Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gathering the supplies

*Feel free to pick and choose which supplies you'll need according to which pages you want to do.


Pages: I made my pages out of unbleached muslin. My mom's book was made out of this stuff and it lasts, doesn't stretch, and will wash well. I got mine for a great price at Walmart (I think like 4 bucks a yard). Each page side requires about 10.5" x 12" of fabric (prior to sewing them together). So use that measurement when purchasing the amount of fabric. If you want 24 pages (12 when sewn together) like my book, then you will need fabric large enough to cut out 24 rectangles that are 10.5" x 12". If you get 3 yards of muslin, you should have more than enough.

Cover: I used a red sparkly vinyl. I chose this fancy stuff because it reminded me of my mom's quiet book which was also covered in red vinyl. I found it at Joann's in the back, near the vinyl material in those really tall rolls, where the picnic tablecloth vinyls are. My sister, Sara, also made a quiet book recently and she covered it in some cool blue vinyl. See it here. My cover was double thick (which was actually kind of tough on my sewing machine to sew together) to make it sturdy and cover up the unfinished side most vinyls have on the back. My cover fabric was 26" long and 13" tall (it folded over so this included the front cover and back cover). If you want to double the vinyl, like I did, you will need 2 rectangles with the above dimensions.

Felt: You will need a lot of felt for the book. I got most of mine for free. I got it off of freecycle. I put a "wanted" out for felt. And I heard back from quite a few people older ladies who had hoards of felt they were very willing to give away (I think felt was quiet the crafty thing to have back in the 70's). Also, the felt they sell nowadays isn't as good as the old sturdier stuff, so I totally recommend looking through your mom or grandma's old sewing scraps or asking for some on freecycle so you can get you yourself a good ol' stash. I did buy some felt squares from Joann's, but they seemed to stretch and pull more so then the "real" stuff. Give freecycle a try in your city. You'd be surprised how many people have boxes of felt lying around.

Pellon: I used this white, thin, stiff fabric (non fusible type) for the pages where I wanted to draw faces or write words with colorful permanent markers (see the little word boxes on many of the pages, and the dressing boy, and fisherman). Joann's sells this stuff in rolls. Just make sure you get a thin thickness. You only need about 1/2 yard of this.

Silvery fabric: used for the oven/cupcake pages as the pan and oven window. You really only need a little square of this, so just buy 1/8 of a yard.

Netting: used for the fisherman page as his net. I used a sort of thick netty material but a simple mesh would work too.

Plaid fabric: for the picnic page (like a gingham red). You only need a little bit of fabric for this, so look in the remnants!

Vinyl or corduroy fabric: for shoe page. Just need a bit.


Pinking shears:(fiskars are a great brand) if you want to do the zig zag edge on the cover. I also used the pinking shears on a couple things in the quiet book with material that was more prone to run.

Eyelet plier kit: And be sure to get eyelets (in the same size as the tool). I got my tool at Walmart for about 8 or 9 bucks I believe. And it came with some eyelets and snaps too (and I used the snaps to clasp the vinyl cover shut). I used about 55 eyelets in assorted colors throughout the entire book (see baseball glove page, picnic basket page, shoe page). Including the 3 eyelets on each page for where the binder rings fit through (this will make your book last a long time by using these). 

Binder/book rings: You will need 3 of them. I bought mine at Staples in a pack of 12. Get the 1.5" size.
Sharpie pens: I got a pack of these in an assortment of colors to use for the writing and people faces. Get the fine tip ones as they do bleed a little.

A buckle: get the small kind. I used this on the picnic page.


Buttons: You'll need some big chunky ones (5) for the flower page (I got mine at Joann's), some smaller ones (6) for the fishing page, and some fun decorative ones (I got A, B,C) for the teddy bear page.

Ric-Rac: This is that zig zag stuff that is sold near the binding in fabric stores. Cheapest place to buy is at walmart. Get a couple fun different colors. I used this on the flower page, the car/road page, shapes page, mail page, ark and tent pages, tower weaving page, and fish page.

Thread: get an assortment of colors. Both for your sewing machine and for some hand sewing.

Velcro: Get about a yard of white sew-on Velcro to use throughout the book.

Patches: I used an old fuse-able blue jean patch for the windows on the buildings in the car/road page.

Iron-on letters: I used these for the alphabet page. Get the 1.5" tall size.

Zippers: in my opinion, the old, chunky zippers are the best. I came across some fun, bright, old ones at a thrift store. They usually don't sell the short zippers anymore in fabric stores, so just buy the shortest length ones offered and cut them to size. Then sew a reinforcer stitch so the zipper still stops at the top.
Snaps: I prefer to use the small, sew-on snaps for the pages (used on apple tree page, shapes page, phone page, car/road page). I used both the small and large in my quiet book and the larger snaps that are the ones you hammer into the page/or use the eyelet tool, are too hard to undo (especially for little kid's hands). The small sew-on snaps take a little more time to sew into the pages, but they are much more kid learning friendly. You will need about 14 of these snaps.

Yarn: You just need a little for the hair on the dressing boy page.
Spiral shoelace: These are sold at walmart in the shoe section. They come in all sorts of colors and are advertised as "no-tie" shoelaces. These make a great telephone cord for the telephone page.

Stationary: You will need a small pad of paper, a pencil and some blank envelopes to keep in the pockets on the mail page. I also tuck in some stickers to play with like postage stamps.
Toys for inside Noah's Ark and Teepee: I got a great little plastic Noah and wife figurine at the dollar store. I also sometimes stick the little Ikea animal finger puppets in there. I also cut up pictures of animal pairs from go fish cards (from Joann's dollar section) for a little memory/matching card game that goes inside the ark too to help build some memory skills. I also stuck a compass on the tee pee page which any kid would love to play with. I got it at the dollar store in the key chain section.

Felt shapes: I found mine in the dollar section in Joann's. I got felt flowers and felt cupcakes and felt butterflies. You can cut up the flowers or butterflies into different shapes too like fishes (as seen on the fisherman page), so buy some extra packs of these.

Googly eyes: for the teddy bear

A ribbon: for the teddy bears tie

Shoelace: used for the toe tying page. Get the shortest lace possible. And the round, thin laces (think men's dress shoes) work good.
Money saving tips: use freecycle as mentioned above, find great accessories and ideas at the dollar store (or the dollar section of Joann's), find supplies like zippers and buttons and material at thrift stores, and ask around- your neighbors/friends/family might have some old fabric/felt just lying around waiting to be used. Also, get online and join Joanne's email group so you can get the 40% off coupons. This really paid off as I don't think I ever bought anything from Joanne's at full price other than the little dollar items.


Natalie said...

You are a LIFE SAVER!!! How much work these books are and double that putting it on here. I cannot thank you enough and am SO excited to start gathering my supplies and get to work! Thank you from the bottom of my heart :)

NorcalMommy said...

What a wonderful blog! I'm pulling ideas and supplies together for my son's book and your site has been a tremendous resource for me. Your Quiet Book is amazing! Little did your Mom know how many children's lives she'd be impacting when she created your book all those years ago. Thank you for sharing the ideas and suggestions.

Tracy d said...

This is so fabulous! The story of your mother's quiet book is quite inspiring! I can't wait to get started!

Anonymous said...

this is awesome! thank you so much for this help!

Elizabeth Gwen Originals said...

YAY!! I have been looking at all kinds of patterns to buy to make a quiet book and here is your super lovely tutorial that you lovingly posted for free!! You are awesome! Thank you so much. I am making this for my son :)

Amber said...

This is perfect. I just decided I wanted to make a book for my son, and I'm kind of at a loss of where to start: you've got it all laid out, but I still get to do the work! Thanks so much!

nicki said...

Thank you for such a detailed description of the supplies needed! I'm going to start a box of quiet books supplies to keep them all in one place. I plan to make some for Christmas gifts!

Kristi said...

Does felt seem to hold up well in the wash?

Fowler family said...


I've found that it depends- the old felt yes, the new felt, not so much. The new felt (stuff you buy in just squares at craft stores), is not as sturdy and strong and will become misshapen. It also will bleed it's colors in the wash. If you buy the "old felt" it usually is sold in those big rolls at the fabric store- they are less likely to bleed and warp. Make sure to see what it is made of and if there is wool, you have to wash it on cold. You are going to wash the page on cold anyway as there usually are so many different kinds of fabric on there, you don't want anything to shrink. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions or suggestions!

Cade and Kelsie said...

Thanks for your blog! I am excited to get going on this project and get a quiet book made for my son!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you are so generous with your ideas! The phone reminds me of the real one I got to play with as a child. Can't wait to make my own Quiet Book for my little baby girl.

Mutuelle sante said...

Thank you it was a wonderful support, now to make a quiet book is definitely simple and easy by using your advice. Kudos

Mutuelle sante said...

Thank you for the article, this information was really important for me to understand how to make a quiet book. Appreciate it

Lu Tessera said...

I just cant thank you enough!!!! Lot of kids will have their own books because of your guidance. I always thought it was too much wirk, but loved the idea and with this blog im finalky willing to give it a try. Thank u so much!!!!

Scrapbooking in Dubai said...

hi..Quite book is so beautiful. I liked it very much. its nice that you have shared, keep posting!

Mrs. Prince said...

I'm just starting my own quiet book and I got the Muslin. I feel like it is so thin but will it really be good for the pages? I'm looking for a page that is thin but sturdy. Thanks!