Easier Quiet Book, Part 4

Finally, we have reached the home stretch!  This post will describe how to put your pages from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 together, and then how to bind them in a nice book.

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.

D Rings

Left: Mark the page to line up the D ring ribbons. Right: Pinned and sewn in place

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.

Page Assembly

Left: Pin the two pages right sides together. Center: Sewn, and corners clipped. Right: Turned right side out and topstitched around the edges (don’t forget to turn in the edges on the opening)

The process is the same for all 3 pages except the one with the dry erase.  For this page, there are 2 changes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
Dry Erase

Left: See how the eraser end sticks out? That’s because of step 1 above. Right: Vinyl makes a pretty good dry erase surface!

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.

IMG_2967

Not pictured: Batting for between the layers; cover pieces are shown folded in half

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.

Binding

Creating the binding

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!

Attach Binding

Left: The S shape I’m talking about for the ribbon handle ends. Center: The inside of where the handle is sewn on. Right: After the binding is attached (see how I used the same stitch lines on the binding, so it doesn’t show more stitches?)

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.

Binder Rings

You could make the cover pieces a little longer so the pages are the same length once they’re on the rings if you want

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!

Binding and Covering a Quiet Book

We made it to the home stretch!  So far, we’ve made 12 pages (6 front and back pages) for a quiet book: check out tutorials part 1, part 2, and part 3.  Now it’s time to put it all together and complete the project!

There are many ways to bind a quiet book.  You can use a combination of grommets, binder rings, ribbon, button holes… the sky is the limit!  I prefer a more kid-proof method, though, inspired by this post, where you sew the pages onto a binding which is then attached to the cover.  It may be a little more work, but it’s super sturdy and I don’t worry about it coming apart!  So let’s dive in and finish up this book so the kids can play with it.

Supplies:

  • 9″x3″ piece stiff fusible Pellon (like we used for the fabric postcard)
  • 10″x4″ fabric to cover Pellon
  • 2 pieces 21″x10″ fabric (can be the same or different)
  • 21″x10″ batting
  • 2 pieces 2″x5″ (again, can be the same or different)
  • 2″x5″ fusible interfacing
  • 1.5″ piece Velcro
  • 1 package jumbo rick rack (optional)
  • Coordinating thread

To create the binding, iron the Pellon into the center of the back of the 10″x4″ fabric.  Fold the edges back and sew around, tucking in the corners (first picture below).  Then turn it over and attach each page with a straight stitch, being sure to backstitch several times at the top and bottom (this is where the stitching will undergo the most stress).  You can see the first page attached in the middle below, then each subsequent page was about 1/2″ further to the right.  When you’re done, you’ll see it’s starting to look like a book!

Binding Collage

Left: The binding piece. Center: Attaching the first page. Right: Binding complete!

Once you’ve bound it, you need to make the cover.  Place one of the 21″x10″ pieces of fabric on top of the batting.  Lay your rick rack around the edge, lining it up with the edge (you can see, my choice of one-sided rick rack wasn’t the best… but it’s sort of a neat effect in the end).  The corners are a little tricky – this was my first time using rick rack in this type of application, so I folded and flipped at the corners.  If you’re more experienced, you probably have a better method!  Baste it in place a scant 1/4″ from the edge all the way around.  Then place the other 21″x10″ piece of fabric right side down and sew around the edge with 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 3″ opening on one edge.  Clip the corners, turn right side out, and topstitch 1/4″ around the edge, folding the opening in before stitching it.  Then place the bound pages in the center of the cover and sew around the edge of the Pellon twice to secure (I found the zipper foot was handy, and had to go at it from an angle at some parts).  See the photos below for a visual:

Cover Collage

Left: Baste the rick rack onto the fabric (batting below). Center: Completed cover. Right: Outside of cover once bound pages have been attached.

To create the closure, iron the fusible interfacing to one of the 2″x5″ pieces of fabric; place the 2 pieces of 2″x5″ fabric right sides together and sew around 3 sides (leave a short side open).  Clip the 2 corners and turn right side out.  Roll the open edge into the tube you just created, and topstitch all the way around the piece 1/4″ from the edge.  Attach the hook piece of Velcro to the end of the tab.  Attach the other end of the tab to the center edge of the back cover (see photo below).  Sew the loop part of the Velcro onto the cover, at a 90 degree angle – this gives you some wiggle room for closing the book.  And that’s it!  Your quiet book is complete!  Now sit back and admire your work 🙂

Finished Product

Up-close photos of the closure are in the bottom right picture

I meant to add some applique to the front, maybe with the kids’ names or something, but quite honestly I got so excited about doing rick rack that I forgot!  I may come back with some puffy paints and add a design later, but for now I’m happy with the finished product.

I have armed you with the instructions – now go make a gorgeous quiet book for a special little someone in your life!

Quick links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3