Busy Book Supplies

Felt! Great list of busy book supplies.

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).

Felt

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 used pins to hold pieces together while stitching them together with needles and thread.

Yarn

Speaking of thread! I used plain white multipurpose thread and also bought a cheap set of colorful thread to sew shapes onto the felt pages.

Scissors

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.

Sewing Pen

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!

Felt Glue

 

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).

Velcro

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 hereΒ and the metal rings here.

Ribbon

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.

Miscellaneous Components

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! πŸ˜€

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Making a Felt Busy Book / Quiet Book for Our Toddler

Last year I started a fun craft project for Leo’s birthday in July: a home-made busy book (a.k.a. quiet book)! Between life, travel, moming, and work I wound up completing it just in time for Christmas. Actually photo finish. I think I finished binding the busy book on Christmas Eve! I had no idea how to make a busy book (and barely remembered how to sew on a button, let alone any other stitches) but thanks to Pinterest and YouTube it worked out quite well.

We try to avoid screen time and the thought is that we can whip out his busy book when we go to restaurants or appointments and he gets bored. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we’ll crack and let him watch / play with our phones or an iPad but we always prefer to keep him happy without screens. As Leo gets older he can practice skills like opening and closing zippers and buckles. Perfect to satisfy that nagging feeling of having to provide educational activities. πŸ˜‰

So now I have Leo has this hand-made treasure that has a lot of love and sweat from Mom in it. The plan is to make him a new page or two for his birthdays and Christmas. Heck maybe even Easter if I’m feeling crafty. I have so many (in my mind) adorable ideas written down and Pinterest has boatloads of fun designs that are perfect for older toddlers. Here’s to hoping this book is a project that I’ll stick with and that grows with Leo. Honestly, it’s really fun seeing a page come together while the Gilmore Girls are on Netflix. πŸ˜€

Some of the page designs are VERY inspired by some of the creative people on Pinterest and Etsy (for example, there are a million pages with dogs and collars out there – hard to give credit unfortunately) but I couldn’t use their pattern because of the size their pages were. So I drew the page in Illustrator, printed it, traced the shapes on felt and sewed everything together.

Other than the pressure to complete the book by Christmas, I had so much fun making Leo’s busy book. I can’t even tell you what part I enjoyed most. Deciding what kind of page to make, designing the pattern for that busy book page, putting it all together…? Most definitely the moment when I gave the book to Leo.

As always when I put in a ton of work creating something (hello weekly planner) I like to share it with the world. Yeah, of course for that nice pat on the back, but more so because designing and making the busy book pages was work. Enough work to be kind of sad about it only having served myself once. So if you’re trying to figure out how to make a busy book and are looking for free busy book page designs I’ll be all too happy to share what I did with you. Your child/niece/nephew/friend’s kid… is going to love and cherish any hand-made treasure – I know I would have as a child so take the time to craft a busy book for them!

How to make a busy book. Super easy!

How to Sew A Busy Book by Hand

Before digging in, let me share the pages that really helped me remember how to sew. It would have been nice to have a sewing machine but hand-sewing everything wasn’t the end of the world and worked out just fine. So fear not if you haven’t sewn in a while – aside from putting lost buttons back on I also hadn’t picked up a needle in decades (since middle school textile class actually, where I made a crooked pillow case, trapezoid shaped pot holders, and a half finished bag).

Sewing a busy book by hand. Free patterns!

These are the types of stitches I used to create Leo’s quiet book:

Baste Stitch

Blanket Stitch

Back Stitch

Here’s one piece of basic advice for starting with either stitching method: Fold your embroidery floss (yarn) in half and thread it through the needle in a way that the two open strands are near the needle loop. Then, stitch from the back side of the felt to the front but don’t pull the thread all the way through. When the needle is on the back side again, pull it through the remaining loop to secure it without a knot. Then continue with your regular stitches.

YouTube is your friend if you’re still unsure about baste, blanket or back stitches (yep, done that).

How to Easily Bind Busy Book Pages with Grommets / Eyelets (sharing soon, get your pages ready!)

Busy Book Supplies

Shopping for craft projects is almost an entirely separate hobby for me (as my enormous stash of beads and gems will testify – sorry Honey!). I just love walking through craft stores to see what fun things I may discover. Amazon, Michaels, and JoAnn’s were where I got most of my loot for the busy book but I always keep my eyes open for fun items. The Target dollar spot is a marvelous source of reasonably priced trinkets and stationary. Always fun. Anyway, here is more about all the things I have used to make Leo’s busy book.

Busy Book Supplies I Used

Free Busy Book Page Designs

I am currently in the process of writing this series! Please subscribe to receive email notifications when I add a new post! Subscribe on the right on desktop, below on mobile. Seriously, the system only sends out an email then, no spammy crap.

Busy Book Title Page with Taggie Sun and Cloud (sharing soon)

Busy Book Vehicle Puzzle Page (sharing soon)

Busy Book Traffic Light Buttoning Page (sharing soon)

Busy Book Lady Bug and Flower Pages (sharing soon)

Busy Book Dog Page (sharing soon)

Busy Book Teeth Brushing Page (Haven’t sewn that one yet but I have the design. Hoping to have it done for Easter! Yay!)

Keep in mind, these are for PERSONAL USE ONLY. If you’d like to sell your sewn pages using my designs, please leave me a comment for a license. You are welcome to link back to this post but please don’t steal and repost on your own site!

 

Happy crafting y’all!

Sannipanni

 

 

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