Not much is better than watching a child read a book. But I know what is better… a child reading a book that I made for him! This no-sew, DIY quiet book is a tactile experience as they explore each vehicle with their hands and you read together the sounds each one makes.
I have never used felt or any fabric with my Cricut before trying this project, but the Cricut Maker Machine comes with a rotary blade that is perfectly designed to cut felt.
You won’t need a sewing machine, because this book uses glue, iron-on, and rings to hold it together. Here’s how to make this DIY ‘Things That Go’ quiet book!
Here’s what you’ll need to create this DIY, no-sew ‘Things That Go’ book:
- Cricut Maker Machine
- Cricut Rotary Blade (best for use with fabric/felt) and Fine Point Blade (to cut Iron-On) – these blades are included when you buy the Maker Machine
- Cricut Fabric Mat (for felt) – this is included when you buy the Maker Machine, but you can buy replacements on Amazon for a great price and fast shipping
- Cricut Standard Grip Mat (For Iron-On)
- Felt pieces in colors of your choice. Each piece I used was 9” x 12”. Here’s what I needed:
- White (10 sheets), Black (2 sheets), Dark Blue (3 sheets), Light Blue (1), Turquoise Blue (1), Red (2), Yellow (2), Green (1), Grey (2), Sand (1) (I purchased my felt from Hobby Lobby. The Pages (white and dark blue) I bought their premium (79 cents) felt which is slightly stiffer, and for all the rest I bought their cheaper regular felt (33 cents). You can buy felt at every craft store, on the Cricut website, and on Amazon.
- Tacky Glue (I used Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, available on Amazon. This is a good deal for three bottles.)
- Cricut Design Space
- Cricut Access Subscription (You need this to have access to the images I used)
- Cricut Everyday Iron-On in Black
- Cricut Weeder Tool
- Cricut Brayer or Cricut Scraper
- Cricut EasyPress or household Iron
- 1/4” Single Hole Punch (I used a hole punch like this one on Amazon)
- Grommets and Grommet tool (I used a Grommet pliers kit like this one from Amazon.)
- 3 binder rings (I used these 2” binder rings from Amazon)
How to Design the No-Sew Quiet Book
In Cricut Design Space, you will create each individual page. Here are the simple steps:
- Add the images.
- Add a square and size it to 8×8.
- Place images on the squares and space them.
- Add text (I used the default Cricut Sans font) and size the text. I made the text of the sounds larger.
- Do as many pages as you want to and customize the book to your liking. I’ve included notes on changes I made to the images I chose to create my pages.
Images You Need for ‘Things That Go’
Here are the images from Cricut Access that I used for each of my pages:
- Things That Go (cover page): Road – #M442C4
- Tractor Page: Tractor – #M3AC0B (I recolored the tractor to red), Grass – #M46110 (I sized grass to 8” wide to go fully across the page)
- Helicopter Page: Helicopter – #M373C6, Helicopter pad – add rhombus shape and resize, add letter H to the center of the shape, highlight the shape and letter and click SLICE. Delete H slice to create a letter cutout.
- Boat Page: Boat – #M2BA65D39, Water – #M3FB6B (I deleted the boat part of the image and resized the water), Fish – #MBE4EC53 (add twice, size one smaller than the other)
- Car Page: Road- #M2F8E325C (I added a landscape image and deleted all parts of the image except the road, then changed the color of the road to black), Convertible Car – #M394ED
- Train Page: Train – #M3887E, Railroad Tracks – #M7E759A2 (unlock the width/height and resize. I made this 8” wide to go fully across the page)
- School Bus Page: Bus – #M4542A, House – #M40299 (I added a resized rhombus shape and colored it gray)
- Fire Truck Page: Firetruck – #M454F8, City buildings – #M328DD (I deleted two layers of this image and only used one layer. Then, I changed the color to gray. I also chose to place this page on the dark blue back page of the book rather than on a white page.)
- Truck Page: Road – #M27604CA, Semi Truck – #M3B2A9
- Motorcycle Page: Road- #M2F8E325C (I added a landscape image and deleted all parts of the image except the road, then changed the color of the road to gray)
- Airplane Page: Airplane – #M37454, Clouds – #M89103E1 (place twice and resize)
Tip: I removed some of the “underneath” layers of images to keep the vehicles from becoming too thick. Simply take your scissors and cut out the duplicate parts, like wheels or backs of vehicles that will not show. Alternatively, just don’t add these bits to the image before you glue the pieces together. If there is a duplicate area, the Cricut actually makes a cut for you to finish if you want to remove that section.
How to Cut the Felt for the No-Sew Quiet Book
(insert image of cutting grey felt)
If you choose to create all of your pages in a single design, you can cut all your images at once. To do this, you’ll want to double-check all of your colors first.
Use Fewer Colors for Faster Cutting
I adjusted the colors of the selected images so they all used the same colors:
- Light blue
- Dark blue
Go through each image and change them to the same colors used in the other images.
Make sure your colors are the final colors you will use so that Cricut will place all of the same colored items on one mat to cut. As an example, my red tractor, red firetruck, and all other red pieces will all be placed on one mat. This will greatly speed up the time it takes to make your design.
Don’t forget to place a white 8×8 box for each page, and color it white. This ensures your white pages will be cut as well. I also used a blue felt for the cover page and back page of my book.
Check your mats to be sure the pieces placed on the mat fit the size of your felt. My felt pieces are 9×12. I had to move a few pieces from my red mat to the second mat. Do this by clicking on an item (the three dots) and selecting “move object.” Then, select the mat you want it moved to. I moved these to the next red mat.
Load and Cut Your Felt
Load your felt onto your Fabric Mat, and load the rotary blade into your Cricut machine. The rotary blade really should be used, as it is much better at cutting felt and other fabrics.
Follow the directions on the machine to select Felt as your base material and change the tool to Rotary blade. Press Go.
When you get to the mat with your words, change your blade to the Fine Point Blade. Place your Iron-On (shiny side down) onto the standard grip mat. Be sure you Mirror the image by editing the image.
Load into Cricut and cut.
After the cuts are complete, weed the vinyl and sort the felt into your various pages.
How to Glue and Iron Your Felt Book Together
Sort all of your pages and pieces. I laid mine out on my bed – all ten pages with all of their pieces of felt laid out so every picture was complete before I glued.
Glue Your Felt
Work on one page at a time. Glue pieces in place. After your glue dries, go back and check if any areas are loose and need some extra glue. I found I had several small spots to re-glue, mostly to secure corners of larger pieces. I don’t want any small hands pulling off the pieces easily.
Iron On Using the EasyPress
After the glue was dry, I took all the iron-on pieces, and using my EasyPress, I pressed the iron-on words to my felt pages.
Use Cricut’s Heat Guide to select the temperature and time for pressing. I set my EasyPress for 280 degrees for 30 seconds using Light pressure. Be sure to preheat the felt by pressing for 5 seconds before you place your iron-on transfer in place. This removes any extra moisture from the fabric and helps secure a good bond.
Place your words far enough away from the edge so the holes you punch for the binder rings don’t cut into your words.
I also made a “Handmade with Love by Nana” iron-on piece in white to place on the back of the book. It’s a nice touch for a keepsake item like this one.
You can see all of the pages after I finished the iron-on process by clicking the arrows on the slider below:
How to Put Your Quiet Book Together
You’re close to the end now! All you need to do is hole punch and place grommets and rings.
Punch the Holes
Take a 1/4” single hole punch and make three holes along the side of each page. Once I decided where one page’s holes were, I punched the first page and used that one as a guide. I marked each of my remaining pages with a pen and then punched the holes.
It requires a LOT of pressure to punch through the felt. I had to cut the holes off with my scissors after it punched through, as there was a small bit it did not cut through.
Set the Grommets
Set the grommets with grommet pliers following the directions from your kit. I used this kit from Amazon. It was easy, but your hand can get tired squeezing the pliers to set the eyelets after a few pages. I called in my husband to do the last three pages for me!
Once all of your grommets are in place, string your pages on three 2” binder rings.
You’re done, and you have a beautiful keepsake book for your child!
I’m looking forward to seeing my grandchild look through the pages of his book and imitating the sounds of the vehicles.
I’m now thinking about making a more interactive book for a slightly older child. One where they can match fruits, animals, place numbers, and count.
If you have a great idea for a quiet book page, let me know in the comments. For my first time cutting felt with my Cricut Maker Machine, I am VERY pleased with the outcome and definitely going to do more felt projects!
Don’t forget to use a baby wipe on your felt mat after you have cut your felt, it will clean all the fibers off and you’ll be ready for your next project with me!