It's happened! After almost 9 years of wanting to make a quiet book for my children, I have finally done it! And it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and it wasn't as time consuming as I thought it would be! It could be because I've had layouts in my mind that I wanted to make for years, so it was just sitting down and putting them together.
A lady at church invited some of us young mothers to her house to browse through a couple of quiet books that she had when her children were young. It was a lot of fun and gave me some ideas the motivation that I needed to get started. I went home and didn't do much for a couple of days, then I decided to put a page together. It didn't take long at all and I was hooked. I set a goal to do one page every day until General Conference. It seemed like a realistic goal, but I had days that I couldn't work on it. In the 14 days before conference, I was still able to finish 12 pages. Usually doubling up and doing 2 on the days that I could work on it. Here is what I finished in that amount of time.
Some things that I would recommend for making a quiet book: Minimal Velcro! Velcro is loud. It's perfect for a busy book, but if this is going to church with you, I'd limit how much you use. I think I used it on one page.
Minimal Felt as well. Felt doesn't wash well and wears out quickly. I used it in a few places, but for the most part I used cotton. Since cotton frays, I used a zig zag stitch to sew the fabric on without having to hem it. I used sturdy cotton for all of the pages. A large rectangle of it that I folded in half and made 2 pages on. Then I flipped it in-side-out, sewed up 3 sides, slid a thin layer of batting inside, and then sewed up the top and top stitched the entire thing (on my machine, no hand-sewing here....I'm horrible at it) and that created 2 pages. They are a bit bulky, but I was able to fit more pages into my book that way.
Puffy Paint/Fabric paint works well for adding details. Easier than hand stitching (although hand stitching would probably look better), and it dries within a couple of hours.
Eyelets are inexpensive and work great to bind the book with rings. This also allows you to take the book apart and add more pages or split it up among a few kids at a time if they all want to use it.
Here are the pages that I created. I don't have patterns to share, but thought that this give you an idea if you are looking for some fun layouts. Just simple shapes. As you can see, I used a lot of scrap fabrics to create mine. It really helped me go through my stash and organize it. It also helped me create some schemes. I'd find a print I liked and I'd create a page to go around it.
Barnyard: I bought the wooden farm animals. 4 in a pack at Michael's for $1. They are glued onto popsicle sticks.
Does it Fit?: My kids love all of the fun erasers that have come out. I used a ring one for this page.
Woodland Campout: This page is definitely one-of-a-kind. I asked the kids what they thought should be under the tent and they decided that a penguin in underwear would be funny. So I cut one out of a scrap piece of fabric. Definitely original. It says "Keep Out!" I made little fabric pockets and put woodland finger puppets inside. I'm not sure where I got them from. We've had them for years.
Train Tracks: Not my favorite, but it works. I used puffy paint and created a pocket with Velcro for the little train to be stored in.
Treasure Chest: My friend gave me a little lock and key for this one. She also had a cut out of a treasure box to use as a pattern. I put some fun things inside. It was a lot of fun to make this page!
Button Fish: The fish button onto the matching color and are stored in the fish bowl which is a pocket.
Jungle: I made a pocket out of some scrap flannel and added a zipper and felt leaves. Finger puppets (purchased at IKEA a few years ago) fit perfectly inside.
Insect Jar: Scrap vinyl worked perfectly for the "glass" on the jar. Wooden bugs (4/$1 at Michael's) and a $1 magnifying glass.
Clothes Line: Mini clothespins and fleece cutouts. Store in fabric laundry basket.
Numbers/Shapes Flower: Each petal folds over. Numbers and shapes are revealed.
Mittens: Fleece mittens, left open on the bottom, for little hands to slide inside.
My Purse: The little fabric purse holds Kaylee's felt make up perfectly.
Put together with rings and stored in a little tote bag, all ready to go. It isn't perfect, by a long-shot, but it works for us!