Introduction: Busy Book

I created a busy book as a gift for a special little girl I know. I figured it would only take a few days. Boy was I wrong! It took me about a month to complete. I'm sure I could have done it faster if I didn't have all the daily mom duties that having little children create.

Step 1: Materials

  • Sewing machine
  • Serger
  • Laser cutter
  • Canvas
  • Quilt batting
  • Large 3 ring binder
  • Grommets
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Iron on adhesive
  • Scrap fabric
  • Felt
  • Ribbon
  • Beads
  • Flowers
  • Buttons
  • Craft sticks
  • Snaps
  • Mod Podge
  • Photos
  • Buckles
  • Paperclips
  • Embroidery thread
  • Chop stick
  • Magnet
  • Locks
  • Key rings
  • Mini clothes pins
  • Play money
  • Old credit and gift cards
  • Small paper and pen set
  • Plastic rings
  • Velcro
  • Mesh bag
  • Tulle bag

Step 2: Choosing Pages

The internet has a wealth of ideas for pages you could create and there are a lot of sites that have patterns as well.

Once I had my ideas I cut out 12 pieces of canvas that were 8.75" x ll.25"

Step 3: Page 1

Page 1: Buckles

I tried to use as many items that I already had or could find for free or cheap. I used a dog collars and buckles from the dollar store, a belt from the second hand store and ribbon that I already had on hand. I cut them to fit the width of the page and sewed them down on each end with a box pattern with and x through the middle and made sure to go over each line twice to ensure durability. My straps were longer than my page but were cut off and secured nicely when I serged the pages together.

Step 4: Page 2 and 3

I decided to make these two pages go together.

Page 2: Washing Machine

Cut out 2 rectangle pieces of coordinating fabric and cut a hole in the middle of one piece close to the top for the opening of the washer. Iron on double sided adhesive to add some stiffness and durability.

Cut 2 Circles 1/4" larger than the circle cut into the machine fabric and then cut a circle out of the middle add iron on adhesive and sew a circle of clear plastic (cut from a plastic bag from a set of sheets I bought) in between them for the washer door and sew it to the machine.

Sew 2 buttons on the front of the washer for the controls. Place the two pieces of fabric together and then sew to the page.

Sew a little mesh bag along one edge to the page for a laundry bag.

Page 3: Clothes Line

Cut 2 pieces of ribbon the height you would like your clothes line to be, and 2 pieces of string or cording long enough to wrap once around each of your ribbons and stretch across your page.

Wrap the cord around each ribbon and pin in place. Sew down the length of both sides of your ribbon.

Sew a silk flower and button at the top of each ribbon.

Each sock was created by sandwiching double sided iron on adhesive and 2 pieces of fabric and then cut out in the sock shape. The toe, heal, and bands of the sock where ironed on with more double sided adhesive. and then hung from the lines with mini clothes pins found in the baby shower section of the dollar store.

Step 5: Page 4 and 5

Page 4: Magnetic Fishing

Cut 2 pieces of 4 blue fabrics 3" wide and 11" long and iron each set of fabric together with double sided iron on adhesive.

Cut a wave pattern on the top edge of each fabric.

Sew the first fabric completely down in the middle of the page. Layer the second fabric about 2" below the top fabric and sew down the edges and the bottom leaving the top open. Sew 3 lines down the fabric to form 3 pockets. Layer the 3rd fabric 2 inches below the second and again sew around the sides and bottom of the fabric. In this layer sew 2 lines down the fabric creating 2 pockets. Layer the final piece of fabric sewing around the edges and creating 3 pockets in this layer. Your water is completed. I added a sun in the corner for decoration. You could also add a boat and net to hold the fish.

The fish were created with pieces of fabric and embroidery floss. A paperclip was glued between the fabric with double sided iron on adhesive.

For the fishing rod use a takeout chopstick. Put a notch all the way around the thin end with a knife and tie a long piece of embroidery floss to it. Tie a strong magnet to the other end of the string and you have your rod.

The fishing rod can slide into the edge of the bottom pocket for storage.

Page 5: Lock and Key

You will need 6 pieces of ribbon. Cut the ribbon 11" long and cut in half. If I did this again I would cut the ribbon at different lengths so that all the locks were in different places on the page instead of all across the center. I think this would make the center of the book a little less bulky.

Sew a key ring into a loop at the end of each piece of ribbon and stitch down the length of each ribbon leaving an inch at the key ring end.

Sew a wider ribbon along the top and bottom of the page cover the ends of the thinner ribbons.

Add a 3 inch long small ribbon with a key ring at the bottom to the center of the top ribbon. Attach a key chain with a clip and all the keys so it can be clipped on and off.

Step 6: Page 6 and 7

Page 6: Counting from 1 to 10

Cut 2 pieces of ribbon 11" long and 10 pieces of embroidery thread 8 inches long.

Put beads on each piece of thread starting with 1, then 2, then 3 and so on until your last thread has 10 beads. I used beads that had a fuzzy texture to them.

Pin down each of the threads and sew the ribbon down the page to hide the ends and securely fasten the ends of each thread. I pinned each thread down across the page and added some knots and curls into each end so they would be held down to the page well and not slip out of the stitching.

Page 7: Mommy's Purse

I used the double sided iron on adhesive on the back of the inside fabric and then sewed the inside and outside fabric right sides together leaving a gap along the edge to turn it right side out. I then ironed it together for stability.

I did not measure anything for this page I sewed it all by guesstimation based on the size of my page.

I used a gift card to measure the card pockets and all the other pockets were added to fill up the space.

I sewed in a Zipper pocket that takes up the whole middle part of the purse under the money pocket and I added ribbon around the edges to hide the seams.

I filled the purse with old credit cards, used gift cards, laminated paper money, a little mirror, a small green paper pad and pen, and other little things that a little one likes to take out of mommy's purse.

Step 7: Page 8 and 9

Page 8 and 9: Bumble Bee Flowers

For the flowers, pull apart a dollar store lei, layer 2 flowers together and secure with a plastic snap. I made 10 flowers.

Arrange the flowers on your page mark a dot where you would like the flowers placed. Secure the other side of the plastic snap over your dots on the page.

Sew plastic rings onto the page beside each of your snaps.

Make a bee hive with 2 pieces of yellow fabric making a pocket and sew it to the page. I doubled the top fabric with the double sided iron on adhesive.

Sew a piece of ribbon long enough to lace through all your flowers to the inside of the bee hive and tie a honey bee button to the other end.

Step 8: Page 10 and 11

Page 10 and 11: Mr. Potato Head

I never would have attempted the work in this page except I had access to a laser cutter to cut out all the pieces which saved a lot of time!

Download the template from this website Mr. Potato Head and cut out pieces. I converted the images to Coreldraw and cut the pieces out on a laser cutter. I cut 2 of every shape and hand sew them together to make them thicker and more durable. I made 3 different eye colours, and the purses and hats in a few different colours as well.

Sew the light band on the barrel and then sew the body shape and the barrel to the background pieces of felt and then the background to the pages.

Stuff all the pieces into the barrel.

Step 9: Page 12

Page 12: Wooden Puzzle

Tape 6 large wooden craft sticks together and tape together with a couple of pieces of painters tape. I made 4 different puzzles.

Print out the 5X7 picture of your choice on regular paper and cut out.

Mod Podge the picture to the sticks and let dry completely. I dried these overnight.

Gently cut along the spaces between the sticks with a craft knife and remove the tape.

Stick squares of self adhesive Velcro on each end of the the back of the sticks.

Sew a strip of the other side of the Velcro to the page the same distance apart as the Velcro on the sticks.

I added a different coloured shape with paint pens to each of the puzzle pieces so they could be matched together if they got mixed up.

Place an elastic around each puzzle and store in a tulle bag from the dollar store.

Step 10: Putting It All Together

Cut 6, 3" x 11.25 strips of canvas, fold in half and iron. place the first 2 pages right sides together with the strip of canvas between them with the open edges lined up with the edges of pages and the folded edge on the inside and sew them together. When you fold them open there should be 1.5" strip going down the back edge of the pages. Do this step to create the six pages of the book.

Place a piece of quilt batting between each set of pages and serge around the edges.

Mark where the grommets need to be placed to line up with the 3 rings in the binder and set the grommets.

Place each page in your binder in the order you want them to appear and you are finished! I chose a binder that had a detachable file for possible storage (future colouring pages and crayons?). It also had a shoulder strap and carrying handle

If I did this again I would make the pages 1.5" wider and sew a line down the page at 1.5" to avoid having to sew in the strip to set the grommets in.

Epilog Contest VII

Participated in the
Epilog Contest VII