Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Make a Quiet Book: Buckles

About Kara:
My husband James and I have been married five years and we had our first child, Elliot Kyle, eight months ago. After graduating from Texas A&M we came to the Houston area where James works as an engineer while I (mostly) stay home with Elliot. I taught bilingual 2nd then 3rd grade for five years, and now I teach 3 year olds in a Mother's Day Out program at our church. I enjoy reading blogs about multicultural education (like Spanglish Baby and Multilingual Living), learning Arabic and running. Though I've never really sewn before, I thought this would be a great project to do while I have the time and before I really need it.

How to Make a Buckles
Quiet Book Page

My page was the "buckle" page and after searching on-line for ideas I settled on a dog collar (see Pinterest). 


I bought stiffened felt for the black and white, but in order to get the brown and pink colors I needed regular felt. I searched online for buckles, nylon, and dog collars, but buying $1 collars at the dollar store was cheaper even than wholesale places. I spent about $41 on everything (about $2.05 a page). I borrowed the sewing machine from my mother in law, and mostly used her thread. I used extra strength thread for the dog collar, something we already had on hand.

Page Assembly:
  1. I printed out the dog picture from one of my pins.
  2. Then I cut apart the different pieces of the dog (ears, body, tongue, etc) and traced them on colored construction paper. This way I could see what it would look like without wasting felt. I modified the design to look a little different (some said "bunny" and "cow" in the process, but I think the final product looks more dog-ish), then measured the pieces to estimate how much felt I would need (I bought too much actually, and was able to return some).
  3. My mother-in-law helped me come up with the plan: sew all the pieces on to the dog body (brown felt) then sew the dog onto the page. When I was sewing the nose on I also sewed along the ears in black to create a line. She also suggested we make the tongue flap, so we cut double the number of tongues and sewed two together to make it sturdier.
  4. I pinned the dog and tongue down then sewed around the dog - in brown for most of it, then switched to black for the nose.
  5. My husband helped me cut the collars after I measured about how long they should be (I read the description here about how to sew the collars down). We burnt the ends with a lighter then sewed the ends down near the dog's neck, reinforcing as needed.

That's it! I'm glad I was able to be a part of this project, and I hope everyone's kiddos enjoy the dog collar page (I hope they don't escape from their car seats and strollers, as some people suggested would be a consequence of giving kids a buckle page to practice).

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