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Quiet Book Tutorial 2 12/31/2008

Quiet Book Tutorial
by Jenn Olson

Supplies Needed:
Footnotes Project Kit
Some Twine or string (preferably something soft-ish so as not to hurt any little hands)
Hole Punch
Scrap Paper

Helpful but not necessary:
Gel Medium
Acrylic Gesso
Acrylic Paint & Brush
Basic Grey Sanding File Set
Crop-o-Dile Big Bite/Hole punch that will go through chipboard
Tin Foil
Sharpie Pen (black)
Exacto Knife


To start, take your selected paint and load a little on your brush-take a couple of swipes across your scrap paper to lay off the majority of the wet paint. “Dry brush” your paint in long choppy strokes across the edges of your book pages. I did green on one side and blue on the other for extra interest, letting them overlap randomly. Set them aside and let them dry.


Prepare your chipboard while your paint is drying. I did several techniques with mine—

To prepare the blackboard alphas I painted them with a quick, thin coat of gesso (I find this really helps any other treatment stick!)

For the chipboard buttons, I took the lazy scrapper route and used mostly stickers to cover them! I also used the BG file set to sand the edges and smooth them out. The ones not covered by stickers were covered with one of the coordinating patterned papers in the
following method:

apply a thin coat of gel medium with an old brush (one you won’t use for paint)
attach patterned paper to one side, allow to dry
punch one hole
repeat for the second side
use BG file set to, again, sand the edges nice and smooth to match your sticker buttons

**This method is also perfect for any of the other blackboard elements—and as you will see were used quite frequently throughout this book. For more detailed information, see Scarlet’s November class tutorial!

By this time your gesso covered alpha will be dry and ready for a quick application of paint. Do that and set them aside to dry. I chose to apply a few of the star stickers while the paint was damp. Once they dried it was easy to take an exacto knife and cut off any excess.



Now it’s time to start on your pages! There are so many possible variations—the sky is the limit. I went with the thought that older and younger siblings could be interacting over this book together, choosing to use simple color words and lots of texture for little fingers.
Using the first windowed page for the cover of the book, attach your elements. Tie the string around the bunny’s neck before attaching in order to be sure that the string will be staying firmly in place with plenty left over for tying and untying.



On the next page, I couldn’t help but think the bear looked like he was a bit surprised. What would surprise a bear but finding himself balancing on a stack of balls? A few little dabs of gel medium attach the bear so that he appears to be peeking out the window of the first page is key. Once you’ve done that, proceed to stack buttons, stickers or punched circles for your bear to balance on. Wouldn’t it be clever to use the Velcro on one or two to make them removable?


I thought it would be nice to make a color identification page with some interactive elements. With the help of a modest amount of gel medium, make a button path for counting and separating colors and feeling and identifying texture. As a special touch, cut some tiny pieces of tin foil to place behind the windows of the house. Once the bottom portion of the house is in place and the button path is finished, attach Velcro the roof. One side of your Velcro pieces will still be sticky, carefully place the roof and press down to adhere the sticky side to the page. Give a few seconds to set and then viola! it comes off to reveal a little monster lurking in the house. Using the rub ons to add the color words helps an older child identify the color/word connection.




My favorite page is the ‘button slider’ page—I thought it would be fun to have the darling little giraffe overseeing the activity. After placing the giraffe and cloud elements, use the pre-graphed page to line up some holes. After measuring and marking them, punch holes in the top and bottom, slightly past the edge of the window (we don’t want them to rip through!). Using the cotton string, tie a big tight knot in the top and then thread the biggest buttons onto it (using only one of the button holes). After pulling the string taut, slip the end of the string through the hole at the bottom of the window and tie another tight knot. Repeat this process with the chipboard buttons on the opposite side of your premade holes. For the middle set of holes thread one end through the top and tie a length of the ribbon into knots and thread it through the bottom and knot off as previously done with the string. Using other, shorter pieces of ribbon to make a “tie and untie” game.








On the last page, I thought it would be wonderful to leave a spot for the recipient(s) to draw a picture of themselves. Using the soft cotton string, the hole punch and the pre-made graph, it was easy to measure out holes and thread for little fingers to practice their hand-eye coordination! Attach letters or another element with a few dabs of gel medium.



When all the pages are complete and dry, put together with the supplied rings and tie ribbon bits to complete the look.

Helpful hints:

When using your gel medium with paper, make sure it’s dry before trying to sand—it dries quickly, but always give it a little feel before you start sanding to avoid ripping!

If your string wants to fray a little dab of gel medium or fray check at the ends will help.

If the Velcro is super sticky and wants to come back up, press very firmly or even apply a little gel medium to the backs for extra sticking power!