Elephant quiet book page
Elephant quiet book page

I loved making this elephant quiet book page! It was so quick and easy to make… oh and who knew there were so many letter E quiet book ideas online?!

I discovered this while making a quiet book for a friend’s baby boy. His name is Sameer and I am making him a spell-my-name quiet book for toddlers. In this series of posts, I am talking about how I made the quiet book pages for each letter. So far I have covered how I made the S-is-for-strawberry, A-is-for-airplane and M-is-for-mouse quiet book pages.  Now let’s take a look at this adorable elephant quiet book page.

Pinterest elephant quiet book page
Pin this to your quiet book board to use later!

If you too are setting out on your quiet book journey, it really helps to first check Google and Pinterest for inspiration. For example E is for elephant, eggs, ear, envelope and so on. While all these options can seem overwhelming, I find that everything appears simpler if I start to think about each image as a series of simple lines and shapes.

So for example an envelope is just a series of straight lines arranged at particular angles. And this is exactly how I started thinking about the elephant pattern that I drew next.

Making patterns for your quiet book page

I love making quiet book patterns on Inkscape. It is a free software on which you can create vector images. Vector images are pictures that you can scale to any size without blowing up the pixels. So when I decided to create an elephant for my quiet book, I first created its quiet book pattern on Inkscape. Here’s how I did it.

Narrowing down letter E ideas

First I looked around on the internet for different letter E quiet book ideas; there were quite a few! After searching through images for a while, I realized that I wanted to make an elephant. So I narrowed down my search to images of cute elephants. Google images was perfect to find what I was looking for.

Hand drawing the patterns

I studied all the cute elelphant images I liked and then did a rough sketch of the kind of elephant I wanted to create for my quiet book. It did not have to be perfect; just enough to get me going on Inkscape. It really was no more than a series of simple curves and shapes. But I knew that I wanted to make its ear movable for the baby to interact with.

Once the cute elephant was sketched, I scanned it into my computer.

Creating quiet book patterns on Inkscape

Elephant quiet book pattern
Elephant quiet book pattern

I imported my scanned elephant sketch into Inkscape and traced it to create a vector image. You too can learn how to do this on Youtube.  I made sure to scale the elephant to the relevant size of my quiet book pages. And just like that, one of the letter E quiet book ideas had been converted into a pattern! Making vector patterns is easy on Inkscape. I saved my quiet book pattern as a pdf file and printed it out on my home printer.

Cutting out the quiet book patterns

Elephant quiet book pattern cut out
Elephant quiet book pattern cut out

Next I set about cutting out all the different parts of the busy book pattern. I used fine curved scissors for the intricate parts such as the tight curve between the elephant’s legs and the closed eye. I knew I would be making the eye out of HTV and curved scissors work beautifully on both paper and HTV.

I also used small sharp scissors to cut the other details of the quiet book pattern such as the ear. But for the simpler lines of the body, I just used a regular pair of sharp scissors. I was done in no time at all.

Pacing yourself while making a quiet book

It is important to pace yourself when you are making a quiet book. So I did not immediately use the quiet book patterns to cut out the materials. Instead I took a fresh CD envelope, the kind with the clear window, and placed all the little pieces of the elephant quiet book page pattern inside it. I carefully labelled it and put it away. I would return to cutting out the quiet book materials a short while later after taking a break.

Preparing to cut the quiet book materials

You always need to prepare your quiet book materials before cutting them out. If you haven’t already, you could read the two separate posts I wrote earlier about how to stiffen quiet book pages and how to stiffen felt .

Felt for the quiet book elephant
Felt for the quiet book elephant

To make this cute elephant, I first stiffened two different colours of felt fabric pieces. One was a lovely speckled grey felt and the other was a bright blue coloured felt. These were all high quality 20% wool mix felt fabrics from my stash. I left the larger blue piece of felt as it is because I would be sewing it on flat.

Fusible web
Fusible web on the felt

Once dry, I ironed out the felt pieces using a hot steam iron and heat pressed fusible web behind both the felt pieces. The felt was now ready to be traced and cut.

Cutting the quiet book materials

Now it was time to cut out all the felt and HTV pieces that I needed for my cute little elephant.

Tracing the quiet book pattern

I traced the simpler parts of the quiet book pattern on the fusible web’s backing paper. These patterns included the elephant’s body and ear. I was careful to flip the patterns over while tracing their outline. Since these were larger, easier shapes to cut, I used a simple pair of sharp scissors.

Taping the quiet book pattern

For cutting out the intricate shape of the eye, I used heat transfer vinyl (HTV). To cut the HTV, I directly taped on the quiet book pattern and cut around the piece. The tiny piece would have been tricky to cut out. But my sharp little scissors made quick work of this too and I was done in no time.

Putting together the elephant quiet book page

Finally all the pieces of my quiet book pattern were ready to be put together! For this, I removed the backing paper of fusible web off the felt pieces. I used a sharp instrument to make a shallow gap on the back of the felt. Then I just pulled the paper off.

Fusing the quiet book pattern parts

I first fused the elephant’s body on to the quiet book page using a hot iron. I also fused the top layer of the ear on to the bottom layer of felt.  

Sewing the quiet book pattern parts

Next I took all of these to my sewing machine and did a tidy stitch all around. But I left the top of the ear unstitched. I have a little old Brother LS14 sewing machine. It is cheap and basic but very good at what it does.

Then I used a needle to pass the extra thread lengths to the back of the sewn felt. I knotted off the threads and trimmed off the excess.

Knot and trim the threads at the back
Knot and trim the threads at the back

My stitch length was 7 on the sewing machine’s dial. This gave me enough control to turn the project through tight curves easily. Anything longer than 7 would have been trickier to manoeuvre around tight bends and curves.

Attaching the elephant ear

I trimmed out the ear from its felt surround using my small sharp scissors. This I sewed in place to create a 3D tactile ear for the elephant. Once again, I used a needle to pass the extra thread lengths to the back of the sewn felt. I knotted off the threads and trimmed off the excess.

So now the baby can move the ears of the little elephant when he opens the book. Isn’t it cute?!

Finishing off — pressing on the HTV

Heat press the vinyl
Fuse the eye in place with a heat press

After this, I used my hot press to install the HTV details which is the elephant’s eye. Notice that I had first cut out a tail pattern too. But I chose not to use it so I did not cut it out of HTV.

I will be adding some cute beads and button details to the page later . I shall update this page once I do that.

Elephant quiet book page all done!
Elephant quiet book page all done!

You can read all about how to make a quiet book here.

You can also get a quick visual of the whole process here.

If you want to look into another letter E quiet book page, check out this E-is-for-egg page!

To get an idea of what quiet book materials you might need, check out this page.

Happy crafting!