The most expensive children’s book ever
My husband started calling it the $1000 book. This is not because of material costs. I barely purchased anything new to make the quiet book.
If I sold these similar quiet books, I would have to charge that much because of how long it took to design and construct it! It took 3 months of sewing for many hours every week. But it was worth it when I saw my 2 year old grandson be engrossed in the activities.
The quarantine hadn’t started when I began this project, but I think making a quiet book might be a good quarantine activity for some people.
- It can be made out of scraps of fabric
- It is a way to learn or practice a lot of sewing skills
- It would make someone a wonderful gift for Christmas
- There is room for a lot of creativity
In many ways it, making it was like quilting, only instead of connecting the squares, you turn them into pages. After my sign up form, I will give you a glimpse of the design process, but I plan to write a detailed book about it. The book will include the templates that I created and specific sewing techniques.
Since there are limits to how many photos can be put in a book (referring to a typical paper book now), I will also plan on creating a mini-course to help people with the construction. This will be priced affordably.
(If you want to be informed about when the book and course are available, sign up for my newsletter in the form below)
How to design a quiet book
Here are things you will find it helpful to decide before you begin working out the specific details of pages for a quiet book:
What will it’s dimensions be? This is fairly easy to figure out for the dimensions we normally think of for a book, which are thought of in terms of height and width. Like a piece of paper, because most children’s books are not deep (or thick) enough to worry about anything else.
However, fabric pages usually need to be filled with something and that something will likely add some thickness.
How many pages will it be? Mine had 12 pages (not counting the cover), but not in how paper pages are counted. What you really need to know is how many page sheets or flaps there will be, as in one sheet of paper is like counted as two pages in numbering.
Again, it might help to think of it in terms of quilt squares. Each flap or sheet is one quilt square, with artwork on each side of it.
With just 12 flaps, my quiet book was about 4.5 inches thick. My page filling may have been a bit thicker than some other options, but any filling options are going to make the quiet book pretty thick.
Choose an overall activity theme. I choose counting for this quiet book. A simple progression from 1 to 10 was built upon by thinking about hands on activities for counting. But this wasn’t quite enough to make the book design come together.
It helps to also have a story or art theme. This doesn’t need to be complicated. For instance, I chose a day camping. Once I had this decided, it was much easier to come up with ideas for counting.
A sneak-peak of one page
I used a variety of felt and fabric for my quiet book. Many of the quiet books I perused in my research claimed to be no-sew books. While it would be possible to do that for the detail work if you used all felt, you would have to sew fabric pages.
I don’t think felt would hold up for pages. And I don’t think gluing on the art details would hold up well. I have done glued felt projects and they tend to come apart with handling and this book is going to be handled!
Also, I think the fabric has three important qualities
- Fabric is softer and more pliable than felt, so I think it is more pleasant to touch
- Overall, fabric is thinner than felt
- There are more options for creativity with fabric colors and types
The felt was preferable in some places because is a bit stiffer. Also, the edges don’t have to be finished the same way as most fabric. But most of the appliques I did could be done with either felt or fabric. Sometimes I made my choices based on how I felt at the moment.
Here is the “1” page of the quiet book, with one sun peeking over the mountains, one tree, and one tent to be zipped. I don’t say “page one” because there is something before this to begin the experience.
My grandson’s reaction
Two year olds don’t fake it when they get a gift, so it was very rewarding to see my food-loving grandson readily abandon his dinner to look through the book. He made noises of enjoyment and wanted to do all the activities!
He did finally get hungry enough to ask for his dinner again, but after dinner was gone, he pushed his bowl away and emphatically requested “book!” and got back to it. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Well, except maybe for $1000….