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.I 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.Then 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!Next 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.I 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.I 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!
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.
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).I pinned the rectangles down on the page and then sewed along the three remaining sides.For the crayon roll I sewed a line about 3/4 of an inch from the edge from the top to the bottom.
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. I dug out a notebook, a pencil and 8 (used) crayons and then the supplies page was also finished!These 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!
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!