Remember the Quiet Book Overview I did a while back? Well I thought that it might be a good idea to answer some general questions about quiet books before I got into the nitty gritty about the individual pages. So here are some answers to questions you might have. If you still have questions, please feel free to leave your questions in the comments so I can address them too!
What size should I make my quiet book?
This is entirely up to you. I made mine about 8"x8", but you could really go with any size. 8"x11" or even as big as 12"x12". I don't think I would recommend going any bigger though. Even 12"x12" might be too big. You want it to be big enough to make the book functional, but you want it small enough to carry around with you and for your child to play with comfortably. If it's too big for them to handle, it's not going to be very fun.
What material should I use to make my quiet book?
I've seen a lot of people use muslin for the quiet book pages. I chose to use flannel. Why did I choose flannel over muslin? Well mostly because I had no idea what kind of material most people used. I went to the craft store and found something that looked like what I'd seen in other quiet books. I wasn't really familiar with muslin at the time. Would I change the material I used? Nah. The flannel works just fine. I don't know exactly how they compare price wise, so check around and see what you can find. Just be sure to use something sturdy but also flexible.
What other hardware should I use to put the book together?
I used grommets and book rings. Each page has 3 grommets and the book uses 3 large book rings - the kind that spread apart so you can add/remove pages. I started with a smaller size but have since moved up to a bigger size because I added more pages. I liked the idea of book rings because I could easily open them and divvy up the pages amongst other children (when we have more). They also allow for free movement in the book as you're looking through the pages. But you could also use ribbon to tie the pages together.
Those are the book rings you should be looking for. See how they have a hinge on one side which allows them to bend apart. There are grooves in the opposite side that keep them from opening when they shouldn't.
I found mine at Walmart in the office supply section. I think I've also seen them at Joanns and Hobby Lobby. I've never seen them at Michaels though.
Grommets are a little intimidating, but easy once you figure them out. For my book, I sewed two pages together with wrong sides together. Each set of two pages takes 3 grommets. You could probably get away with 2 on each page and then you would only need 2 book rings. Your choice.
How should I put the book together?
For most of my pages, I cut out a piece of flannel about 9"x9" (to allow for seams). I then sewed what needed to be permanent on each page. Any removable parts can be added later. After I had 2 pages completed, I put the pages right sides together and sewed around 3 sides of the square. I left one side open and turn the pages right side out. Turn in a bit of both sides of each page. The raw edges should be tucked in between the pages. Then sew the last side. As you put your page together, be sure to leave some extra room on the side where the grommets will go. You don't want them crowding out the fun stuff on your pages. After the last side is sewn together, add your grommets and put it into your book.
What about the cover?
For my cover, I used a minky fabric. I didn't make any kind of buckle or way to keep it closed.
I suppose I could very well add something on a little later though. You could use any kind of material though - the sturdier the better. Felt, canvas, or any kind of home decor fabric would work just as well.
I hope this helps to answer some of your questions. PLEASE let me know if you have any other questions. I'm more than happy to answer them!