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Brush your teeth and hair!

For my “fake” nephew’s two year birthday I made 4 new quiet book pages for the Quiet Book I gave him last year for Christmas.  While at the beach with their family over the summer I learned there’s nothing more Nolan hates than getting his teeth brushed.  I figured that might be a fun quiet book page for him…and who knows, maybe it’ll make the ordeal slightly less awful for his parents every night!  Long shot, I know, but still worth a try!

Imagine Our Life has a kick-ass tooth brushing page.  No surprise there since all of her pages are A-MAZ-ING.  I decided that I didn’t want to go to that much effort for Nolan’s page.  Simple is what I’m going for!  I did use her idea to stuff the toothpaste tube with a crinkly wrapper so it would make some noise though.  Great touch that took little effort–that’s what I like, haha.

Tangible Pursuits quiet book page was more along my lines.  Simple and to the point!  I liked how she added a comb in too–it gives the page a little bit more to do.  I decided to design mine differently so I wouldn’t waste two pages on this simple design–a pocket to keep the toothbrush, comb and toothpaste in.

I made a template in my Silhouette Studio program.  quiet-book-toothbrush-page-templateI used my machine to cut out the face in tan felt (I can’t cut a circle in a straight line to save my life!), but I ended up hand cutting the rest of the felt face pieces.  First I sewed the black pupils inside the eyes, and then the eyes onto the face.  I sewed the red mouth down, followed by all of the teeth.  I just sewed a “straight” line across the top of the top row of teeth and the bottom of the bottom row so they can move and wiggle.  Just in case you couldn’t tell, I did not pin the teeth down before sewing.  Poor kid really needs to see a dentist.  SOON.quiet-book-toothbrush-page-7Finally I sewed the head onto the page.  I put him down near the bottom, leaving plenty of room for the pocket.quiet-book-toothbrush-page-8I had three colors of yarn:  red, yellow and green.  I decided to make him a ginger since they get such a bad rap.  I played around with the yarn, figuring out how long I wanted his hair to be and then looped the yarn over and over and over again until I had enough to go across the top of his head.  Then I placed it on the page and sewed across his head one way and then back the other way.  quiet-book-toothbrush-page-6The toothpaste was next.  I found some scraps of fabric–yellow for the tube and blue for the toothpaste.  I simply cut two toothpaste-tube shapes out of the yellow and sewed them together, leaving the top open.  I flipped it inside out so the seams were hidden and ironed on the white fabric letters spelling TOOTHPASTE I had used my Silhouette to cut for me.quiet-book-toothbrush-page-3I lost the A, S and T somewhere between my Cameo and sewing station (those suckers are TINY!) so I just hand cut some out.  Would’ve never noticed if I hadn’t pointed them out, huh?  Seriously, how people are able to cut things by hand is beyond me.  Those letters look horrendous and they were my fifth try!

I found some leftover cellophane in my quiet book craft box that I was saving for an occasion just like this and stuffed it inside the tube.  Next I cut out 4 scraps of blue in a wiggly shape to represent the toothpaste.  I folded them in half, shoved them inside and sewed the tube shut.  Voila, toothpaste!quiet-book-toothbrush-page-2The pocket was next.  I cut a large rectangle out of red polka dot fabric, folded the edges in and ironed them so they were straight, sewed the top down, pinned it on my page and then sewed the other three sides down.  I cut a skinny rectangle that was slightly longer than my pocket for the top flap.  I did the same thing–ironed the folded edges down, sewed three of the four, pinned it on the page and then sewed the last one on.quiet-book-toothbrush-page-4J has a beauty salon kit that has about 3 brushes and 6 combs in it, so I just snagged one from there.  I picked up a toddler toothbrush at the grocery store for $1 (it’s not pictured below because I didn’t have it at that point.  I literally picked it up from the grocery store, came home, added it to the page, wrapped the pages, stuck them in a large envelope and headed to the post office.  I procrastinated that one so much that I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to include a note that told Amanda she had to buy a toothbrush to add to it, haha).  quiet-book-toothbrush-page-1quiet-book-toothbrush-page-5I like the simplicity of the page.  I do wish that the pocket and head had been sewn on a little straighter.  And I didn’t bother to put velcro on the pocket, thinking it would be big enough to hold everything, no problem.  It does indeed hold it all–barely.  So I’m sure that stuff will be falling out in regular intervals.  Whoops…

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Check your quiet book mailbox!

I needed four new pages for Nolan’s Quiet Book for his birthday.  Two of the pages I decided to do were some of J’s favorites:  the mail and coloring pages.  One side is a mailbox that opens and closes and the flag goes up and down and the opposite page has a notebook and pens/pencils/crayons/markers to draw some “mail” to put in it.  This is still a huge hit two years later.  I noticed when we saw Nolan a couple of months ago that he enjoys coloring so I figured he was ready for these two pages.

There are a lot of things I don’t like about the page I have for J.  First, I used a button and ribbon loop to keep the mailbox shut.  It’s never worked well to begin with (she had a hard time sliding the ribbon under the button) and now it’s falling off completely.  Second, the pockets I made to hold the drawing stuff don’t actually hold it.  It’s constantly falling off.  And, least important, the flag looks funny.

This all meant that although I’ve made these two pages before that I had to go back to the drawing board to find better solutions.  I found a super simple solution for the closed mailbox issue on this blog:  velcro!  I also really liked how The Montoya Family added that zipper in the grass to put stuff inside!  I contemplated doing the same on my page and then either nixing the opposing page that holds supplies or making some felt envelopes like some other pages I had seen.  In the end I decided that it wouldn’t be big enough to hold all of the supplies and I just didn’t care enough to make envelopes, haha.  It just seemed like a bridge too far.

To help solve the pocket problem I decided to make three distinct pockets and make sure they were all large enough.  The first would hold a small spiral notebook; the second a pencil; the third crayons.  While browsing endless “mail box quiet book pages” on Google Images and Pinterest I stumbled across this pin and loved the crayon holder.  Sold!

The flag issue was the easiest to fix.  At the time I didn’t have my amazing and awesome Crop-a-Dile eyelet tool so I used a button instead.  Which works, it’s just not ideal.  And that flag was made out of fabric for some reason, while this time I planned on using felt.

Now that all of my problems were solved it was time to get cracking!  First, the mailbox template.  This was easy since I still had the template from my previous mailbox page saved.mailbox-quiet-book-page-templateI made the mailbox, the door and the flag all a bit bigger and then sized Holtzapple (their last name) so it fit along the bottom.  I learned with J’s original quiet book that felt does not iron well onto felt, so I made the mailbox and the letters out of fabric instead.  Light blue for the mailbox and white for the letters.  For the door I used a dark blue felt and then red felt for the flag.  I ironed sewable Heat n Bond onto the back of all of my fabrics/felts and used my Silhouette to cut it all out for me.  You can find more details on how to cut felts and fabrics on my Cinderella Felt People post.

Then I got to work.

First I lined up the letters on the bottom of the mailbox and ironed them on.  Since there was Heat n Bond on the other side of the mailbox I had to be careful to iron just the bottom part and I made sure to pull it up off of the page immediately after lifting the iron, before it adhered itself on there.mailbox-quiet-book-page-11Then I added the flag.  I placed the flag where I wanted it and then used my Crop a Dile (more information on how amazing it is here) to add the grommet.  So much nicer!mailbox-quiet-book-page-10Next I figured out where the mailbox was going to go so I could sew on the velcro.  I put the soft side on the page and the rough side on the mailbox door.mailbox-quiet-book-page-8mailbox-quiet-book-page-7I also added a ribbon loop on the top.  Really it doesn’t serve a purpose, just looks nice.

Then I sewed the door down, just along the very bottom.mailbox-quiet-book-page-9I lined the mailbox up with the door and pinned it in place.  Then I sewed all around it, starting in the upper right corner and ending where the E is.  Otherwise there’s nowhere for the mail to go!
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Whew, finished with that part!  Although I noticed after I finished sewing it on that somehow the mailbox and door didn’t quite line up.  Still not sure how that happened… 

Then I added some grass and a mailbox post to embellish the page a bit.  I did it on my original mailbox page and I think it adds a lot to it.

First the grass.  I just used some green and white checked fabric that I had on hand.mailbox-quiet-book-page-5Then I cut out a rectangle from some brown fabric and sewed it on.mailbox-quiet-book-page-3Bam!  DONE!  Now for the supplies page.

I cut 3 rectangles out from some bright orange and yellow fabric.  I just eyeballed the dimensions.  Since I can’t cut in a straight line to save my life, plus to keep the edges from fraying, I always fold in all four sides and iron them down to make them as straight as possible when making pockets.  I sewed each rectangle along the top edge (where the opening would be for each pocket).mailbox-supplies-quiet-book-page-3I pinned the rectangles down on the page and then sewed along the three remaining sides.mailbox-supplies-quiet-book-page-4For the crayon roll I sewed a line about 3/4 of an inch from the edge from the top to the bottom.mailbox-supplies-quiet-book-page-5

I repeated this process 7 more times.  I did one line at a time.  Originally I placed two pins where I needed to sew, hoping that would help me keep the lines straight.  It didn’t seem to be working, so I started using one pin instead.  So I would sew a line, pull out my tape measure, mark 3/4″ with a pin and then sew from top to bottom on the pocket as straight as I could.  Then repeat.  Although they definitely could’ve turned out nicer, I was pretty impressed with myself.  mailbox-supplies-quiet-book-page-6I dug out a notebook, a pencil and 8 (used) crayons and then the supplies page was also finished!mailbox-supplies-quiet-book-page-1These two pages also took me less than a 2 hour nap time to sew from start to finish.  I’m starting to get the hang of these things again!mailbox-quiet-book-page-2 mailbox-quiet-book-page-1
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I did make one huge mistake after I sewed the pages together and put the eyelets for the binder rings in.  See how there are two sets of eyelets in the mailbox pictures?  Well after I punched the one set I realized that I put them in on the wrong side.  I punched the holes for the mailbox supply page first and if I left it that way then they would no longer be opposite one another.  Which defeats the purpose.  So I punched three more holes on the other side of the mailbox page and then tucked a note into the pages explaining which set of holes she should use.  So close to being perfect!!!!  Oh that and I don’t think the pocket I made for the notebook is going to work very well.  That sucker is going to fall out.  A lot.  Not my book though, so not my problem, HAHA!

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Just what you’ve been waiting for…more quiet book pages!

So Nolan’s 2nd birthday was sometime in September.  I’m a horrible Aunt for not even knowing the date!  I’ll use the excuse that I’m a “fake” aunt to make myself feel better.  I had given him a Quiet Book last year for Christmas with the intention of making pages for him every year for his birthday and Christmas.  I have absolutely no idea if he uses his quiet book or not, but I know he has enough toys and clothing (according to his mother at least) and it’s what I planned on doing, so that’s what he’s getting, like it or not!

I browsed both my own and Amanda’s Pinterest boards dedicated solely to quiet books for ideas.  I settled on a mailbox page, a paper/pencil/crayon page to go across from it, a brush teeth/comb hair page (when we saw him a few months ago he hated having his teeth brush so I was hoping it may help!) and a color matching page.

I’ll walk through the color matching page on this post.  You can find the details for the others in the links above 🙂

I found my inspiration pin on Amanda’s board.  It led to a dead-end link that was just a bunch of pictures of different quiet book ideas.  I googled and searched Pinterest for more ideas for a color match, but liked the gum ball idea the best.  Originally I was going to use buttons like the original pin but I didn’t have any large ones and didn’t feel like hitting the store.  As much fun as Joann’s/Michaels/Dollar Tree is with a 1.5 year old, I like to pass as often as I can.  Plus I figured they’re technically a choking hazard anyway, so I’d just stick with felt ones.

This was one of the simplest pages I’ve ever made.  I started off by searching for a drawing of a gum ball machine on Google Images.  I saved it to my computer, opened it in Silhouette Studio and used that to make a template for the page.gumball-color-matching-quiet-book-page-templateI used my Silhouette to cut the coordinating colors of felt for each piece.  All except the round circle where the gum balls would go–for that I used just regular white fabric.  Just remember that you need to iron Heat n Bond on the back of any fabrics/felts first before using your machine to cut!  The red package is for materials that you don’t need to sew later, and the purple for ones that a needle will be going through.  As I learned making this page, this is a very important distinction.

For felt I set my machine to a speed of 3, thickness 33 and blade to 10.  I usually double cut.  You can see more details on how to use a Silhouette Cameo to cut felt on my Cinderella Felt People post.

In the case of the red felt I used I had to send it through about 4 times and it still never cut it well.  It was a glitter felt that was super thick.  Lesson learned.

Once I had my pieces I got to sewing.  I started with the machine “pieces”.  First I sewed the change collector onto the grey box.  Then the grey box and the gum ball dispenser onto the red felt.  Since the pieces were so small putting a pin in didn’t seemed like more of a pain than it was worth so I figured I didn’t need it.  Wrong again.gumball-color-matching-quiet-book-page-3Next I cut out my gum balls by hand.  I already had yellow, green, white, blue and red velcro in my sewing stash, so those were the colors I stuck with for the gum balls.  I sewed the rough side of the velcro (male??) to the balls and then soft side (female?  I could definitely have that backwards.  That’s just what intuition is telling me 😉 ) onto the white round part.  gumball-color-matching-quiet-book-page-1This is where I made another mistake.  Since the fabric had Heat n Bond on one side since I used the Silhouette to cut it, I thought it would be a great idea to leave that side up…then it would look more like the gum balls were “inside” the machine–the shiny stuff could be glass!  I must’ve used the red (non-sewable) Heat n Bond and not realized it though because that was a b*tch to sew through.  See how it’s all wrinkled?  And my needle got really gummy.  I had to keep pulling it out of the machine and cleaning it off.  Yet another lesson learned–don’t mistake the two different kinds of Heat n Bond!gumball-color-matching-quiet-book-page-2

It was all easy after that.  I sewed the red piece with the “parts” down first, followed by the white gum ball bowl.  I added the black bottom piece and the little black top part.  Then the little red “hat”.  The biggest pain was having to switch my thread back and forth a bunch of time.  I hate threading the sewing machine for some reason.gumball-color-matching-quiet-book-page-4Finally I added a long strip of white velcro for the gum balls to rest on when they weren’t in the machine.  gumball-color-matching-quiet-book-page-5Voila, finished!  This page didn’t even take me an entire two hour nap time to complete.  Although it does irritate me how wonky the machine turned out…gumball-color-matching-quiet-book-page-6

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DIY Toddler Busy Board

C turned 1 back in April and one of his presents was a DIY Toddler Busy Board.  As you can see, this post is just a teeny tiny bit overdue.  That’s just how I like to roll.

I found this pin on Pintest that I pinned (let’s see how many times I can use the word “pin” in a sentence) 2 years ago, knowing that I wanted to do it for a future child.  C already has a ton of toys due to being the second child and a spoiled rotten grandchild, so we decided to keep his birthday low key.  This board was the only thing he got from us.

Once his birthday got closer I started to do some mad research on Busy Boards, looking at ideas for things to put on it and ways to paint it.  Then I started searching the Dollar Tree, Walmart and thrift shops for the items.  We ended up with a decent spread, and plenty of room to add more if we find some stuff.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything at all about how Hubby built the box itself.  I do know that it has sides and a back, so it’s like a giant box.  That way he could screw everything in but we wouldn’t have to worry about C playing with all of the nails and stuff poking out the other side.  Plus the door knob I had would actually turn and the side part moves, which I think is pretty cool.diy-toddler-busy-board-sidediy-toddler-busy-board-2 diy-toddler-busy-board-backIf you have any questions let me know and I can relay them to him and he can answer them!

So this is everything he attached on there:

a wheel from an office chairdiy-toddler-busy-board-wheela switch from a lamp (he just cut off the cord on either end)diy-toddler-busy-board-switch

a door knobdiy-toddler-busy-board-door-knob

an old school telephone corddiy-toddler-busy-board-cord

a door that opens and closes with a sliding lock on itdiy-toddler-busy-board-lock-door diy-toddler-busy-board-door-open

a light switchdiy-toddler-busy-board-light-switch

and door stoppers.diy-toddler-busy-board-door-stoppers

After I painted it he also glued on a combination lockdiy-toddler-busy-board-lock

and a mirrordiy-toddler-busy-board-mirror

After he did his part (which took entirely too long.  I had to nag him for weeks to just do it!) I took over.  Although I found tons of ideas, the way Millionayres painted hers was by far my favorite.  I had a bunch of leftover red and white paint from previous projects so I used those colors instead.  Painting it this way was very time consuming and the lines turned out a bit wonky, but overall I love it.

First I used painters tape all around the front, about an inch from the edge.  diy-toddler-busy-board-3I painted all of the sides and that first inch red.  Then I taped around all of the “things” since I’m like the worst painter in the world.diy-toddler-busy-board-6

I peeled off the edge.  Not too bad…for me!diy-toddler-busy-board-4Then I taped the diagonal lines.  I spaced them out so they were the same width as the tape just to make it easy in my head.  I painted all of the empty spaces (and quite a bit of the painters tape 😉 ) white.  diy-toddler-busy-board-5I peeled off that tape and then covered up all of the white lines.  I just reused the same tape since it was still sticky and about the right length. diy-toddler-busy-board

I painted the remaining space red, and voila it was finished!

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Just in time for C’s birthday, too.  If I remember correctly we had a day to spare.  Perfect.  And he loves it.  It doesn’t keep his attention for long, but really what does??  It’s funny because at first the door stoppers and telephone cord were his favorites, but now that he’s a bit older he loves flipping the light switch and opening and closing the door.  When Hubby built the door he left an empty space in there, so C loves to shove things inside and shut it, then open it to retrieve the object.  Over and over.  He hasn’t shown any interest in any of the other items yet, but I know he will.  All in all, a success!

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