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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Busy Book Tutorial!!!

I am starting this post with a disclaimer: I am not a professional sewer. I don't know all of the words for the stitches and things on the sewing machine. I am sure you can modify what I am going to show you to your liking. If you have any questions after this post just email me and I would be glad to answer them:)

Also, If anyone makes one, please send me a picture!! I would love that.

The first two steps are the most important...

1.Observe the child you are making it for a while. Figure out the things that really interest them and that keep them engaged. Busy books CAN be pretty and cute BUT that is not the primary function. For instance, Drake loves the buckles but the zippers and buttons are boring to him.

2.Leave room for growth. You want each page to have something that they are able to do and something that will challenge them. ex. Drake can buckle but not unbuckle, and can put the key in but can't turn.

Once you have observed you child and decided what pages would be engaging for them you need to come up with your plan.

3. How big do you want the book? Drake is doing really well with the size of his book 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide.

4. Choose you number of pages, The bitty busy book has 8 including the front and back.

5. Cut out 8 pages from a sturdy fabric. Leave a half inch seam allowance. If you want a 6 by 8 book then you should cut 7 by 9 inch rectangles.

6. It's time to start creating your pages! Here's a video of me explaining how I put together each page in my books.

7 After you have created all of your pages follow the steps in this next video.

You're Done!!!


  1. Such great information! Thank you!

  2. Thanks a million! I am about to have a baby and move but I WILL be doing a busy book for my two kiddos before the chaos hits!
    I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to make your tutorial!!!!!!!

  3. Awesome! I started a busy book three years ago, but had so many problems that it still isn't finished. My pages were too flimsy to be played with, and therefore useless! You solved a lot of my problems, and now I think I can just go tweak the book I started, and finally finish it! Thanks!

  4. P.S. Where do I e-mail you pictures when I'm done?

  5. I am a long-time lurker on your site with two boys under two. I am always inspired by the ideas I find here and am absolutely MIND BOGGLED by how creative you are and how much energy you have for your little ones - especially with a newborn and while you were still pregnant!
    I am making busy books for each of my boys for Christmas and one for my youngest brother who is 2.
    Thank you so much for all the work you put into this site! It has helped me be a much better mommy :)

  6. i LOVE this! i just wish i could make it!
    can you tell me what sturdy fabric you used for the base of each page?

  7. also, will you be selling these at any time?? :) :)

  8. I copied a few of your pages and posted it on my blog: Thanks again!!!

  9. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial! You are so creative. I love all your ideas. You inspired me to make two Busy Books for my girls. You can see them here:

    Thanks again!

  10. This may be a silly question...but did you use reg. fabric for the background or the spot you sewed everything else onto, or did you use felt? I saw that you used a batting in there too, just curious. We are going to attempt our over Thanksgiving.

    Also, how long did it take you to make a whole book?

  11. I absolutely LOVE video tutorials. You did an amazing job. I'm getting ready to make one for my son that has fine motor skill delays. I'm so excited and can't wait to try. If this is like any other project I undertake it may be a while before I send you pics. :)

  12. This is a lovely post and set of videos. I'm definitely feeling more confident to attempt a busy book now. I've been wanting to make one, but hesitating for some reason.

    I found you through a Squidoo Lense on Toddler Workboxes, looking at your balance beam creation. I have five children, three little girls that I'll be homeschooling. The youngest is just growing out of her 0-3 months clothing, and I am getting ready to start three memory quilts using all the old clothes as the girls grow out of them. Making busy books will be a great way to utilize some of those textiles also! I'll definitely be back, and I'm adding your blog to my feed reader!


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