Quiet Book Page - Brush the Crocodile's Teeth
When researching quiet book pages to include in Ada’s quiet book I kept coming across pages that had you brush your own teeth or some other animal. It’s a perfect way to promote dental hygiene. The minimum you’d need for this type of page would be teeth (either through a mirror so you can see yourself or through an animal or any toothy object on the page) and a toothbrush. I decided to include an animal instead of a mirror so the book could be shared without worrying about the cleanliness of the toothbrush. This was a simple decision as I couldn’t think of a good mirror to use on the quiet book page, I also wanted to make the mouth open and close instead of being stuck open along with including a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste so Ada could pretend to apply toothpaste to the toothbrush before brushing the animal’s teeth. Along the way I ended up including a dollop of pretend toothpaste as well. I wanted to keep the page simple without a lot of distraction yet also keep it interactive.
When I first started planning I was going to attach the toothbrush and toothpaste tube to the page with Velcro and draw out the background (including a glass or something) with fabric markers; but then I worried about the hooks on the Velcro attaching repeatedly to the felt. Instead I went with fishing line to keep the toothbrush and toothpaste attached to the page and then created half of a 3D cup to put them in. I decided go with a crocodile instead of another animal as I came across a crocodile on other quiet book page examples online, it seemed easier than other animals, and was common enough to be recognizable to a toddler.
I think this has been the most used page in Ada’s quiet book and as she got older she started having the crocodile ‘talk’ occasionally by moving the mouth while giving him a voice.
- 108″ Unbleached Muslin Natural Fabric by the Yard
- Pellon Fusible Thermolam Plus White Fabric by the Yard
- Embroidery Floss
- Fishing line
- Felt glue
I decided to start out with cutting the felt for my crocodile. I only sketched out half the crocodile as I figured I’d be able to fold over the felt before cutting and end up with a symmetrical crocodile face. Just make sure you have room for the other side of the crocodile on the felt. I also didn’t worry about my pen as I flipped the crocodile over before attaching it to the page so the ink would be hidden.
After cutting out the base I used it to trace out the top of the mouth by tracing out the original piece while ignoring the eyes. I then cut out the second piece and made sure it worked by laying it over the first. Later on I ended up cutting a second piece for the top of the mouth so I could double it up to make it thicker and hide the items sewn onto the top or bottom from the reverse side.
I then cut out a tongue.
And then used the crocodile’s eyestalk to find out the maximum size the eye could be, folded over the white felt, and then cut out two smaller circles. I repeated these steps with the black felt for pupils for the eyes.
For the brush on the toothbrush I decided to have two rows of bristles by folding the white felt in half and cutting out a rectangle with a bumpy side.
I then continued cutting out the felt I needed while laying it out to make sure they worked together and wouldn’t take too much room on the quiet book page. For the toothbrush, toothpaste tube, and cup I folded over the felt at the bottom before cutting them out. The top of the toothpaste tube was folded from the side as I wanted it to go all the way around the top of the tube. Additionally I cut a small circle to go inside the toothbrush tube cap to close off the top and allow for a small ‘cup’ at the top to hold the toothpaste dollop.
Before sewing closed the toothbrush or toothpaste tube I used a blanket stitch to sew the hearts onto the tube and handle. I wanted to attach the toothbrush and toothpaste tube to the quiet book page with a fishing line so I brought a length of fishing line into the toothbrush by using a needle to go through the center bottom of the toothbrush before tying it off with a bead. I then continued by stuffing and sewing closed the toothbrush. When I got to about an inch from the end of the handle I inserted the toothbrush bristles before continuing up to the top, while sewing both, and then over the top and back down the other side. I used a bead at the end of the fishing line as I figured it would work better than a knot in stopping the toothbrush from coming off the fishing line.
For the toothpaste tube I had wanted to include a squirt of toothpaste that could be ‘removed’ from the tube and ‘added’ to the toothbrush. As such I didn’t tie off the fishing line inside the toothpaste tube and instead brought the fishing line through the tube by entering through the center bottom (like the toothbrush), pulling more line loose, keeping it inside the tube while I sewed up the side, made it exit through the center of the cap top when I got to the top of the tube, and then after it was secure outside of the tube of toothpaste I continued to sew and stuff the tube before closing it off. After I finished bringing it through the tube I tied off the end with a large bead that was then sewn into the dollop of toothpaste. The bead added the perfect amount of weight to the toothpaste and made it so I didn’t need to add stuffing to the dollop when I was sewn closed.
I wanted to add half of a cup to the page to store the toothbrush and toothpaste tube in. I made my cup using two layers of felt. I had it take on the shape of a cup by gluing the layers of the cup together with vertical lines of felt glue and then bending it over a cylindrical object (I think I used the felt glue container) and waited for it to dry so the shape would stay. I tried not to glue too close to the edge as the glue is hard to sew through once dried. As I wanted to use the cup for storage I attached the other end of both fishing line lengths to the quiet book page base where I was going to attach the cup. I then glued and sewed a half circle of pink felt to the page (slightly below to cover up where the fishing line was tied to the page) and then sewed the outside circumference to the bottom of my cup. Once it was secured I tilted the cup back up towards the page, being careful to keep the fishing line inside so it comes out the opening at the top of the cup, and sewed up the sides. After the cup was sewn on and secured I sewed along the top of the cup with fishing line to partially secure it and partially decoration.
I don’t have in progress photos but for the crocodile I used felt glue to glue together the pieces of felt and then sewed them down before it completely dried. When the felt glue dried it was harder to sew through and may require a thimble so I tried to move quickly. I started by sewing down the bottom of the crocodile before going on to add the whites of the eyes and then the pupil. For the tongue I sewed down the center of it tightening in some places to add character. For the inside of the mouth I glued down 2D teeth and then sewed them in to secure them. I ended up cutting a second layer of green for the mouth (so I had two versions of the top layer) so I sewed the top teeth to the underside of the one and sewed the nostrils to the topside of the the other one before gluing them together and sewing them together along the edge. When I sewed the top mouth to the crocodile I made sure to insert the tongue between the layers so the tongue would be sewn in too.
Main Sources of Inspiration:
- Imagine Our Life – Brush Your Teeth Quiet Book Page: I loved this page and love this website. I love how detailed her page was. I preferred the idea of Ada brushing someone’s teeth on the page rather than using the toothbrush on the page to brush her own teeth so I kept looking. It’s an amazing idea, but I didn’t want Ada and Zoey sharing a felt toothbrush that I couldn’t be clean or replace easily.
- Pinterest Image – Brush the Crocodile’s Teeth: I loved the look of this crocodile I found on Pinterest. The link just brought me to an image so I didn’t see how they made it. On the page the crocodile’s teeth are connected by the bottom only so the teeth point out and it has a 3D cup that fits an actual (toddler sized?) toothbrush.
- Etsy – RoseInBloomCreations: The basic idea of a 2D toothbrush and toothpaste in a cup. This page used a hippo and I loved how her teeth were sewn down instead of upright like the previous. I didn’t want them to be torn easily by Ada.
If I were to do this again I would…
- I would use a skinny ribbon to connect the toothbrush/toothpaste tube/toothpaste dollop to the cup and each other. Right now the fishing line is too long and hard to see so it gets tangled easily. The benefit to it being too long came about when the end got pulled out of the toothbrush and I was able to easily sew it through the toothbrush several times and knot it many times. Hopefully it’s more secure as I don’t have as much slack as last time. I’m wondering if making it shorter and using a ribbon would make it easier for a toddler to use.
- When I gave the quiet book page to Ada she was two years old. At the time I was wondering if I shouldn’t have added the toothpaste as it seemed to just get in the way. I’m hoping that as she gets older she enjoys the novelty but right now it even seems cumbersome.
You can check out my previous posts if you want more information on how I created my quiet book covers, joined my quiet book pages together, or to see all my quiet book pages. I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Feel free to reach out at any time in the comments below, through a post on my Facebook page, or tag me through Instagram.