I LOVE sewing. My Sister-In-Law had a little boy and I wanted to do something super special for his birthday. So I started browsing the internet. I wanted to make some kind of toy or book or something that he would be interested in and could be personalized to him. Most of all, I wanted it to be interactive. So I went browsing on the internet and came across the subject of Quiet Books. A lot of the books people have made are AMAZING. Just browse “DIY Quiet Books” and you will see what I mean. I finally came across a Beatles themed book on an amazing blog (http://jensennp.blogspot.com/). I used her book as a template for mine, and added some additional pages and personalized touches for my nephew, Thomas!
I apologize for the terrible photography – my camera was new and these were taken after a very long night of my sewing machine not cooperating. I think I broke 4 needles. Shortly after this book, I started researching embroider/sewing machines!
The book was pretty big…..and tall. It certainly did not sit flat. It is completely machine washable, although a couple of items would need to be removed. I downloaded the Beatles font for free somewhere and cut letters out and ironed them onto the felt page using transfer paper. I did the same with the backgrounds, but I also added a decorative stitch there too. After painstakingly cut out all of those letters, which was pretty miserable, I switched over to the fabric markers and puff paint for the rest of the book. You have to be careful ironing on the felt too – the heat could burn the felt if you are not careful.
Octopus’s Garden and the Yellow Submarine
The Octopus’s tentacles are 3D and pop out from the page. The Yellow Submarine can actually be toggled back and forth across the page! This was prior to my embroider machine, so all of the lettering was either fabric markers or puffy paint.
I had a thousand different ideas on how to do this. I tried to find a play phone I could attach or do something with cups on a string. I ended up facing reality and making a rotary phone. So the dial actually spins, not very well, but it does spin. This was probably the hardest of my sensory items to get to actually work. I had to attached the felt to thick plastic and the glue made a mess. It also changed the color of the felt, so I had to marker over it. Cutting out those little wholes was hard. This is before I owned a craft knife. Then getting the brass fastener (brad) to work was a pain. I almost gave up and sewed it down – a beer….or two….might have been had before I finished this. I don’t know how, but in the end it worked.
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
I tried to take the literal interpretations, seeing as it is a child’s book. So lots of shiny gems and a make shift puffy cloud out of silvery material. I was really into using all different kinds of textures – I didn’t only want to use felt.
In my Life
Although not really a first choice of song to use for a kid’s book, this was my husband’s parent’s song. Needless to say, it had to be included. What doesn’t really translate in the photo is that the heart opens up to reveal a mirror (the black looking circle). The mirror can also be removed in case the book needs to be washed.
Oh how I wish I had an embroidery machine – the lettering is so bad. Moving on….these are gloves he can actually use. They are attached with elastic and velcro.
Oh the puffy paint! This heart is also removable and it makes sounds! You know all of those baby toys that have that crinkly sounding stuff inside of them? That is what is inside of the heart. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out what the crinkly stuff actually was, so I used chip bags (cleaned) and sewn inside.
Here Comes the Sun
I may have been starting to loose some steam on this page. I had the idea of making the sun’s rays do something, but alas, they were simply sewn down.
The only song I know of that actually counts from 1 to 10! Again, an embroidery machine would have made this much nicer, but the fabric paint wasn’t that bad.
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
Yes, I do realize this song is about a serial killer, but is is such a happy song about a serial killer. AND Thomas is a boy and boys love hammers and tools. He can actually use the hammer to hit the little circle and it squeaks! Re-purposed dog toy – check!
Drive My Car / Penny Lane / The Long and Winding Road
This is probably one of my favorite pages in the whole book. It just turned out so nice! I changed the lyrics to “Thomas You Can Drive My Car” and used other songs for the names of the roads. Hereford drive is where my husband’s family grew up and where my nephew still resides, so it was only appropriate to add that in too! And of course, what driving page would be complete without a car to drive around! And it is attached via elastic, so he can’t loose it.
Ticket to Ride
Pretty self-explanatory – but still cute. Again, elastic and velcro keeps it all in place.
P.S. I love you
How better to end the book!
The pages are all made out of 9X9 pieces of felt that I stiffened with interfacing. I used pretty stiff interfacing, so the pages are pretty sturdy. They do not flop around at all. After each of the pages was done, I put them together and stitched a border to sew them back to back. While I was creating each page, I did not account for stitching the pages together (mental note created!) so there is a little bit of overlapping.
After that was completed, I used a meat thermometer (I know – but it was what I had) to poke holes in the corners and added grommets. I spent the money on buying the grommet pliers which made the process much easier. If you have never done it, look at a tutorial first. It would have made my life easier.
After all of that I somehow managed, after hours in JoAnn Fabrics, to find a metal ring that I could string the pages on. What I needed was a binder ring, but I was too lazy to go to yet another store, so I found something to make do in JoAnns and the book was completed!