* about the cardboard - before you do anything, you'll want to figure out how many pages you need. You will only be using the hard front and back covers from the picture book and you will need cardboard pieces for each other page you want in your quiet book. How many different pages you make is entirely up to you, but used two pieces of cardboard.
First off, you'll want to sketch out how you'd like the pages to look. That way, you can get an idea of scale and size, not to mention how to place everything so it's all accessible. Do NOT make fun of my sketches. At least not to my face. That down there is supposed to be a bedroom.
Measure your cover.
Cut your cardboard pages to the same length and about 1 inch narrower.
Rip the pages out of the book. That's why you want it to be an old one. Any Disney lovers out there who want to yell at me right now? Maybe you should go to a thrift store for a book...
Now, decide what color you'd like the background of all of your pages. If you choose a dark color, the next step will be a bit different. Darker colors will probably cover up the pictures and words without problem, but if you use a light color like I did, you'll want to paint the covers first.
Paint the entire front cover. Lay our your piece of white felt over the paint - don't wait for it to dry because as it dries it will act kind of like a glue and help hold the felt on. Then, spread hot glue along the edges of the felt and press them over the edges of the book.
I was pretty lucky that the book I chose was almost exactly the same size as a single sheet of felt, so I didn't need to do any measuring and cutting. But if your book is smaller or larger, you may need to make some adjustments.
Once you are done painting and putting felt on the outside of the covers, you'll want to glue felt over the inside of the felt covers as well. Then, cut two skinny strips of white felt and use your hot glue to adhere them to the binding on the outside and inside.
|see how you can see the front cover through the felt? When the paint dried, you couldn't really see it anymore, although two coats probably would have been even better.|
Now, take your two pieces of cardboard and cover them with felt, front and back. I used the same process as I did with the covers - paint, wrap the felt, glue the edges, and press them together. So, total I used 8 sheets of felt for the pages.
Next, you'll cut a strip of felt the same color as the pages. Make it the same length as the pages and about 4 inches wide. Now, you will glue the two pages to this strip leaving about two inches of the felt in between. See where that arrow is? That's the gap in the middle. The strip is glued to the pages on the back. Then, take your pages and wrap ribbon all around the perimeter, just as you did with the covers. Once you are done, spread glue all over the back of the strip of felt between the two pages and press this down into the binding of your covers. (That's the second picture).
Now you'll make your spine. Measure all around the binding and cut a piece of ribbon that size plus a couple of inches. Then use hot glue to adhere it all along the inside and outside spine of the book. Start at the inside top, glue it all down the inside, wrap it around the outer edge, hot glue it up the outside back of the spine, then around the top edge of the book ending where you began. At the inside top of the spine, tuck your ribbon under and glue just the end, so there is a little loop of ribbon.
Now you need to make the doll that goes inside the book. This doll should be a miniature version of your child, so make the eye and hair color reflect that. I simply googled "person outline" and printed it out at the right size for my book. I used this as a template to draw around on my felt.
So, using the felt color you need for your child, simply trace around your template with a sharpie. (Just a note, although I don't specify this throughout the tutorial, all of the felt pieces are either traced or simply sketched out with sharpie first before cutting them out of the felt.)
Make sure to cut out two pieces - a front and back.
Next cut out all the pieces for the dolls face, hair and little knickers. Plus any other accessories you think she needs. Remember that everything besides the face will need a front and back. (Unless your child has eyes in the back of her head. Which is generally only a symptom of motherhood).
Glue the front pieces on to a piece of person-shaped felt. Also, glue the back of the knickers on the other piece of person-shaped felt. BUT don't glue the back of the hair on yet.
Now, draw a line of hot glue all around the inside of the front piece, leaving about two inches UNGLUED.
And push the front piece against the back piece, insides together. Like so. Notice the gap where there was no glue.
Now you can use some of your batting to stuff her. Mine was pretty darn small, so getting into all those little nooks was no easy feat. I guess patience is the best tip I can give you here. Once she's all stuffed, just draw a line of glue along the gap and stick her together.
(You'll notice in this picture that I glued the back of her hair on too soon...) Measure out about 18 inches of ribbon or ric-rac, what have you, and glue it to the back of her head.
Glue the back piece of hair over the top of the ric-rac.
And you've got a ribbon doll! Wait. What?
Well, now you'll take that ric-rac and tie it in a knot into the loop of ribbon on the inside of the spine. That doll isn't going anywhere!
Now you'll add the finishing touches to the outside of your book.
It's bound to get pretty "puffy" on the inside when you start adding things to do, so you'll need a way to keep it shut up nice and tight. Take two small rectangles of felt. Put one on top of the other and place a button on top. Hand sew the button on. (I swear that's the only sewing you'll do) Then glue in between the edges of the two felt rectangles. Hot glue the bottom of the felt and button sandwich and stick it on to the front edge of the book in the middle. Then, take a bit of ribbon or ric-rac, glue the two ends into a loop, hot glue the loop to the back edge of the book, across from the button. Cover the hot glue-y mess with a small rectangle of felt.
Closure! By the way, you'll want to make sure there's a lot of give in the ric-rac because it's not stretchy and you'll need some room for the stuff inside. OR, you could just use elastic...
Cut a pocket shape out of felt that's large enough to fit your doll. I decorated mine so it kind of matched the button. Hot glue around the curve and leave the top open. Glue it to the front of the book. You can decorate the rest any way you want. I chose to write my daughter's name in ric-rac above the pocket. Now your doll has a place to hang out while she's waiting to be played with.
Now we'll move inside the book. Remember when I showed you that awful sketch up there? It was a bedroom, right? I made a few adjustments as I went (for instance, I couldn't comfortably fit the dresser in, so I left it out). But the rest of this tutorial will show you how to make an interactive closet, window, bed, and clock.
For the closet, you'll need two brown rectangles, four small tan rectangles, a super skinny long black rectangle, a small black circle, and several key chain hook thingys. For the outside of the closet, just hot glue the tan rectangles on one of the brown ones, and add the circle for the door knob. For the inside, slide the key chain hooks onto the skinny black rectangle and hot glue them in place so there's a bit of space between each. Then hot glue that whole thing onto the other brown rectangle towards the top. Hangers!
Glue the inside rectangle to the book page where you want it. Then run some glue down the edge of the outside rectangle and adhere it to the edge of the other rectangle.
Glue a small piece of black velcro - the rough pokey side - onto the inside of the door of the closet.
Now you've got a closet the opens and closes with hangers inside and a latch to keep it closed.
Which means, you need some clothes to put in the closet. You can make some super simple outfits for your doll by cutting two rectangles, one just a little wider than the other. Then, cut the wider one straight across just off-center. Glue a skinny strip of velcro (the rough side) to one side. Then, shape the smaller rectangle into a shirt or dress - v neck, scoop neck, arm holes, whatever. Glue along the side seams and shoulder seams and stick the two rectangles together.
You can make a ton of different clothes using this method and decorate them however you'd like. I made a little ruffle out of ribbon for the purple dress, ric-rac along the orange dress, a big button (that actually works) for a vest, a piece of ruffly ribbon for a skirt, and pom pons to decorate the pajamas.
When you're done with the clothes, just hand sew some little jump rings to the back on top (whoops. OK, now THAT'S the last of the sewing, promise.) And clip the jump rings onto the hooks in the closet.
Every bedroom needs a window. To let the sun in in the morning and to wish on stars at night. So. You will need a square of black and one of blue, four long skinny rectangles of brown, a white crescent and several white star shapes, a green bumpy shape, a yellow quarter circle, four bow shapes, and four curtain panel shapes. Layer and hot glue the pieces as shown below to make a day window and a night window:
Glue the day window down onto the book page where you want it. Then, glue the night window JUST at the top edge OVER the day window. Glue a small piece of velcro to the book page above the windows.
Now you can start the day with the night window rolled up and secured with velcro and roll the night window down when it's time for bed.
Speaking of bed... you need to make one. Where will your doll sleep otherwise? First, construct the bed shape and glue it to the book page where you want it. My initial shape is an oval for a rug under the bed, then two brown pieces that look like really wide, squat h's for the head and foot boards, and a cream colored rectangle for the mattress glued in between. Next, make the pillow - just two rounded rectangles, glued around three edges and stuck together, then stuffed with some batting and glued up tight. Then glue some velcro to the back of the pillow. Cut out a rounded blanket shape and glue on edge to the side of the bed. Now you can roll it up out of the way, or tuck your doll in. I decorated the pillow and mattress with pom-pons and the blanket with ric-rac.
To finish it off, I made a clock so you'll always know what time it is. I simply glued a circle of felt to a circle of card stock for stability, then cut two rectangles for hands and used a brad to connect it all. The little notches are drawn on with a sharpie.
Now, this is only the first page, but really you could stop there if you wanted.
See, she's already thrilled! Especially with that little stuffed teddy bear I added...
BUT, there are two other full pages of FUN! A dining room and outdoors! You'll have to visit my blog for the rest of the tutorials, though.
|Just a peek...|