I mentioned in my recent posts that I have been working on a quiet book for a friend’s little boy who is two years old. The internal pages of my book are done so now I am working on the quiet book’s front and back covers.
Although I love crafting, my internal lazy self loves to use time-saving hacks wherever possible. And so while making this quiet book cover, I discovered three time saving hacks. These hacks made the whole process not only faster but a whole lot more fun than traditional methods.
The cover is the first thing you look at when you see a quiet book. And so it is very important that you take as much care and detail while making it as the internal pages. Particularly for the back cover, it is best to including rich, interactive and attractive quiet book activities for kids.
The little boy I have in mind is only two years old. So for the back cover of this quiet book, I decided to include an interactive shape-sorting activity.
This cover backs up on to the R-is-for-rocket page of the quiet book. I had made this page earlier and it has a cute rocket that opens up to show a cheeky alien inside!
The rocket page and shapes page combine together to make the back cover of this quiet book.
Now let me show you the three easy hacks that will help you bring your quiet book cover page ideas to life in the least amount of time. You can use these hacks anywhere inside the quiet book as well.
1. Use HTV instead of stitching
HTV or heat transfer vinyl has become one of my favourite go-to mediums when I want to create something that not only looks good but also comes together in a short amount of time.
What is HTV?
HTV is the stuff you find most often on T-shirts. It is a kind of sheet polymer that can be cut into any shape you like. You then fuse it onto fabrics using heat and pressure.
You can buy HTV from a wide variety of suppliers. I simply bought a set of assorted HTV sheets from Amazon at a reasonable-enough price. Since I only use small pieces of it at a time, it is perfect for my needs. But you can purchase HTV off the roll in meters as well.
Sewing every single thing in a quiet book takes ages
The felt shapes that I created for the back cover of this quiet book are supposed to be fastened on to the page in their own special position. Most quiet books that you see on Pinterest create the placements of these shapes using felt that is cut and stitched on to the page.
This process takes a long time because you have to first prepare and stiffen the felt, iron it out, cut it and then sew it on. You also need to knot and bury the threads for every single shape.
A quicker way to create the shape placements
I did away with all of this by simply using HTV. I took the same cutting dies that I had used to create the felt shapes. But this time instead of cutting an extra felt shape, I actually cut out HTV shapes.
My little die cutting machine performed very well on the HTV for most parts. I had to add an extra shim with a sheet of cardstock to get cleaner cuts. But it all worked out fairly quickly. As I was cutting the shapes, I switched on my heat press to preheat up to the desired temperature.
Once the HTV shapes were all cut out, I used my heat press to position and seal the shapes in place on the quiet book cover page. Within a few seconds, the HTV was cool and I was able to peel off the top plastic.
I was left with these gorgeous vibrant HTV shapes ready to be further processed. The whole process took me no more than 5 minutes and I was done. If I had used felt for these base shapes instead, it would have taken me hours to prepare and sew on the felt.
So if you are making a quiet book cover and have lots of little pieces that need to be positioned on to the page, consider using HTV to save you time and also yield fun, vibrant results.
2. Use snap studs instead of sew-on fastenings
What are KAM snaps?
Snap studs, particularly KAM Snaps, are my favourite go-to fixtures for all kinds of purposes. They are little plastic buttons that can be installed within a few seconds using a set of special pliers.
Once installed, they are incredibly durable. You must have seen these in various sizes on children’s clothing as well as bedding. For quiet books too, KAM snaps are excellent because they come in a huge variety of colors and sizes.
Velcro and sew-on snaps take ages
Most people use Velcro or sew-on buttons as fasteners in quiet books. Both these tools take a while to sew and install. Velcro especially can be painstaking to sew on because it can tangle up your sewing machine thread.
A quicker way to attach fasteners
If you look around, you will realise that KAM snaps make for the perfect alternative to sew-on buttons. Since I had already used Velcro on various pages within the quiet book, I decided to use KAM snaps on the quiet book cover.
This is how I did it.
- I started by marking the center of the felt shape with an awl. If you have a KAM snap kit, the awl will come as part of it. I poked a hole using the awl.
- Using this felt shape as a template, I also marked the center of each HTV shape. Then I poked a hole with the awl on the HTV too.
- Now I simply installed the male and female components of the KAM snaps using the accompanying pliers. Since I was dealing with multiple layers of felt, I used a larger size 18 snap.
The whole process took me no more than 10 minutes and I was done. There was no sewing involved so I never had to pull out my sewing machine at all. KAM snaps are also incredibly durable.
So if you want to save time making your quiet book, use snap studs instead of sew-on fastenings. Just make sure that you are using the right size of snaps.
On my cover page, you can see that three shapes have white snap buttons while the star has a clear snap button. This is because the clear snaps did not have a long enough shaft. So every time I undid the snap, the male component would detach itself from the shaft.
Part of this is because I was working with multiple layers of felt and fusible interfacing here. I ended up using white size 18 studs which turned out to be sturdier than the clear ones.
3. Use a stapler instead of hand basting the pages together
This is by far my favourite time saving hack when it comes to sewing quiet book covers and pages.
Hand basting the quiet book cover and pages takes ages
Every quiet book page as well as the cover has two layers with a sheet of batting sandwiched between. Crafters traditionally use a needle and thread to hand-baste everything in place with a running stitch.
Now let’s face it: hand-sewing is time consuming and monotonous. When you have to sew through multiple layers of fabric, it can also give you sore fingers. All in all, it demotivates you from crafting.
A faster way to assemble the quiet book
To make my quiet book page sandwich faster, I discovered an amazing little hack: a stapler! You can very easily use a good old traditional stapler to anchor the quiet book page sandwiches together.
First take your sheet of batting and gently press it with a warm iron, under a cotton fabric for added protection. Now arrange the three layers together like this: page facing up on top the batting on top of the cover facing down.
Now start stapling as close as possible to the edge of the page. You will be done in just a few seconds!
This process is also a lot more fun because you can see real progress quickly. Once you have stapled both the pages together with a layer of batting in between, simply trim away the extra batting to reveal the final quiet book cover sandwich.
One thing to remember though is that you should stop stapling an inch from each corner of the quiet book page. This is because you will be sewing right up to the edge in order to install the binding tape.
Also, take out all removable parts before you staple the pages together!
Before you bind the edges of the cover page, you need to attach some kind of a closure to keep the quiet book closed. Since that depends upon the overall thickness of the quiet book, we need to finish making all the page sandwiches first. I will be making a separate post about this soon.
And there you have it: my top three time-saving tips to create quiet book covers.
In upcoming posts, I will show you how to finish assembling and making the quiet book in the shortest amount of time.
If you are still unsure about how to make a quiet book, do check out my post that walks you through each step. You will end up with a beautiful quiet book in no time.
Don’t forget to download and print my free Quiet Book Planning Tool and Quiet Book Page Templates. These will help you plan out your next quiet book in no time. And then you can use the templates to cut out your pages quickly and easily.