I won’t keep you in suspense any longer – the key to the genius binding is D rings and binder rings. I got my inspiration from a binder pencil case. I’ve seen lots of quiet book tutorials that use binder rings, but they all use eyelets or grommets, which I have found to be problematic and unreliable in application. But D rings are inexpensive, easy to sew with, and don’t require any special equipment or superhuman strength. So now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, let’s get to it!
Supplies to Complete the Quiet Book:
- 9 D rings (3 per page)
- 1.5 yard ribbon, about the same width as the straight part of the D rings
- 3 1-1.5″ binder rings
- 20.5″x9.5″ fabric for outer cover
- 20.5″x9.5″ fabric for inner cover
- 3″x9.5″ fabric matching inner cover
- 2″x8.5″ stiff Pelon for binding
I paired the pages they way I blogged them; each set of two pages has one with batting already attached and one without. You need to “install” your D rings as you put the pages together. For each page (which will have 2 of the pages you made, one on front and one in back), cut 3 pieces of ribbon about 3″ long. Mark the edge of your batting page at 2″, 4.5″, and 7″. Slide each ribbon through a D ring, and pin to your page about 1/2″ from the edge (the distance isn’t as important as uniformity). Baste them on a scant 1/4″ from the edge. Remove the pins.
Place the page you want on the backside on top, right sides together (make sure they’re both facing the same way, that is top matching top and bottom with bottom). Stitch around the edge with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving an opening about 3-4″ long on the bottom edge (not at a corner). Be careful not to hit the D rings with the needle! Clip the corners (along with anything sticking out, like ribbons) and turn right side out. Fold the open edges in, and stitch all the way around the outer edge of the page with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end to secure.
The process is the same for all 3 pages except the one with the dry erase. For this page, there are 2 changes:
- Before you sew the two pages together, put the eraser between the pages with the loose end of the ribbon sticking out between 2 of the D rings.
- When you are doing the final topstitch, put the 9″x9″ vinyl piece on top to act as your dry erase surface. After you stitch it on, trim off excess vinyl.
Once the pages are assembled, you’re ready to make the cover. Gather all your supplies listed above, plus cut two pieces of the ribbon ***” long.
Iron batting onto the cover piece that will be the outside, and place the two cover pieces right sides together. Sew 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around, leaving an opening about 4″ wide on the bottom. Clip corners, turn right side out, and topstitch around the outside to close the opening and secure the cover. Iron the small piece of inside fabric onto the stiff Pellon, centering the Pellon on the backside of the fabric. Then fold the sides of the fabric over to the back, and stitch in place. Use one of the completed pages to mark where the D rings will lie. Attach one end of a piece of ribbon, then fold it over and stitch in place with 2 lines, one on each side of the mark for each D ring. Fold the end over (trim off excess ribbon) and secure in place.
Attach a handle to the outer cover by folding the end of the other ribbon in an S shape (to prevent fraying) on either end and sew in place securely to the outside (think of a kid carrying the book by this handle!). Then flip the cover over and attach the binding by stitching along the line you stitched before to secure the flaps of fabric to the back. Be sure not to catch the handle in your stitching!
Slide your binder rings through their spaces, hook all your D rings in, and close them up, and you’re done! You have a fun, easy way to entertain your kids when they need to be quiet! Don’t forget to grab a dry erase marker on the way out the door.
I may even add more tutorials later with additional pages I make… by now you know I can’t leave well enough alone! I hope you gain some confidence to try out a quiet book from my tutorial. There’s nothing better than your kids having a blast for hours, playing with something you made yourself!