Here are all the basics for sewing a busy book by hand. You’ll be able to find most of the supplies that you’ll need to make a busy book / quiet book at your local craft store. Here in Charlotte I found some things at JoAnn’s and some at Michael’s. Or you could just buy all that you need online and have it shipped to you. Just follow the links in this post and add everything to your virtual shopping cart! No need to risk getting germs, having things out of stock in store or standing in line. I wish I had known what exactly I needed for Leo’s busy book as I spent a ton of time at those stores looking at everything. Not that much fun with a toddler in the cart lemme tell ya! But if you have a few hours to yourself, have some fun browsing around your local store for fun add-ons and details!
The links all lead to Amazon product pages and are referral links (meaning I’d get a few cents to help with hosting costs of this website if you purchased through any of the links – the cost is the same to you).
I wanted an 8x8in (20x20cm) square busy book and didn’t feel like cutting every page. Having felt squares pre-cut makes them nice and uniform and obviously saves me time (love that!). I really really really like this felt by Flic-Flac.
The colors and quality are lovely! It’s a little thicker than your standard felt, which is great to withstand getting touched by toddler hands over and over and over. I used one square as a backdrop per page and then used others to cut into shapes. Buy two sets so you have two sheets of each color!
Needles & Pins
I bought two pairs of fresh scissors to use for my busy book project. a) Because my husband likes to take and displace scissors. b) Because I wanted to have really sharp, new scissors so the cuts were precise. I got a set that has two different sizes to help with more intricate shapes.
I had no idea these magical pens existed! Guys, this thing is incredible! You use this sewing pen to draw on your felt and it magically disappears within hours. I’ve used this puppy all throughout the crafting process for tracing shapes onto the felt and drawing faces on before embroidering them. Get one if you’re making a busy book!
I wanted the busy book’s pieces to be as sturdy as possible because let’s be honest, toddlers don’t know their strength sometimes… So most shapes I first glued together or in place by placing some felt glue on the shape where I wouldn’t later stitch (it’s hard to stitch through the dried glue).
For the puzzle busy book page I used these velcro disks so that felt pieces can be taken off and reattached.
I also used velcro tape to “bind” the book pages together.
Eyelets / Grommets and Rings
I bound all those individual busy book pages into an actual book with eyelets and metal rings. I love that we can easily switch pages out later-on unlike sewn together pages. You can buy the eyelets here and the metal rings here.
I bought most of my ribbon at brick and mortar craft stores and just picked up a spool of whatever color and pattern I wanted. But this pack on Amazon looks super versatile if you are looking to buy everything online.
You probably have all sorts of stuff at home already. For example, I used two random buttons as puppy eyes on one busy book page. Looking at every day items as busy book supplies is kind of fun so check out what you’ve got laying around at home!
For the front page, I used felt letter stickers – because I figured they’d be much more uniform than if I cut them! 😀