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Baby Quiet Book Tutorial - Part I

By Vicky Mallinson

Hello! I’m Vicky from The Nursery Project where I blog about all sorts of crafty projects for baby and the nursery, including homemade toys, nursery decor, baby clothes and lots of other fun stuff. All of my projects are pretty easy, some require a sewing machine (a great investment anyway!) but many don’t.

In this series I’ll be showing you how to make a “quiet book.” These brilliant books are designed to keep babies and children quiet when you need them to be: in the car, at church, on an airplane or even if you just need 10 minutes for a cup of tea at home!

There are lots of different ways to make them, and I have even seen a no-sew version that uses just felt and glue. You can see lots of inspiration for quiet book pages on my Quiet Book Pinterest board here.

However I wanted ours to be a bit longer-lasting, so in this series I’m going to show you how to make a machine-sewn quiet book that may even become a family heirloom!

I was inspired to make this quiet book by a remnant of fabric that I bought from John Lewis’s home decor fabric remnants bin (always worth checking!) - it was originally made up as a curtain for a little girl’s room and had lots of very sweet birds, houses etc embroidered onto it. It was the perfect size to cut into 8 squares, which is where I started.

I tried to design this Quiet Book so that it would be interesting to my little girl both now at 8 months old but also as she gets a little older. With this in mind, the pages all have both sensory activities (crinkles, squeaks, lots of colour) as well as learning activities.

For example, there is a page with a ribbon wrapped present. My little girl now LOVES to pull bows apart, and on this page she can pull the bow to reveal crinkly wrapping paper and behind this a beautiful, colourful scene of butterflies and flowers. However in a few years, she’ll be able to use this page to learn to tie a bow herself.

Starting next week I’ll be showing you how to create each page one week at a time.

For this week, start gathering your materials:

  • Choose a template to use to create each page - I used a book that was about the right size for what I wanted (around 10” square) and traced this onto card so I could cut each page to the same size.
  • Fabric for the photo pages - a simple solid colour or linen is great for this
  • Interfacing to stiffen the pages
  • Cotton or polyester batting/wadding (used to line quilts) to add weight to the pages
  • 5-6 different printed cottons for the activity pages.
  • Felt in various shades (you can get packs of felt on eBay - it’s worth buying wool felt as it will last longer)
  • Bias trim in a fun shade (I have used two different shades of polka-dot as you can see in the photos)
  • Clear PVC table cloth - you only need about 1/4 meter of this
  • Various trims for the activity pages: buttons, ricrac, ribbon, elastic, beads
  • Any squeakers, mirrors, crinkly paper etc. you can steal from old baby toys (or charity shop finds)
  • Press studs like these from Prym
  • Eyelets like these from Prym
  • Fabric glue

Next week I’ll show you how to start your Baby Quiet Book by cutting the cover, spine and pages as well as putting together the activity cover.

I’d love to hear if you have made a quiet book or if you’re inspired by this to get your craft on and make one for your little ones?

Quiet Book Part 2

Quiet Book Part 3

Quiet Book Part 4

Quiet Book Part 5

by Vicky Mallison from The Nursery Project

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