Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Busy Book for Z

This past summer we planned a fairly big trip which involved an 11 hour plane ride. Z was 20 months at the time and could sit still for about 12 seconds total. I had read about busy books and thought making one for her would be the perfect answer.

It was not.

She hated the book. She would cry or throw it across the room whenever I showed it to her. Perhaps it was too advanced. Perhaps she resented the time I invested into it. I don't know. She just wasn't going to be calmed on the plane by it. At the time it was a bit heartbreaking, but it's pretty funny now.

And now she likes to rip it apart so it does keep her busy.

This is how I began my collection of felt. I used white denim as the base for the pages and brown denim for the cover because I had it. I tried to spice it up with little embroidered designs here and there. Overall, I think it's a nice distraction.

The unfinished cover.

Button on Flowers.
This is one of the pages that I saw others had done and thought it was brilliant. The little red planter is a pocket.

Velcro Shapes and Fasteners
We practice the colors and names of the shapes as she throws them. She's shown no interest in the zippers, hooks or clips.

Counting and Tie a Shoe
I made the
first three counting squares primary colors and the next three secondary colors to sort of subliminally get that information into her. It fell apart on the third set as I didn't find felt at SCRAP in tertiary colors. I don't mind if that didn't work. She likes to untie the shoe and try to put her foot inside.

Close up of the counting page

This page is about finding things.

Some of the things hidden around. The cloud hides an airplane. The kite has a hanglider behind it. The ducks are held on by fishing line which allows them to "swim" back and forth. The water comes off to reveal fish. All the leaves have birds or bugs hidden underneath, and that black circle in the trunk of the tree hides a squirrel.

An extra close up on this, my favorite bird.

Textures and Snap on Balloons
Soft, smooth, silky, bumpy and scratchy (a scouring pad). I tried to make a little carnival by the balloons.

Eddie's Garden
Z loves a book called Eddie's Garden, so this was my homage to the illustrator. The carrots snap on, as do the peas and the pumpkin. The corn, the chard and the sunflower are velcro, and there's a little rabbit hidden near the peas. Lots of busy birds and bugs populate the book, so I tried to copy that (with some problems around the border).

A little pocket to hold all the bits that fall off.


  1. Wow!! You put a lot of love and time into this! She will love it more and more as she gets older.

  2. Amazing! This piece of art is so inspiring! I wish I could do something like that for my baby girl. Perhaps one day :) Thank you for showing me how.

    1. Well I just borrowed ideas from others I'd seen and added my own spin. You can do it!

  3. I have never seen something like this before. It looks amazing! How many hours did it take you to make it? Congrats , even if Z didn't play with it too much :)

    1. I don't know the hours. I spent about 6 months from drawing it out to finally saying "no more". I would finish things like the balloons and then go back and add a little carnival embroidery. At some point I just had to stop.

    2. You did a great job. I particulary like the garden