Velcro, lining up the edges of the shapes as best you can with the one glued to the page backing.
Repeat for all shapes.
CONGRATS: YOU’RE DONE!!
Glue from a glue gun (as you may know) does not take long to dry. So, you can test your completed page right away!
When it’s time for play, I take all the shapes off the page, and my son places each shape back in their correct place. He then proceeds to pull them all off and put them all back on. Repeat over and over and over.
I truly believe that even the less crafty of us can make felt quiet pages. Just give one a try, and you’ll see for yourself!
Keep in mind that while gluing items to a felt page works in many cases, there are certain embellishments or slightly more advanced techniques that may require some additional tools or may benefit from a little sewing. When I give instructions on some felt pages, I will note anywhere that could benefit from a stitch (though my focus will be on using the glue gun as the only fastening tool).