To create a quiet book, you will need different quiet book materials. such as cotton fabric for pages, and stiff felt for activities. I recommend using fusible interfacing, fusible fleece, and fusible web to strengthen the book. You’ll also need other craft materials such as buttons, ribbons, beads, Thule, hooks & loops (velcro), cord, shoelaces, elastics, etc.
I’ll provide you with more detailed information about each material, and where to get it later in the article. Go straight to the detailed version.
Getting all the quiet book materials can be exhausting and annoying.
I found a few material lists for quiet books that just didn’t look like something I wanted my quiet book to look.
So I started my own research trying to get the right materials.
I was also picky…
I wanted my quiet book materials to have a safety certification. I was creating a toy for my 3-year-old nephew, and I didn’t want him to play with a toy made out of questionable materials.
I spent hours on my computer and also went to physical stores and wasted a lot of time.
I still didn’t have everything I needed.
It can be really exhausting and can make you quit in the middle of the process or put the project aside for a while.
Now I finally know, and I want to share it with you.
If you like how my quiet books look, I’ll tell you exactly what you need, so you will never have to search through the web about what kind of materials to use to create a beautiful, soft, and durable quiet book.
First, the basics…
Usually, quiet books are made from cotton fabric and some kind of felt. I prefer using stiffened felt for the activities.
I also use woven fusible interfacing, fusible web, and fusible fleece to make the pages thicker and softer, and the activities more firm and durable. To create the activity pages, you also need different craft materials – depends on what you want to do.
There are many options for creating quiet books. I’ve seen some with felt as a base for the activity page. This is probably the easiest (and fastest) because you don’t need to use interfacings. Some people even use soft instead of stiff felt for pages.
You can also make a quiet book combining cloth fabric and felt without using interfacings. It all depends on how much time and energy you’re willing to invest in creating a quiet book.
In my personal opinion, the best, most durable, and the most appealing quiet books are the ones made of cotton fabric and felt, using fusible interfacing and fusible fleece.
Quiet book materials – Short version
For the base, you’ll need 100% cotton poplin fabric. I recommend using about 110 grams per square meter (approx 3 – 3.5 oz per yard) density and no elastane.
I use this for page backgrounds, cover pages, binding, and decorating edges.
Next, you’ll need 80-100 grams of 100% cotton light woven fusible interfacing per meter (2.3 – 3 oz per yard) to harden the poplin cotton fabric. And for activities, I use stiffened felt.
If you want to stiffen felt yourself, here’s a helpful video on how to do it.
As said, you can also create pages from felt, which will save you a lot of time. But a quiet book like this looks a bit different from those made from fabric pages.
Here’s a checklist for what tools you need to create a quiet book:
- fabric scissors,
- erasable fabric marker,
- persistent black fabric pen,
- sewing clips,
- Stanley knife,
- compass drawing tool,
- a lighter.
If you would like to make a busy book without sewing, you will also need:
- a hot glue gun,
- glue sticks
- felt glue.
To a quiet book with a sewing method, you will require
- universal sewing needles for a sewing machine,
- threads of different colors (or at least beige and black),
- and a sewing machine.
Then you will need a wide variety of different craft materials depending on your chosen activities, which is why it’s essential to plan what activities you will create in advance.
For example, you will need laces and felt for the shoelace tying activity. For teeth brushing activity, you’ll only require felt of several different colors. And you’ll need felt, small carabiner, plastic clip, and ribbons for the dog activity.
Finding the right quiet book materials was the most difficult and most frustrating for me. I had to test many things first, and it took lots of trial and error to get the result I wanted.
I hope I can save you all that trouble. I wrote all the materials you need to create the page for every pattern in our quiet book patterns library. You will find the same quiet book materials I use, and I recommend it in my craft material shop.
That way, you can skip the research phase and get to the fun part – creating – faster.
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Quiet Book Materials – Detailed Version
I will describe here more in detail what kind of fabric, felt, interfacings, and other crafty materials you need for busy books.
100% Poplin Cotton for Pages
You almost can’t go wrong here as long as you stick to 100 % cotton poplin (also called tabinet) fabric.
I get that at a local retailer, and this type of fabric is one of the most commonly used, so all fabric stores should have it. Just look for a store nearby and pick up something that you think would look nice with the quiet book activities.
I always look for a cotton fabric that has any certificates which show that the fabric is safe to use. I suggest you do the same, to avoid the risk of your child being exposed to potentially harmful chemicals.
The most common certifications for fabrics are OEKO-TEX standard 100 and GOTS standard.
I suggest looking into safety certificates with all the quiet book materials.
The prices vary, but you can get a lovely piece of certified 100% cotton for around $8 per yard.
For a quiet book with six activity pages, you will need fabric for every activity page, for cover pages, and inner and outer binding.
If you want to have different fabric for every activity page, another for covers, and another for binding, you will spend approx. 8 x $8 = $64, when buying the whole yard, which mostly is the minimum.
You can reduce the cost by using just one cotton fabric version for all six pages and another for cover, inner and outer binding, or buying a cotton fabric bundle of different cotton fabric pieces.
Here’s a small tip when choosing colors and designs of cotton fabric.
For pages (activity background), I search for more gentle, pale colors with a minimalistic design. You don’t want to drive your child’s attention away from the activity itself.
For cover pages, I suggest using designs with something your child likes – animals, cars, trees, stars, letters, etc. It should look attractive, and the colors can be more vivid.
Next in line of necessary quiet book materials, without which I can’t imagine creating a quiet book is stiff felt.
Stiff felt for activities
You’ll need a 1 mm thick polyester stiff felt sheets of different colors to make activities.
Finding good stiff felt for a quiet book can be more tricky than cotton fabric. I use stiff polyester felt because it’s more durable, animal-friendly, and it is hypoallergenic. But not any kind of polyester felt is right. There can be a lot of difference in the quality of the stiff felt.
When buying felt, I also suggest you ask for any standard certificate.
Potentially harmful chemicals can be used in some with no standard. I advise on using only quality felt with the certificate to make sure it’s safe for a child to use.
The quality felt sheets cost around 2$. For a quiet book with six activities, you will probably need about ten different colors.
Here is my tip about felt.
To test the stiff felt’s quality press multiple times on a felt with a hook & loop tape (hook part) to see how it reacts. If it becomes all fluffy right away, you don’t want to use that felt.
Let’s look at another type of quiet book materials I use to make a quiet book look better and make it more durable.
Types of interfacings you need
To make sure the quiet book is firm and robust, I ended up with three types of interfacing.
For the quiet book pages, you’ll need 1 meter (approx 1 yard) of cotton nonelastic woven fusible interfacing. The weight should be 80-100g (3 -3.5 oz). For a quiet book with six activities, you’ll need eight pieces of 21×21 cm (8.3″ x 8.3″).
For between the pages, you’ll need fusible fleece, 19×19 cm (7″ x 7″). The fusible fleece gives the softness and volume to the pages.
I use more substantial stiff cotton woven fusible interfacing to harden places where children pull or for removable parts. You will need just small pieces of this interfacing, but it’s crucial to use it to make quiet books durable.
I couldn’t find that anywhere online. It’s approximately twice as denser as soft woven fusible interfacing, and it feels stiff.
Other craft materials you will need.
This part depends mostly on what kind of activity pages you will choose. Almost anything is fine and a lot of stuff you probably can find at your home already.
For some activities you will need:
- sew-on snaps,
- miniature clothes pins,
- clear vinyl,
- soft elastic,
- hook & loop tape (velcro)
For sensory activities, you will need fabric with different structures like:
- glitter felt,
- clear vinyl,
- faux leather,
- pom poms,
- faux fur,
- and sequin fabric.
Some people will use magnetic snaps for some activity pages. Still, I would strongly advise you not to use them in quiet books for toddlers. The magnets are powerful, and if your toddler accidentally eats one, she can have serious problems. Only use them for toys for older children.
Every pattern in our quiet book patterns library has a piece of information about what material you need to make it.
For Customizable bindings, you will also need eyelets, an eyelet tool to put eyelets on the quiet book pages and binder rings.
For closures, you can use hooks & loops, cord, elastics, or magnetic snaps.
That’s all about the quiet book materials.
But don’t forget.
Unfortunately, even with all the knowledge of which quiet book materials you need, you’ll need some time to find and buy everything.
Especially if there are no big craft stores near your home, and smaller ones have a minimal selection of materials.
It’s a risk: You might spend more than an hour in different stores, and you might not even get everything you need.
If you don’t want to search for all the quiet book materials you need, check our DIY pre-cut quiet book kits! You’ll get all the materials you need to make the activity page or the whole quiet book.
For making a quiet book, you will need some general tools, cotton fabric, stiff felt, and interfacing.
Depending on which activity pages you will make, you will also need different crafty materials. We will talk about choosing the right page activities in Chapter 8.
Before we learn the general process of making a quiet book (Chapter 6), we should look at the difference between two main methods of making a quiet book.
In the next chapter, you will get to know the step-by-step tutorials for the no-sew and sewing method of creating quiet books.