A few years ago a neighbor friend asked if I wanted to participate in a quiet book page exchange. I had never heard of anyone doing this and I instantly loved the idea.
I love to create. I love to collaborate. I love to teach. I love kids.
It was the perfect project for me.
I liked to sew, but I wasn't crazy about sewing elaborate details over and over again since we were each making several duplicates. I also didn't want to glue my page pieces together because I was confident in my kids destructive abilities 😆 and knew if I invested the time and money into making it I wanted the pages to last.
I also didn't want to add extra cost purchasing several sheets of several different colors of felt for each page (in hindsight at about $0.50 a sheet this seems like a small expense, but at the time I guess I was feeling frugal 😄).
I had lots of spray paint on hand already from several various projects so I decided I was going to try spray-painting felt. I had never seen it done before and honestly, wasn't sure how it would turn out, but in the end, was really happy with the unique results!
Solar System PageSpace has always been one of my favorite subjects to teach. There's something really mysterious and exciting and intriguing about this vast, expansive world beyond ours that we know so much and still so little about. When I taught preschool and elementary I had a set of glow-in-the-dark planets that hung from the ceiling, and I always found a way to squeeze space into our curriculum, so when I contemplated what pages I wanted to make and exchange with our group it was easy to settle on a Solar System page.
How I made it:First I collected circular objects of various sizes from around the house - a water bottle lid, a milk lid, a mason jar lid, a plate for the sun, etc. Then I laid out all my circles on my white felt page where I wanted them. With my circles in place I sprayed the page with black spray paint followed by a few mists of white and glitter spray paint for star galaxies.
Next, using my collection of circular items I traced a bunch of circles on my extra white felt and cut them all out by hand. I sprayed all my duplicates, 6 Earths, 6 Jupiters, 6 Mars, etc. at the same time. I added velcro to the page and each piece, hand-wrote the name of each planet for emerging readers, and viola! Easy-peasy.
Shape Matching Page
The concept behind this page was similar to the solar system planet matching page, except instead of simply matching to the correct size circle I wanted to add in colors, shapes and shape names. I noticed it was easy to practice common shapes like circles, squares, and triangles with my kids because they are easy to spot in our environment, but less popular shapes are trickier, so I was excited to incorporate a page with other shapes too - kind of like those wooden-shape-sorting block-boxes.
How I Made it:
First I cut all of my shapes out of cardstock then I laid them out on my white felt pages similar to how I did the solar system page. Then I simply sprayed the page gray with spray paint.
Botta bing, botta boom!
Next I cut my shapes out of felt, using my same cardstock pieces as my template for each shape. I double layered each one, stitched them together and added a smile and two buttons for a face. How fun would it be to make all different expressions on each shape?! Then I used whatever craft or kids paint I had on hand and a set of stamps I had for my preschoolers to stamp the name of each shape in a corresponding paint color. I messed up on the spelling on trapezoid and had to fix it by sewing a white trapezoid over the top of the mishap. But that was only 1/7, not too bad.
Camping Pretend Play Page
Back in my sewing days (I sold my sewing machine, custom-made sewing cabinet that Colby made, and serger before our world travels) 😓I used to always shop the remnant fabrics. They're like 50% off and an additional 50% off that. They're small pieces of fabric, usually less than a yard, but since I usually didn't have projects in mind, I would just go browse and see what I fancied. It was like a treasure hunt for hidden gems! I think that's actually how I came up with this page design - I found the fabric and it made me think 'tent material' and it all exploded from there.
How I Made it:
I used my same cardstock overlay technique for spray-painting this page. I cut a page in half using an uneven zigzag and then laid it over the bottom half of my page, spraying the sunset sky first. With my "mountains" in place I placed my mini start stickers and then sprayed away with orange, pink, purple, whatever colors I had on hand that fit a sunset. It was fun!
Then when that was dry I removed the star stickers and covered up the top half with the opposite zig-zag jigsaw piece and sprayed the bottom. From there it was just a matter of sewing my detail pieces - the tent, rocks, campfire, etc. There was a little person with a roasting stick and sleeping bag at one point that they kids loved to put in and out of the tent, but those have long since gotten lost.
Buckle the Dog's Collar Page
Are all little kids obsessed with doing buckles, or is that just mine? As I thought through various skills I wanted to incorporate in my quiet book I settled easily on a buckle page. The dog was just a fitting afterthought. Feeling thrifty again I hunted through my house for a buckle I could use and found one on an old, dilapidated backpack I was ready to donate and repurpose anyway.
How I Made it:
I sprayed my page green first, using a letter D cutout to leave a silhouette of the letter behind. Then it was just a matter of cutting out all my dog pieces and sewing them together. I intentionally left my pup's tongue and ears flappy so he could give some slobbery kisses or bashfully hide his eyes and play peek a boo.
Truthfully I wish I had thought of more skills or activities to incorporate with this page, but my kids definitely didn't care. They love to do the buckle time and time again and as my older two have gotten older I've celebrated that they're able to undo it themselves and don't beg for me to undo it every 2.5 seconds.
Feed the Monkey Page
When Crew was a baby he had a little sock-monkey carseat toy that stretched and vibrated and I thought the thing was adorable. Maybe it inspired this feed-the-monkey-page, I don't remember? But I also loved the idea of feeding the monkey fruits and it brought back reminiscent memories of wild monkeys jumping on my kayak to steal our fruit as we rafted through mangrove forests in the ocean in Thailand so many years ago.
How I Made it:
Making this page was much like the making of the dog buckle page - I sprayed painted the page blue but instead of adhering a D to it I painted over a stencil of the letter M in pink to coordinate with the monkey's polka-dot shirt. I was sure to include a few more skills on this page than I had with the dog buckle page too. I cut out all my monkey pieces, sewed my zipper, pocket, and button holes for her shirt, then layered everything and sewed it in place. The fruits I included - an apple, an orange, and a banana, I made out of scrap pieces I had laying around. I put some velcro on her hand so she could hold them or they could be stored inside her mouth. All three gives her a nice big mouthful.
Piggy Bank Page
This page is one of my favorites because it's so interactive, educational and you can shake up your change and hear it rattle inside just like a real piggy bank!
How I Made it:
This was one of the few pages I left white. Making the pig was fairly simple, just a matter of cutting and stitching, with a button-hole for the coins and velcro on his underside to remove them. I added some of my trademark spray paint for a finishing touch and left his curly piggy tail loose for little fingers to twirl.
I didn't make this apple-picking page with snaps on the back, but it's also one of our favorites. I had wanted to incorporate a page with snaps, but silly enough, was too intimidated by them to do it! I'm amazed we still have all five apples almost five years later. A neighbor friend made it and I had to include it in our roundup because it's SO dang cute.
To see more of the pages my neighbor friends made (minus the ones we lost in our latest move), plus a demo of my pages and tutorial for how I made them check out the YouTube video below:
If this post inspires you to make your own quiet book pages I would LOVE to see yours!!!
Please leave me a comment, send me a message with pictures or tag me if you post about it. It makes my heart happy to share with others.
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