Monday, February 8, 2010

Quiet Activity Book from Place Mats {part one}

Want to make a Quiet Activity Book for your kids but don't want to do all the work? You can take a short cut by using place mats from the Dollar Store. I hope you aren't sick of place mat crafts...we'll take a break from them soon-but here is one more.☻ Since it is "BOY MONTH" and I have three boys, many of the things I have shared and will share this month, will be for the boys. "Let's hear it for the boys...."  Here is a little bit of my quiet book {3 pages} and I'll share more with you later.




Tool Box Page- {felt sewed to the place mat to form a tool box, with sewed-on letters, and velcro to close up the tool box}
Completed with three felt tools-machine sewed using two pieces of felt and felt scraps
LAND BEFORE TIME DINOSAUR PAGE- {used felt to make a dinosaur-time scene, and sewed a pocket on the other side of the page for the plastic  toy dinosaurs} I was going to make felt dinosaurs, but we already had a ton of plastic ones and they fit in the pockets- so that is what the boys are using- and they love it! This is probably their favorite page so far.
UNDER THE SEA PAGE: This page has a pocket sewed on -the dotted fabric is a pocket for storing the finger puppets. The felt represents the ocean water and has little slits to put the finger puppets through. The felt is just sewed on the edges.
To make a quiet book out of place mats, there are a few things to keep in mind:
When you sew on one side of the place mat, the stitching will show on the other side. So plan it out carefully, if you don't want the stitching to show. Depending on the page, I did not care on some, but on others it mattered, so I just put a pocket on one side.
When you have your pages complete, you just iron a seam in the middle of each place mat, and sew them all together down the middle like a book. I added a ribbon closure to tie it all together.
For this book, I used 3 place mats, for 6 different activity pages. I'll show you the other three soon and maybe I'll finish the cover too!
And if any of this was "clear as mud" please let me know if you have questions!

17 comments:

Suzana said...

thank you so much for the darling bibs!!! i absolutely love them, and they came just in time because she is now making a mess every time i feed her! :)

Tasha said...

That is seriously AWESOME!!! I love it.

Erica said...

love it.
i just bought that same placemat at our dollar store to make some activity bags. if i can ever get my sewing machine hooked up i will attempt to make them!!! super cute :)

Jennifer said...

Adorable! Again, you amaze me with what you accomplish! I have large quilts on my plate right now and it seems like I never will get anything done! (plus, taking care of kids...)

Eileen said...

You inspired me! I'm going out to go get place mats now!!! Thank you this will be perfect for my almost 3 yrs old in church!

Cami said...

Really cute. I like the ikea toys. My quiet books were not as cute, but I just used flexible 3-ring binders so I could add and take things out. It's good to have one of these on hand though, for each kid who comes to that age.

Sharon said...

I will NEVER be tired of inexpensive ways to entertain little ones . . . .Keep them coming girl!! I love Dollar Tree!!

Heather said...

This is adorable and so very BOY-friendly! As a mom to 3 boys as well and a craftoholic, this will definitely go in my 'must-make' folder! :)

Meg said...

Hi! I loved this idea so much I decided to try and copy it! It's a little tricky, but here's what I have so far: http://alittleknickknack.blogspot.com/2010/02/to-go-activity-book.html

I was wondering how you sewed each of the placemats together? That seems to be the trickiest thing for me to figure out (I'm not the best sewer). Thanks for the advice and I love your blog!

sharla@mylittlegems said...

Meg, when sewing the placemats together, I did a few little things: first I ironed them all down the middle (sort of like folding a piece of paper in half and creasing it) and I used spray starch to iron this line down the middle. Then I opened up two of them and lined the ironed lines up. I sewed a straight line on these lines. Make sure to backstitch. Then I put the other one on top- lining the ironed line up, and sewed it on. Once this was done, you can fold it in half on that line and you have your book. I did most of the pages first before sewing the book together. I still have a few more to finish, and will show you soon. Let me know if you have any more questions! thanks :) sharla

Deborah (Teach Preschool) said...

Really really cute!

fawnda said...

I love it! Absolutely love it! Especially the fish page... I love fish! Great job!

Alison said...

What an ADORABLE idea! I love the place mat idea. Genius! Thanks so much for sharing!

Judy@cutest-little-things said...

Yet ANOTHER reason I need to learn to sew!!!!

These are FABULOUS!

Judy@cutest-little-things

Katie said...

You should post this on the Quiet Book Flickr Group!!

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

My boys would love this!

Tricia said...

Great quiet book pages for boys. Dinosaurs, tools, and sea creatures...you must have boys. I have a few of my quiet book pages posted on my blog leafytreetopspot.blogspot.com. I have a truck that you button on the tires, and tic tac toes sports style. Check it out.