Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas gifts unveiled

I spent many days exploring the Blog word and Pinterest looking for just the right ideas to make 3 quiet books (busy books) for each of my little grandchildren. I cannot possibly give you a tutorial for them. They were definitely trial and error with many mistakes made and corrected.

I learned that quiet books are so much more time consuming than it is possible to even consider. I made 3 books and it took about a month of pretty consistent work. Many days I spent 8-10 hours working on the pages, other days were less. I decided to use this blog's backing... heavy pellon. It worked well until I had to unstitch something. At that point each stitch showed.

Here are the finished products. I had 2 girl books and one boy book.

The following is the only page that was for the boy only. I got the baseball player at a yard sale and made the page to go with it. The ball and bat are buttons and the bases can hold the bat and ball. There is an elastic sewn on to hold the baseball player. The buttons are sewn onto ribbon.

My girl's only page was this one. The doll was a simple form with embroidered eyes, nose, mouth and hair. This doll's eyes looked so bad that I went back and used felt eyes. I'm not really happy with the end product, but it was the last thing I did and at that point, I really was so tired and so close to my deadline, I just accepted it as it was. I used eyelet lace for the dress and sewed it onto the doll. The blanket is held together with 3 small, strong magnets available at Harbor Freight. I made sure that I sewed all the magnets so that they were securely inside the fabric. The bottle is made of felt and sewn to a ribbon.

This page was very difficult. With the other 2 books, I did not have a separate compartment for each fish. With this page, I had to insert plastic (cut from acetate sheets) and hot glue them in so that the fish had any chance of coming out. I used another small strong magnet sewn into the hook and sewed small washers into the fish. The fish can be pulled out of the water with the hook, but they have to be practically out of the water in order to do so.

This was by far my favorite page to make. I could have continued for days making parts for the Mr. Potato Head. I finally had to firmly tell myself that enough was enough.

My next page was fairly easy. I used animal beads that I obtained from JoAnnes.

The next page should have been made with a stretchier fabric than felt and the ball should have been velcroed instead of sewed on.

My ice cream cones were fun to do. The left side was done with magnetic purse snaps and the matching snap was on the ice cream scoop. On the right side the scoops have a small magnet sewn into them. This way the scoop sticks to the snap on the left and to it's matching scoop on the right.

The last page I made was a family tree. I laminated family pictures and then glued Velcro to the back of the pictures and sewed the other part to the tree. There is a basket where the pictures can be placed.

A couple of other hints...

The buttons are purse buttons obtained from JoAnnes. I sewed elastic into the back page of the book to hold the book together.

I also found that no eyelets that I could find worked for the holes to put the loose-leaf rings on. I eventually went to Lowe's and bought grommets and a grommet setter. They are used for such things as tarps. I reinforced the areas of the book covers where the grommets went with interfacing.

I used a heavy outdoor fabric for the book cover, partly for the look but mostly for the hardiness of the fabric.

It was a fun, challenging, time-consuming project, but it was also fun and rewarding.

There were so many more pages that I wanted to do, but I ran out of time and energy. Very few of my pages were copied directly from another blog, but here are a bunch of resources you can use... (more ideas)


  1. The boy book is here, it's truly a marvel. We need it too, we're lucky if that boy sits still for 5 minutes in church...

  2. It's fantastic!! Great job! Glad you could use my quiet book to give you ideas. I love the Mr. Potato head!

  3. Good work - glad my liked my numbers with beads page idea and that it was easy to put together:)

  4. What beautiful quiet books you made! You have lucky grandchildren. I really like the family tree page. What a great idea.

  5. Thank you Alison. That means a lot coming from you.

  6. OK. I am still not blog savvy, so I can't thank each of you personally, but I want to thank you Bryan for your kind words. I hope he loves it!

    Katelyn, Elisa, Cheryl and Amy, the reasons that your links are here is that they each inspired me. I made a Word document that showed the ideas I liked and your blog address so I could get back to it. There was something on each of these blogs that I wanted to do, but in the end, just didn't have the time or the energy to do them.