Hello! Hope you're having a lovely week and enjoying the warm weather that keeps surprising me. Clara has just started enjoying the swings in the park, so that's what kept us busy this morning. It's lovely watching her start to get real enjoyment out of activities like that - although her favourite thing to do at the moment is feed other people. She thinks it's hilarious (she's developing a sense of humour!).
If you've been following my series of posts on making your own baby quiet book, you know this week we are going to start looking at making the individual activity pages. These will be split into two posts, one this week and one next, and then the final part to the Make Your Own Quiet Book Tutorial series will be how to nicely bind and finish your quiet book.
So this week, we're making the quiet book cover page and the photo pages (which are all pretty much the same).
The Quiet Book Cover Page is a lovely collage of different activities, including:
1. A flap to lift, revealing a mirror. This is a play on the photo pages, as when she turns the flap it says "Me" inside, with the mirror showing her reflection instead of a photo like the other pages.
2. Buttons spelling her name (you can see these in the photo above), to help with spelling later and for sensory fun now while she's little.
3. More sensory fun with a strip of fluffy faux fur in hot pink (I have to keep this page hidden from my cat.......)
4. A bird that is popped onto the house on the page with a snap, attached to a ribbon that pulls through two eyelets with a button securing it on the other side. The bird is also made for sensory fun, with ribbon wings and a surprise squeak inside (stolen from another toy). Pulling the bird and the button back and forth is one of Clara's favourite activities at the moment.
Most of the elements on this page are simply sewn on, whether by hand (for the buttons - make sure these are very firmly sewn on!) or by machine.
Here I will show you how to cut the felt letters for the title of your quiet book. It's pretty easy once you know how - I spent ages looking for felt letters to buy, but then just had a go cutting them and they came out quite nicely (I think!).
1. Cut a long rectangle of felt, long enough to cut all our letters from. This will ensure that your letters all have the same height.
2. Now start cutting your letters, using a small pair of sharp scissors. You can cut blocks for each letter first and then trim it down to the shape of the letter if you find it easier.
3. And here are all your felt letters! I use Anita's Tacky Glue to then glue these letters onto the page (if you want to sew them on, I would still recommend tacking them down with some glue first).
Making the flap (for both the photo pages and the front cover) is also quiet easy:
1. Cut a rectangle of your chosen fabric twice the width of the flap you want (so you can fold it in half to sew to the final size). Iron on fusible interfacing to stiffen the rectangle (see this post for how to use iron-on fusible interfacing). Sew along three sides as shown below, leaving a 2/2.5 inch gap to turn it right side out.
3. Turn the flap right side out and top stitch where you left the gap. To add some sensory fun, you can add a piece from a clean crisp packet, just a little smaller than your rectangle, after turning it right side out but before sewing up the hole.
I made the bird by just sketching out the outline, cutting two pieces from a piece of fabric and sewing them together right sides together (leaving a gap to turn), then stuffing with some wadding from an ikea cushion and hand sewing the gap shut. The shape could be anything - a simple circle would be easy and just as nice! Or you don't have to make your own at all - you could use a small finger puppet or small toy - so long as you can hand sew the ribbon onto it.
Follow the instructions on your Prym's Eyelets package for adding the eyelets, then just thread the ribbon through and hand sew (very firmly!) the button onto the other end. You could also use stretchy elastic here which would also be fun (and would probably slide through the eyelets better than my ribbon does).
Add any other detail you'd like onto your cover page - remember, the more layers and different things to touch and explore, the more successful your quiet book will be (and the quieter your baby will be :)
Pre-cut felt shapes from eBay are great to add visual interest and sensory fun for baby.
The Quiet Book Photo Pages are all pretty similar, primarily composed of three elements:
1. Hand cut felt letters showing who the photo is of
2. A PVC pocket to insert the photo into
3. A fabric flap to lift up to reveal the photo.
We have covered the felt letters and the fabric flap, so I will just show how to sew the PVC pocket. It is pretty straightforward as far as instructions go (pin and sew!), however PVC is tricky to work with - it cuts very easily, and obviously does not need hemming. However it is also very difficult to sew on straight!
So the trick is to pin very careful (making sure both the fabric and the PVC are nice and flat) and sew slowly, checking the alignment frequently. I had to redo quite a few of these, so expect this!
On the photo pages it's also fun to add felt shapes and other sensory activities like buttons, ribbons etc. Use your imagination and have fun!
by Vicky Mallison from The Nursery Project