Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quiet Book {About Ours}

*This post is about my decision to make quiet books... (riveting, I know) and what I want in the books, links to all the quiet books that I'm using as inspiration, etc. If you're just interested in seeing the pages I've made and the how-to, you should skip this. I'll try to post later today about some of the pages I've made so far.*

Last year over Christmas, my sister in law showed me the adorable quiet book that she had made for my nephew, who was then a bit over a year. 
It was very cute, but I couldn't even imagine having free time to make one. Each page looked like it took hours, and I found myself thinking "Can't you just buy something to keep him quiet and entertained?"
In case you don't know what a quiet book is: it's a little cloth book full of tasks to keep a toddler focused and still (like buttoning things, putting things into pockets, using a zipper). Mormons especially love them, since we have a 3 hour church service! After 18 months, your baby can go to nursery for the second half, but that first half, it's still a struggle to contain and shush them, and my boys aren't even 18 months yet.
But anyone could use a quiet book sometimes, Mormon or not. 

A few months ago, we attended church with my in-laws. To my utter amazement, my wiggly, hyper, noisy children were quiet and still through the meeting. They sat velcroing apples on and off of a fabric tree in my mother-in-law's twenty-five year-old quiet book. 
But again, I didn't talk myself into needing one because 1. The pages looked very complicated to make. 2. It was a bit old fashioned. 3. I was in the middle of several other crafts and, 4. I was sure that I could buy a quiet book that was just as good. 

And then, a month ago, I saw this pin on Pinterest:

And I just about died with giddiness. Holy cow, it is so cute! It is so fun! It would keep my children entertained for hours! And it was made of felt! FELT IS MY MEDIUM. If there's one thing I can craft with... it's felt.
And I just so happen to have an absurdly large drawer full of felt scraps and bits so I COULD GET STARTED RIGHT AWAY. 

I started googling quiet books, and searching for ideas on Etsy and Pinterest and there were hundreds of adorable quiet books that Moms had made for their babies. I got out my Crafts and Ideas Journal (stop that judging, right now) and starting sketching out ideas - usually they were stolen from another Mom's blog, but with my own little changes. 
When I excitedly showed my husband, he said, "That's a really good project for you... after we move."
And I was only a few weeks away from Harry Potter's Birthday Party, so every time I wanted to sit down and work on a page, I would tell myself "There are more pressing crafts. You need to give a dozen wands a second coat of paint and finishing cutting out stripes for the house ties."
And so my ideas piled up. I now have enough ideas for two full quiet books, and enough for two full SCRIPTURE-based quiet books, and probably an entire MOSES quiet book (unzip the red sea, so the Israelites can walk through, anyone?) , and an entire HARRY POTTER quiet book. 
So I guess what I mean is: I became carried away. 

A few weeks ago, Grey woke up at 3am and I went to snuggle him. When I came back to bed, I laid awake for two hours. Finally at 5, I got up and had a cup o' tea and read a book for a while. When I didn't feel any sleepier, I decided that maybe I would start on those quiet books. When my boys woke up at 7:30, I had already finished two pages, and was so excited I was FREAKING OUT. They had turned out so well, they were so easy, I hadn't needed to buy any supplies, they were even pretty fast in the making (less than an hour per page)!

I'm trying to make two parallel quiet books. I haven't decided yet if I want to give them to specific boys, or if I just want to have two that we can swap and trade between both boys and all future children, too. 
But if I have two pages with zippers, and a page with colors, and a page with buttons in one book, then I want to have two pages with zippers, and a page with colors, and a page with buttons in the other. 

Here are links to some of the amazing quiet books that I've been admiring (and stealing ideas from), and many of them have patterns, which I'm sure mine won't, since I just kind of wing-it with every single page:

Homemade by Jill: She is probably the start of the interest craze on Quiet books, at least - everyone that I've seen has linked back to her! With good reason. My favorite page by her, which I copied a little: 

Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows: Every page by her is amazing, and I already copied her barn and all her animals (I'll post that next), and plan on copying... maybe all of them... My favorite page is this one, though:

Empty Bobbin Sewing: If you need patterns in order to create things, check this one out! She has links to all her patterns and they're all DARLING. She has a little "paper doll" and a Converse shoe to lace up that I love, but my favorite page of hers is this one, counting carrots!

Imagine our Life: THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING QUIET BOOK OF ALL TIME! (Caps lock, people.) I mean, her robot page used LED thread, so it lights up when you press his buttons. Come on! So I probably won't copy many (if any) of her very elaborate pages, but there are dozens of them, and they all have patterns, so I would check them out, if I were you. If I do copy some of hers though, I think I'll start with the mail box, it's my favorite mail box I've seen, the letters come in tiny felt envelopes!

And maybe the magnetic sock-matching, too - but my socks will be ugly, and there will probably only be like three instead of six:

Anyway, did you make a quiet book? Any advice for me? 
Have you seen an adorable one online? If so, I'd love it if you left a link to pictures in the comments. I'm hoarding ideas. 

What do you guys think? Pretty, awesome, right?

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Unknown said...

Many years ago I made a "touch" quiet book...it had textures throughout. I used things from the yard and home...

Items: Sand paper, rock, bark (covered with craft glue to keep from getting slivers) from a tree, satin, fur etc.

They were incorporated into pages with little poems on each page talking about how it feels and showing it in it's element. Scritchy scratchy sand...on the beach.

It was lots of fun to make and the kids LOVED it.

Unknown said...


alyssa said...

thanks for writing this post, i've been really wanting to make a quiet book so i like how you have all your ideas and inspiration on here

Suki said...

This is the greatest. I didn't even know this existed. Love it and will totally make one for my boy for Christmas. Maybe even a Christmas story book...
Thanks for sharing.

Kristy said...

I LOVE quiet books. Seriously, it's an addiction I have. I think I've made 5(?) in the past 3 years. I actually just finished one for my daughter's 2nd birthday and posted details about it on my blog (this is not me shamelessly plugging my own blog!), along with some links to others I've completed over the years. My next one is a Star Wars themed one for my little guy for Christmas. Good luck--they're so fun to do, and you feel all giddy and proud when you bust them out at church for your kids to play with! :)

Angela said...

I've been pinning LOTS of examples on Pinterest! One was a Harry Potter one. It is FANTASTIC!! I can't wait to see yours! I'm thinking of making one for Max, the little boy I nanny for, for Christmas!


Krystle said...

They look great.
I don't sew.

Honestly, I think my boys would look through these for 5 minutes and chuck them on the ground, opting instead for pencils, paper...other people's hair...

Sarah @OMGTheresThree said...

Love, love, love this idea. Now I need to find time to make 3. Thanks for the post

Sarah @OMGTheresThree said...

Love, love, love this idea. Now I need to find time to make 3. Thanks for the post