How to glue parts together in quiet books

How To Glue Pieces Together in Quiet Books

For gluing in quiet books, you have three options. You can use a hot glue gun with glue sticks, felt glue, or you can use permanent fabric glue.

Gluing with a hot glue gun

Hot glue gun is great for no-sew method, but be aware of disadvantiges also.

The two biggest pros of using hot glue gun when making quiet books (or activity cards), are:

  1. When everything is dry, the book is hand-washable; you can wash activity pages by hand in warm soapy water.
  2. When you are gluing together 2 felt pieces, glued parts are glued together firmly.

Just Be sure you always squeeze two pieces together hard when using a hot glue gun. In this case, the adhesive will be distributed over the entire surface. Otherwise, the unglued edges can deviate from another felt piece.

It’s wise to use this option when you need to strongly glue the pieces together (all hooks & loops, everything children can pull, quiet book closures, etc.)

For hooks & loops, always use a hot glue gun.
Use a hot glue gun for all the parts children can pull.

Disadvanteges of hot glue gun:

1) Not every hot glue gun (and glue sticks) works well for gluing felt – fabric or fabric-fabric

However, the unfortunate part is, that all hot glue guns are suitable only for gluing together 2 felt pieces, velcro on felt, and polyester strips. Not every hot glue gun works well with “felt – cotton fabric” or “cotton fabric – cotton fabric”. You can tear apart those parts easily with a little force if you don’t use the right glue sticks and the right hot glue gun.

You can read more here:

That means, you have to always check first, if the hot glue gun and glue sticks you have, works fine with the felt and fabric. You are on the safe side with the no-sew (gluing) method, when you are using only felt. Yes, felt for the page base, too. Here is the tutorial.

3)Traces of the glue can be seen

in two cases: when the glue pokes out of the felt when squessing and when gluing together dark and light colored felt.

2) Fast drying

Another thing I would like to tell you is, you need to work quickly with a hot glue gun. You need to glue the pieces when the glue is really hot. When the glue cools it starts to dry. This greatly reduces the property of effective gluing. It may well happen that the glue will not stick on the other piece, as the glue will be too dry.

This can be challenging when gluing big felt pieces together because the glue can be dry before you apply two parts together. I recommend you glue larger pieces in several parts.

3)Unhandy for gluing smal pieces

It’s really hard to glue nicely very small felt pieces. Because of the small surface of the felt pieces, you can quickly burn your fingers. I suggest using tweezers. It’s much easier to apply the glue on the piece and then put the piece in the right position when gluing.

Summing up:
+ great for gluing felt – on felt
+ finished activity page is washable
– not every hot glue gun (and glue sticks) is suitable for fabric
– traces of the glue can be seen sometimes
– drying quickly
– unhandy for gluing small parts

Gluing with a felt glue

The felt glue is very easy to apply, great for small pieces of felt, strong enough for felt or fabric, but it has one big disadvantage: the finished quiet book or activity page is not washable!

The big plus is, felt glue is strong enough for gluing felt on fabric. Even when you glue together fabric with fabric, you need a strong force to put those two pieces apart.

Another plus is, that it’s really easy to work with felt glue. You don’t need to hurry to much, because felt glue needs more time to get dry. Also, it is very easy to spread the glue all over the surface. The glue is not hot and gluing small pieces isn’t a challenge. The glue becomes transparent when it gets dry and it’s almost invisible.

It’s really easy to glue small pieces.
With felt glue you can glue felt on the fabric.

Unfortunately, felt glue is not as strong as the glue from a hot glue gun. That’s why I don’t recommend it on parts for pulling, hooks and loops, attached cords, strings, ribbons, snaps, etc.

The only big disadvantage I see is you can not wash the activity pages. But still, if you are planning to have the activity cards only at home, and you don’t allow kids to play with dirty hands, this option is also acceptable.

Summing up:
+ easy to work with
+ great for working with felt
– finished activity page is not washable

Gluing with a fabric glue

This is great option which combines pros from hot glue gun and felt glue. Make sure to buy permanent fabric glue – that means you can wash it after it’s dry. Also, always check on small pieces of felt and fabric, to make sure it’s working with materials you have. The biggest cons for fabric glue is in some countries it’s hard to get good one and they can be expensive.

Summing up:
+ finished activity page is washable
+ easy to work with
– can be expensive
– not available in every country

Bottom line is:

You should always make tests with the glue before you start gluing felt and fabric. First, check if the glue is strong enough (glue together felt-felt, fabric-fabric, fabric-felt). And second, wash the samples to see if the glue is permanent.

Still and all.

I hope this blog post will encourage you to start making your quiet book or other felt crafts even if you don’t know how to sew! Activity cards and quiet books are such fun and meaningful projects! Feel free to search in my Quiet book patterns library for activities you like.

I wrote more about the general procedure of making a quiet book and how busy books are connected to child development, in my Quiet book guide.

You can also check the most commonly asked questions about quiet books.

If you need help with the materials, read this quiet book material guide.

Happy creating!

Here are my other blog posts you might be interested in.

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