While Sunshine and Lily were working on their felt sewing projects in October, I wondered what to make for Jade with her felt. Because of course, when we were buying pieces of felt, each girl—even Jade—had to pick several colours. Then I saw an idea for a no-sew felt quiet book. It looked adorable and seemed like a great way to keep Jade busy at Mass or in the coming days with new baby.
I had a lot of fun putting together the quiet book. The girls were all quite interested in it as well, contributing ideas and asking questions. (Sunshine and Lily each want me to make them a book now!) It took me several afternoons to get it all done—cutting and gluing felt took longer than I expected. I also spent a bunch of time browsing for ideas or working on my own, based on the colour of felt we had and what Jade is interested in.
Here’s what Jade’s quiet book looks like:
I traced Jade’s hands on white felt and cut it out. She picked the sequins to decorate the wrists. I used fabric markers to number the right hand and permanent markers to number the left hand; felt is a bit hard to write on so both numbers turned out a bit blurry.
I cut out a variety of felt shapes, glued Velcro tabs to each of them, and then traced around them (with permanent marker) in the book pages. Jade can take the shapes out and then match them to the right place in the book again. I’d suggest using slightly smaller Velcro tabs; these are quite “sticky” and so I’m worried they’ll eventually wreck the felt. (Hop over to Powerful Mothering for a template for this page.)
I made this page when I had just a few colours of felt, so the girl looks a bit Egyptian to me. The nose, mouth and hair can be changed to make either a boy or a girl. We have lots of googly eyes and they’re cute, so I used them instead of making felt eyes. Again, all pieces attach with Velcro tabs.
This page was my idea, though it was a bit harder to create than I expected. I used small beads (instead of pony beads) because the book was getting quite thick with all the things in it. I also used a strong string that wouldn’t break, but that made it hard to thread the beads onto the string. I cut the cross and the Our Father beads out of felt and used those to glue the string into the book. Then I wondered what to do with the facing page, until I thought about using some of our foam letters to create the prayer.
Halfway through threading beads, I had the thought that I could just glue one of our small plastic rosaries into the quiet book. If I did another one, I might do that, but this way, Jade can slide the beads up and down the rosary.
Way back when we were expecting Sunshine, my husband and I bought some flannel with a Sesame Street design on it. It’s sat in my sewing box ever since, as I’ve been too busy to sew. I thought it would be fun to use the faces from that flannel to create a peek-a-boo page in Sunshine’s book. The teddy bear figures are from a similar piece of flannel. (Both those pieces of flannel are now sewn into receiving blankets for the new baby.)
There are four Sesame Street faces and two teddy bear figures. Half the figures went on the book and the other half on the flaps, so Jade can lift the flaps and peek at who is hiding underneath.
The four coloured circles tuck inside the leaf (which is only glued along the left side) so that Jade can arrange her caterpillar any way she wants. Again, I used googly eyes because they were fun and easy, and added little pipe cleaner antennae. (She saw the picture I was using for inspiration for this page and insisted the caterpillar have “ears” so I had to come up with something. Unfortunately, I can’t find that website now to give credit to its creator!) I didn’t put Velcro tabs on these shapes and so far it seems to be working fine; in fact, it’s almost easier for Jade to rearrange them (but I’m waiting to see if the shapes get lost).
This idea came to me while I was working on the faces page, because Jade is a huge fan of all things Frozen, especially Olaf. Drawing Olaf was a bit tricky; I had the girls get out their Frozen books so I could sort of trace one. Then I added the tree to hide the pieces in (it’s glued on the left and bottom sides), the buttons, hat, and bucket. It was too hard to make felt arms that skinny, so I drew them on. The snowflakes are foam; I glued the big one in and left the little one loose. Like the caterpillar, these pieces don’t have Velcro, so we’ll see how long they last.
I’m not super happy with this page. I thought pipe cleaners would add some fun texture and let Jade slide the beads up and down, without the beads sliding as much as they would on string. I used flat beads here because I thought they’d be less bulky than pony beads. But the beads have small holes and don’t slide very well on the pipe cleaner, so I think if I did it again, I’d just use a good sturdy string or ribbon.
Page 9—Button Flowers
While Sunshine and Lily were sewing and I was starting on Jade’s quiet book, she found a button in my sewing kit that she really liked. So I wanted to make a page with a button for her and came up with this flower idea. This is the only page that involved a bit of sewing, as I sewed the buttons to one flower which I then glued into the book (instead of sewing the button to the page and having to cover up my stitching on the other side of the page).
However, gluing the flowers in made them stiff so it’s hard for Jade to get the flowers onto the button, and as you can see, the buttonhole in the top felt buttons is stretching a bit (so I’ll have to make her new flowers sometime).
And that’s the end of the book! The cover has Jade’s name on it with a little red heart. I also added a handle (I doubled the felt over and glued it together so it wouldn’t stretch)to the binding so she can carry it, and a tab with a piece of Velcro on it to keep the book closed. As you can see from the pictures, Jade likes playing with the book—she barely let me have it long enough to photograph it!
This quiet book has been great for Mass (except for the fact that Sunshine and Lily want to play with it too). It keeps Jade busy and quiet while we’re in church, and if she drops it or any of the pieces, it’s still quiet! I think it would also be great for road trips, as it’s small enough that she can hold it in her lap and the pieces should all stay within the book.
Ironically, I remember having a book like this as a kid… except that it was much bigger. My mom sewed it for us from denim and other scraps of fabric. I don’t know where it is now, but I wish we’d kept it!
Do your kids play with quiet books?