Back in high school my child development teacher asked us all to make a quiet book for toddlers that taught them something – my book was all about where animals lived. It taught children to unzip, unbutton, snap, velcro, etc. For example, a bird lives in a nest–to get to the bird, you need to unzip the nest..to get to the camel you have to unbutton the desert..etc. Even though it wasn’t designed as well as I would like it to be, it’s a really cute book that baby G loves. Seeing how much he liked that quiet book (the button page in particular), I decided I to create a new one. One with colors, textures, and shapes all created from buttons!
P.S. we took this to a family gathering and my 6 month old niece (who was very focused on tummy time) LOVED this book. What a great baby shower idea!
This quiet book project is really quite easy…
Cost: about $10
Time Involved: I casually worked on it for an afternoon
Materials: Buttons, fabric, iron on batting, sewing machine + thread of varying colors, grommets + grommet tools, large book rings.
For starters, I cut all of my fabric into 10.5 x 10.5 inch squares, leaving a .25 seam allowance on each side. This made my book perfectly square but if you would like to add a “binding area” for your grommets, I recommend adding an extra inch to the width of your book.
Next, I laid out all of my buttons on their corresponding pages – I chose to use unique buttons (like flowers, stars, and patterns/textures) and made sure to stay away from buttons that were too small for my kiddo. I used purple buttons on the purple page and sewed them all on with purple thread. I continued this pattern for each page color. Once I had the shapes laid out, I worked on hand sewing the buttons on. This part is the most time-consuming but I got most of my sewing done during nap time (and a chick flick, of course!). My biggest pointer is to be sure to sew those buttons on extremely well as your little one will be tugging, poking, spinning, and perhaps biting them. I haven’t had any issues with G pulling them off and I feel totally secure giving him this book without supervision. Just use your best mommy judgement!
After the button sewing was complete, I took the backside of my book page and ironed on the batting. Took no time at all! Just follow the instructions that should come with your iron-on batting.
Once that was done, I placed right sides together and sewed along the 10 inch marks I had made on my fabric. I would recommend leaving a centered 5 inch opening on the grommet side to pull the book right side out once you’re done. My opening wasn’t centered or quite as big and I wish I had taken more time on that. Before pulling it through, however, be sure to trim your batting so the extra bulk is gone. Also note: when you start and stop sewing, even at the pull through opening, be sure to back-stitch so the book doesn’t fall apart!
After pulling each page inside out, I sewed the remaining seams shut and ironed the edges/corners so that they were sharp.
The last step is to add your grommets to the page. The grommet tool package should walk you through this as well but it’s as simple as this: measure where you want your grommets and mark with a pencil (I did two grommets per page – measuring .5 inches in from the binding side and 3 inches in from both the top and bottom), use the punching tool to make a few holes in your fabric, and punch the grommets in with a hammer and hard surface! Clip it all together with your book rings and wah-lah! You have just created the easiest book to occupy any baby or toddler.
Have a suggestion as to how to make this project better? Did you make a pocket-size version or add words to your pages? Leave a comment below and/or include some photos! We love to be inspired!