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Monday, April 7, 2008

Make Your Own Activity Book

I love seeing kids with books. It is great to see children reading and entertaining themselves with something besides the TV. But also... books out there can cost a pretty penny. We received a simple book and all it really says is, "Ill finish playing then goodnight" "I will eat then goodnight" "I will take a bath then goodnight" and that cost.....7 bucks....really!? Honestly? 7 dollars!? What genius thought that plot line out. Probably the same person who invented the Dora The Explorer song, "I'm the map I'm the map I'm the map I'm the map I'm the map I'm the map....I'm the map!"
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So I personally have not gone out and bought any books for the kido. I just can't get myself to do it. But what I have done instead is make my own books. I have already done a post on my ABC book, but here is a fun activity book that you can do for you kids.

Activity Felt Book, all you need is...
Many different colors of felt
Craft Glue
Embroidery thread
Large eye needle
Iron-on fusible webbing
Any knick knacks that you can add on, buttons, yarn, beads
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Make sure you get some colors that will be good for the back grounds (the actual pages). And then get colors for your items (ideas - garden with flowers, house, bedroom, playground, dress up doll)
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First cut your cover and pages out. Then cut out the next larger items, such as grass for the garden, frame for the house, or doll to dress up. Use the iron-on fusible webbing for these larger items (grass). Once they are fussed on the items, place them where they need to be for their page.
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Now cut out the little items from your felt; stems and petals for flowers, pants and shirts for dolls, sun for sky. Use the craft glue to combine stems with petals and such.
Before you stitch the book together you need to make sure that you have spaced your book correctly. Excluding the cover, place the pages with blank on left, picture to build on right. On the blank LEFT page, glue a large square (on ever side but the top) that will be big enough to hold the items for the right page. This will make a nice little pouch.
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To attach all the pages together, to form the actual book, use the thread and needle to make a nice Blanket Stitch on the spine of the book. You can also use the blanket stitch around the edges of the pages to give a nice look.
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Now you will have a simple and fun book for you child. These are light weight and great for taking to church, doctor offices, in the car, or even good for quiet time. You can make them pretty detailed also by adding buttons or stitching beads into the pages, cutting out numbers and making detailed animals. These are really fun to make and you can even try letting your child make their own.
And just to let you know, that hopefully, when I get some more made I will be starting an Etsy site and will have them available to buy.

42 comments:

  1. Oh, I just love your idea and thanks for putting all the steps down! I can make one for my grandsons. :) I agree with you about books and so I pick and choose which books I will buy. When my kids were little we lived at the library and that's how we got them really into reading. We also got all those plotless picture and simple word books for free and got to rotate them very frequently. :D

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  2. I have made a few books - some are flet and others I did different textures...cut out shapes from different things including sand paper, bubble wrap -all kinds of thngs --- then laminated it myself... the kids loved it. I also make lots of little books with photos of the kids. I made some really nice books to help the boys understand that Madigan would be arriving! They still love reading them with all the photos of them as babies!

    Thanks for sharing...cheers!

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  3. You're so crafty! I just have to go hide in my non-craftiness in shame!

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  4. This sounds like a great idea... but I think the time it would take me to make this would be more valuable than the $20 I'd shell out to buy yours.

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  5. I am sorry I have been such a horrible blog slacker the past few weeks. I have been really sick and am FINALLY starting to feel better! These books are awesome! I'd like to see more pictures of the one you made so I can get a better idea of how to do it.

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  6. You are the woman!! You always have such neat ideas. I agree with the cost of books. I read a book to my littles the other day that we had gotten at the library. It had to have been the stupidest book I had ever read. I could have written something 10 times better and I don't consider myself a writer at all. It makes you wonder doesn't it?? :)

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  7. These are fabulous. We have literally hundreds of books, so I probably won't make these right away, but maybe when they get bigger they can help me make books like this. I really HATE the books that have one word on each page, or are just pictures that require you to make up the story or explain everything, because you have to remember what you said, because if you don't say everything EXACTLY the way you said it yesterday, extreme meltdowns will occur.

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  8. I have let the boys make some books on their own (stapling paper together, letting them come up with a story and coloring it) but never thought to make a book your way. Great idea!!

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  9. Wow! That's good idea, but I don't think I could do that... let me know if you're up for selling some!

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  10. you can also visit yard sales for books at a ridiculously cheap price. I don't know if you ever do anything like that, but I found a TON of golden books for my Punky for like 15 cents. The most I've ever paid for a book at a yard sale was 75 cents. You can also find awesome deals on baby clothes! (The trick is to go to ritzy neighborhoods!)

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  11. Okay Martha...that is BRILLIANT!!! (And you are much better than Martha, because your projects are cute and affordable and easy to do!!) We have lots of books because I tell everyone to buy them for his gifts, but these would be fun to make for gifts...I will add that to the list of things to do after I finish the 7 baby quilts I am working on!!

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  12. So cute and a great idea and they DO cost a pretty penny or pretty dollars. hehe

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  13. I'm so impressed with your craftiness. And annoyed now that I never questioned the expense of some of those kiddie books. You are right - they *are* ridiculous, some of them!

    Heidi

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  14. I've actually been looking into activity books, the good old fashioned kind where there are zippers, buttons, lace-up and other activities but haven't found any. Thanks for the great ideas!

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  15. Soo true! We spend a fortune on books in our house. It's great that we all like to read, but it sure adds up. I made a fabric book for my son when he was a baby & we found it when getting ready for my daughter. She enjoys it too, and I think it's a really nice thing to pass on. (Besides, soft books don't get chewed up & mangled by teething,drooling babies!) :) Can't wait to see your etsy store!

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  16. you are so creative! and you know hand-made books like that sell for around $30, right? Just in case you're in need of making a little extra cash, thought I'd let you know there's a market out there for your handiwork!

    Luckily for US, we got a bunch of books handed down to us from a family whose young children weren't so young anymore, so we started out with a bazillion books. And thanks to Scholastic Book Orders through the schools, we've since quadrupled oru book stash. And we have other book-loving friends and family who feel books are worth-while purchases.

    Can you tell we love to read???

    Have fun making those books! I always told myself I'd make a fun ABC book for my first daughter and now we're on our third child and there's no hand-made ABC book laying around... SIGH!

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  17. That's an awesome idea. Seriously though, how do you find the time to that?

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  18. ♥ I love quiet books! My kids love them too!

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  19. cool books.

    i love reading new books to my kids but they are so expensive. so we try to do frequent library runs.

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  20. Wow you are amazing. I'm impressed with myself when I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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  21. I love your craftiness! How did you learn how to be so crafty! Great Idea!

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  22. Oh my goodness is thre no end to your talent. I love it!

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  23. As I was reading this I thought to myself, WOW she should sell these and then you said that in the end. You have way more patience then I do, I spend the $7.00. But they seem like a good and fun idea to make. I have a lot of friends having babies lately so perhaps the kids and I can make an evening of this and give as a gift to welcome new baby!

    Thanks!

    PS-I am going to add you to my list of friends. Love your ideas and thoughts! Hugs from Houston.

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  24. You are just the freaking coolest! Great job!

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  25. Holy crap, are you kidding me? You are far too talented. Sell those bad-boys!

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  26. Very cute! I may have to give this a shot! I don't buy books anymore. We are library fanatics, luckily we are in walking distance to ours, we visit every week or so.

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  27. Hello from Tasmania,

    I am the opposite.. I will spend a lot of money on 'good' books.. I can't justify spending a fortune on their clothes though..

    $22 for a t-shirt for a toddler is just wrong in so many ways.

    But saying that I also made books for the children when they were small.. (Not as nice as your felt ones though)

    Thanks for coming over and I hope that you enjoy the tiramisu recipe..

    cheers kim ...

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  28. You are so ridiculously talented!!

    Wow! My poor kids will probably have to wait until you open your Etsy store.

    Super cute!

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  29. Now, these are just adorable books!! I signed up for a book club when my twins were little - we ordered hundreds of books. It is ended up being the best investment we ever did, as I could never bring myself to spend the cash in the book stores, but these books just came in the mail and were charged to my cc. All those books have been passed down from my twins to my other two kids - I'm so glad I did it, but would hate to know how much we actually spent on all those books. I love your homemade books - very, very cute!!

    Nice to see you today - thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you soon - Kellan

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  30. I buy most books at thrift stores and yard sales.

    I love to make things with felt. I've actually made a couple of books like this. I've been working on one for my son for a while now I need to finish!

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  31. You are so darn crafty! I love your ideas!

    Great job!

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  32. I'd pay like a million dollars for that book.

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  33. There you go being crafty again... let me know when your etsy site gets up and running. I'm all about the 7 dollars.

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  34. You are just so creative and crafty. Can you send some of your enthusiasm my way, please?

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  35. You rock - this is great! P.S. I want to link to you, as long as it's okay.

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  36. ♥ You've got bloggy bling! Come on over and get it! :)

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  37. I'd rather give you the 7 bucks....

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  38. What an awesome idea!

    I'm a HUGE bargain hunter when it comes to books. HUGE! Big Lots, Dollar Stores, TJ Maxx . . . and I still spend way too much $$$.

    I LOVE this idea!

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  39. I'm hysterically laughing with the whole Dora the Explorer map song!!! You are SO right!

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  40. This book is really neat! I just found your blog through another friend's that I go to and I am *loving it* I see lots of neat ideas!! I think I just might have to add you to my blogroll... ;-) BTW your daughter is a cutie!

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