Author Archives: Stephanie

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

I keep my sequins in a vintage canning jar beside my sewing area, and all the pretty, sparkly colors have been calling to me recently. I wanted to make a quick project with them, so I combined my love of felt and fun, dangle earrings!

Felt and Sequin Dangle EarringsNo patterns needed for this one – just have fun!

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

What I Used:

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

I started by cutting out shapes in my felt and laying them out with sequins to create a design I enjoyed. I then cut out a second set. Make sure you cut a backing piece for each earring body. Decorate the earring fronts by sewing down the felt shapes and adding sequins and French knots as embellishment.

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

Here is how I made mine:

I cut my base out in a rounded teal diamond shape. I had a honeydew green circle the size of a nickel and a blue-gray square, slightly bigger than a sequin. I laid the pieces out and started by sewing down the center square. With the same thread, I sewed on the center sequin. I then switched thread colors and sewed on 4 contrasting sequins around the circle.

With the same thread color, I added a French knot to the center sequin. Switching thread colors to match the circle, I stitched it down. I then started alternating adding matching sequins and stitching French knots.

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

Repeat everything for the front of the second earring.

I then created a tassel. I cut a length of three colors of floss, cut those in half and then tied then together at the midpoint. I then folded them in half and used one of the thread colors to tie knot loops around the bundle. After my last knot, I ran my needle up through the top of the tassel and let the tail stick out with the others at the top. I trimmed the bottom, then made a second one to match.

With thread matching my background, I stitched the tassels to the backsides of the earrings. I made stitches that were hidden by the sequin on the front. I then began sewing the front and back together for each earring. I paused at the top and sewed on a jump ring. Make sure the rings face the way they need to in order hang the right way from your earring wires.

Finish the earrings by attaching the earring wires. I had fun with the colors and made a bright pink and purple set that is slightly smaller.

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

I really enjoyed making these and may design some more to give as gifts or sell in my Etsy shop. Let me know if you make some! Stop by our Facebook page or share a photo with me on Instagram or Twitter (username @iolstephanie). Be sure to share the project with a friend who sews!

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Tic Tac Yo-Ho-ho!

Jax has recently taken an interest in learning how to play tic-tac-toe (Noughts and crosses, Xs and Os, etc…) so I thought it would be a fun and quick page to sew up. This project would also work great as a stand-alone 9″ square felt tic-tac-toe set. We’ll be going to the beach in September, so I thought up a pirate island theme!

This page can be made as a stand-alone game by sewing it to a 9″ square background.

Pair this page with: The Treasure Quiet Book Page

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

What I used:

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Sewing the Island

Following the template, sewing the tic-tac-toe grid onto the island piece.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Pin down the island with a bit of stuffing or batting underneath for dimension. Sewing it down, then embellish it with French knots and tiny stitches to show the sand texture.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Decorate the water’s edge with blue crystal sequins. Decorate the sand with some pirate’s treasure: gold sequins and pearl buttons.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Treasure Chest

Stitch two gold bands onto each side of the treasure chest. I used thick 100% wool felt, so I didn’t line the chest. If you are using regular felt, place a blank chest piece behind each side of the chest and sew them together along the long top side.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Place the two finished sides together and sew the right sides and bottom together, then place it on the page as shown and sew the left side together through the page. This will make a pocket that is hinged to the page. You can flip it out of the way when it is time to play. Add a snap to the back of the chest on the loose side, then sew the matching half to the page. This holds the pocket still while you flip through your quiet book.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Cross Bones

Using a light layer of felt glue, tack down two of the bones into a cross shape onto black felt. Once it is dry, cut it out and sew it all around the outside. Repeat so you have 5 X’s.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Ruby Rings

With on strand of pink thread, sew the gem lines onto each felt ruby. Start with a long horizontal line, then make two V’s above it and one large V below it. Use the template as a guide.

Using a light layer of felt glue, tack down a gold ring onto brown felt.  Glue a ruby on top as shown. once it is dry, cut it out and sew it all around the edges. Repeat so you have 5 O’s.

Arrrrh! Have Fun!

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

 

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

Quick Links: Purchase this pattern for personal use or commercial use!

A colorful, handmade invitation to learn & play…
The Learning Laptop!

Introducing the newest pattern in the Imagine Our Life Etsy pattern shop.

The Learning Laptop project makes a laptop-style quietbook with multiple activity sheets that pull out of a storage pocket and attach to the screen. The “keyboard” is made of letters attached by hook and loop tape. Activities include: the alphabet, numbers (quantity, addition & subtraction), colors (matching & mixing) and tangrams (two difficulty levels). The keyboard lifts up to reveal storage pockets for all the loose parts and activity pages. This book is perfect for a broad range of ages, but I recommend children under three have adult supervision due to small parts.

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop   Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

All the wool blend felt and vinyl in this project was provided by American Felt & Craft. The colors are all so beautiful, and I have a lot of leftovers to create more projects from. You do use quite a bit of hook & loop tape in this project. So much that I ended up not putting it on any of the loose parts beyond the alphabet. I used white Snag-Free Velcro for the screen and keyboard, then gray and black for the case. The only other special supply that is used is an assortment of colorful mini buttons. Mine were 7mm Favorite Findings Basic Mini Buttons in Ocean, Fun, Primary and Clean. I collected mine in craft stores, but I generally can find them online too. I have plenty leftover for other projects.

Learn and Play with the Learning LaptopAlphabet

The first thing you see when you open the Learning Laptop is the alphabet. It isn’t in qwerty, as it is meant to teach alphabetical order. (You would need to scale your letters down a bit to convert it to qwerty, as you’d need 10 instead of 9 on the top row.) The letters can all be pulled off and put back in the correct order, or used to make works on the screen. The basic pattern calls for one of each letter, but you can make extras and store them inside. I’d recommend extras if there are double letters in your child’s name.

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

I chose two shades of aqua for my letters, separating the vowels with a darker shade. You can change them to all the same, or perhaps the classic Montessori red and blue combination. I added a little heart to fill in our extra space.

Learn and Play with the Learning LaptopNumbers

There are two sets of number tiles that range 0 through 9. One set has buttons to show the quantity, the other has written numerals. I chose not to match the felt colors between the two sets so that a matching game will be harder for my 4-year-old. A younger child who is just learning number quantities might benefit from having the felt colors correspond.

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop
A math page is included in the storage pocket to introduce addition and subtraction. It includes one line for each, with space to have up to two tiles as the answer (for example when using the 1 and 0 to make a 10.)

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

Colors

The Learning Laptop has three simple color puzzles. You could create additional pieces and add more button combinations if you wanted to. Included is a page that lets the child either sort the three primary colors into three puzzles, or they can follow the mixing equations to make the complimentary colors.

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

The outer pieces are the same primary color on each side. The inner pieces are primary colors (red, yellow and blue) on one side and complementary colors (orange, green and purple) on the other.

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

Tangrams

The tangram puzzle are Jax’s favorite! The pattern includes two sheets of full-size puzzles that have guide lines and two pages with smaller color examples of additional puzzles. This gives the child two difficulty levels to work through.

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

The tangrams are colorful and fun. Jax started out struggling with the easier puzzles, but after working out how to rotate and flip the pieces, he soon was able to move on to the harder puzzles. Now he is showing interest in creating his own!

Learn and Play with the Learning LaptopEverything tucks away into the storage section to keep it safe, though I help Jax clean up so we know nothing is missing.

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

Jax in his Montessori homeschool room. Learn more here.

Jax really adores this laptop quiet book and was so anxious for me to finish it! In honor of the tangrams being his favorite, I created a free pdf file with 12 additional puzzles in matching colors. Download it here.

Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop    Learn and Play with the Learning Laptop

I worked hard to really make the pattern and instructions look beautiful. I’ve included a full tutorial and a brand new stitch guide! As an added bonus, there is a $5 American Felt & Craft coupon to help you purchase beautiful felt!

The Learning Laptop pattern can be purchased for personal use for only $8.00 here. Your purchase helps me towards my goal of making this site my full-time job so I can share so many more projects with you. And, don’t worry! I will be mixing in plenty of free patterns!

Plan to sell the finished product? Purchase a commercial license for $25 and sell as many as you like! You will also be listed on my Authorized Sellers page.

Our Montessori Classroom

I’ve been doing a lot of DIY and redecorating lately. Jax has begun sleeping in his big boy room at last and has earned a new mural. At the same time, I’d starting thinking a lot about our homeschool space. It was bright and beautiful, but as Jax (and our school supply collection) has grown, it has begun to feel cramped. We were also running into problems with the school room being upstairs off the master bedroom (his old nursery.) I needed to be downstairs to do my freelance work, and Jax has wanted increasingly more time for school work.

Our Montessori Classroom

The best solution? Moving the schoolroom down to half of the playroom! The playroom is the front room of our main living area. I suppose it is intended to be a formal living room. We have no need for two living rooms – the “den” area off the kitchen is plenty! By moving just a few things out of the playroom and adding storage, I knew the school room would work great there.

We have also been busy dealing with medial issues. Poor Jax had the bad luck of contracting Lyme Disease from his very first tick bite. We caught it super early and will have a near 100% chance of a full recovery with his month of antibiotics. It has been a rough time, with Jax having a bad reaction to Amoxicillin and having to switch to a new (more disgusting) medicine. We are in the home stretch, and so grateful for all your kind words and suggestions!

Would you like a little tour of our new learning space?

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have often seen pictures of the old room. I really love that room, but it was so small that half of the floor would end up covered by supplies. We can finally stretch out and breathe!

Our Montessori Classroom

I started by moving Jax’s hand-me-down playgym outside so the room felt more open. I also took his old plastic table out of the room. The thrifted Ikea coffee table we’d been doing schoolwork on was working really well, with one exception – it was getting too short! After a trip to the hardware store for some square wooden medallions, I quickly made it taller. We had a little chair from the thrift shop that had a lot of water damage and was close to falling apart. I tightened it up, glued some broken bits and gave it a paint job.

Our Montessori Classroom

From Walmart, we purchased two $17.99 white shelves. They are certainly not the best quality, but they are surprisingly nice for $18 each. One had a warped side board, but some tweaking and shim under one edge has them sitting flush together.

On the side wall, we already had two Ikea picture shelves that were were using to hold books. I placed the DIY shelves (painted boards on wood crates) from the old school room underneath. Then I painted a narrower scrap board and used it to widen the bottom book rack into a thin shelf. This makes a perfect shelf for smaller baskets and activities. I put the extra books in a basket.

Our Montessori Classroom

I needed to move our DIY chalkboard to have room for the new shelves, so that went between the windows on the side wall. I’m not in love with that area yet, but it is bright and functional.

On Our Homeschool Shelves

I don’t have any big study units going on right now, but let me show you around what is on our shelves.

Our Montessori Classroom

Starting with the left side of the shelves, we have Jax’s small movable alphabet, montessori globe, wooden shape lacing (Target Dollar Spot), and some glass bead spacers (Dollar Tree). Below that, we have our handbells and felt notes and a wooden tray (craft store) filled with sand. One the middle shelf, we have all the body organs and labels for Jax’s human body chart, his sorting fruit pie and a basket of magnets (a placeholder for now). On the bottom shelf, we have our letter construction set, spread out for now.

Our Montessori Classroom

One the right shelf, I have a thrifted wooden clock board, a thrifted Ikea abacus and our small wooden number cards. Below that, I have all our DIY math beads (still in progress). On the middle shelf, I have Jax’s math block set, geometric shapes and some felt sheets to use as work mats. On the back of the bottom shelf I have our letter sounds tubs. In front, there are our lowercase and uppercase sandpaper letters.

Our Montessori Classroom

To the side, I have our hanging picture line,. I also hung a thrifted peg hanger with chalkboard tin buckets full of art supplies (Target Dollar Spot). On the floor, I have a thrifted paper holder (Container Store brand) with construction paper (also thrifted!)

Our Montessori Classroom

On the side wall, I have books on the top shelf. Below that, I have our weather materials, a wooden rainbow, some CVC matching cards, our word spinners and our DIY color tablets. On the top large shelf, I have our solar system works (to coordinate with out Air & Space museum trip), some of our continent animals, two starting sounds matching trays (using sandpaper letters and starting sound objects) and a basket of CVC objects. On the bottom shelf, I have some colored craft sticks with shapes (thrifted) to make and label, as well as our piggy bank activity.

Our Montessori Classroom

To the left of those shelves, I have Jax’s chalkboard, some musical instruments and classroom plants. I don’t have a chalk holder figured out yet, but no rush!

What do you think of our new classroom? Do you have any suggestions for us? Jax adores it, and loves having access to all the item’s I’d had stored in the closet. It is so nice to spread out!

Our Montessori Classroom

For more homeschool ideas, visit Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now.

Montessori Monday

Felt Sandwich Set

Have you caught the felt food bug yet? Felt food is super adorable and quite easy to make. I’ve been dying to design some for Jax, but needed to wait until he was old enough to keep them picked up. We have a golden retriever who would find felt food equally as fun!

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I had so much fun designing and sewing a felt sandwich set for Jax, that I wanted to share the free pattern with you all. This set includes all sorts of goodies for your sandwich shop: breads, proteins, cheeses, veggies and spreads. And don’t forget chips and a cookie!

Felt Sandwich Set

I’ve also been sewing a lot of sliced fruits to go along with the sandwiches. Follow my Play Kitchens & Food Pinterest board for many of the tutorials I followed. I did create some of the fruits on my own. I can share those later if there is interest.

Felt Fruit

What I Used

I used a hodge-podge of felts for this project – whatever I had on hand! Some is wool blend felt from American Felt and Craft, some is cheap craft felt by the yard from Joann’s Fabric and the chip bag is thick 100% wool from the craft store. Here is the pattern I made.

Felt Sandwich Set - Breads

Breads

For the pita pocket, I placed two layers together and sewed them together along the straight edge with a blanket stitch. I repeated this with the last two pieces to have the two sides of the pocket. I placed them together and sewed through all the layers along the curve.

Felt Sandwich Set - BreadsFor the sliced breads, I cut two strips of crust for each slice. Using a blanket stitch, one strip got sewn around the top curve of one bread piece and the other around the square bottom. The strips were trimmed and sewn together at the base of the curves on each side. I then blanket stitched the other side of the bread on, pausing halfway to lightly stuff it with poly-fil.

Felt Sandwich Set - BreadsI used artists’ pastels to add shading to the brown toasted bread. I colored lightly around the edges of each side, then “set” it by getting the colored felt wet and drying it overnight. We haven’t had any rub off yet, but Jax is gentle. I do not recommend doing this if any felt food will be in someone’s mouth! And do be sure your pastels are non-toxic.

The cookie is very simple! I cut little chocolate chips and glued them down with a dab of felt glue. I sewed mine down as well. I then sewed the two sides together with a blanket stitch, pausing halfway to lightly stuff the cookie. (All of the items in my breads section were done with cheap craft felt.)

Felt Sandwich Set - Breads

Spreads

For each of the spreads, I sewed the front and back pieces together. On the guacamole, I also glued then sewed down little scraps of red and green felt before sewing the whole piece.

cheese

Cheeses

I made three kinds of cheese, but you could easily add your favorites. For each of them, I sewed the front and back pieces together. On the pepper jack, I also glued then sewed down little scraps of red and green felt before sewing the whole piece.

Felt Sandwich Set - Veggies

Produce

Being a vegetarian, I wanted lots of tasty, colorful fruits and veggies for Jax’s sandwich set. They take a bit more work but add so much!

For the lettuce, I cut mine out with pinking shears for a zigzag edge. I sewed the two sides together with a running stitch (a dashed line stitch that looks the same on both sides.) I pinched the base together into a tiny dart and stitched it to make the stem. I used a running stitch to add veins.

To make the spinach, I stitched three leaves to one of the base pieces using a back stitch up the center vein of each. I then blanket stitched the front and back together.

Felt Sandwich Set - Veggies

When sewing the avocado, I started by sewing the two sides of the avocado flesh together along the straight edge with the pit hole. I then blanket stitched the back piece on to make a wedge, pausing to fill it with stuffing.

The tomato takes a bit of embroidery time. I laid each side of the tomato down onto one of the inner pieces, then sewed down the holes. Using gold thread, I stitched the seeds with a lazy daisy stitch (Bring your needle up and down at the same spot, but before you pull the loop tight, make a tiny perpendicular stitch at the top to tack it in place.) Once all the seeds were done, I stitched the two sides together with a blanket stitch.

Felt Sandwich Set

For the red onion, I made two rows of dashed running stitch to each white ring. I then sandwiched the purple skin piece between the white rings and blanket stitched it together. The purple will show a bit as though you sliced the onion thinly.

The cucumbers started with seeds that were tacked down with glue, then stitched on. I sewed 3 to each side. I then layered the skin piece between two flesh pieces and blanket stitched it all together, the same as with the onion.

Felt Sandwich Set - Proteins

Proteins

I know olive loaf is pretty yucky in real life, but it sure looks adorable made of felt! Jax like olives, so I thought he would find it fun. I cut whole and partial olives, red square pimentos and random pink scraps. I glued and sewed them down to both pieces of a really lovely pale peachy pink felt, then stitched the two sides together with a blanket stitch. I did the salami the same way as the olive loaf, using pink and white random scraps for the little bits in it.

For the two sandwich meats, I simply sewed the two sides together with a blanket stitch. On the turkey, I used the same pastel technique as the toast to add some shading.

Felt Sandwich Set - Proteins

The fried egg is simple. I stitched the yolk down to one side, pausing to add some stuffing. I then sewed both sides together with a blanket stitch.

To make the bacon, I cut two wiggly pink strips for each side. I glued and sewed them down, then sewed the two sides together.

Felt Sandwich Set - Chips

Chips

I used a very thick 100% wool for my chip bag, so it did not require a double layer of felt. You can double up the same way as with the pita pocket if needed. I also cut my bag on the fold so I didn’t need to sew the bottom. I used back stitch and a french knot to make my chip label. After stitching the lettering onto the label, I stitched the label onto the bag front with a blanket stitch. I then stitched the side of the bag closed into a pocket.

The chips were made by simply blanket stitching two layers of felt together.

There are so many fun combinations you can make with this felt food set – especially if you add some pieces of fruit! Which piece is your favorite?

Felt Sandwich Set

Felt Weather Station Pattern & Free 3-Part Cards

Felt Weather StationLearning about the weather is always fun for kids. It is easy to relate what you learn to what is going on outside the window.

I knew I wanted to create something for Jax to let him explore and learn about different weather conditions. I decided to go with a felt set that can both be used to learn new weather words and to post the daily weather.

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This pattern is my very first pay pattern. I hope you find the pricing reasonable! I am really hoping to turn my crafting into a career that lets me both be creative and have time to be the best mama I can be. I will still be offering free patterns. At this point, I expect 50% will be free. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

You can purchase this pattern for $6 in my Etsy shop, Imagine Our Life. If you would like to sell the finished product, you can purchase commercial licensed version for $20. This is a one time fee, and you’d be able to sell as many weather charts as you’d like after purchasing it.

Felt Weather Station Pattern

This pattern included instruction to sew both a felt weather wall chart and a quietbook version. The wall chart is perfect for classrooms, while the quietbook is a fun way to make learning portable. There are 12 adorable weather condition pieces, along with matching labels printed on photo fabric. (You can also print the labels on card stock and laminate them.) There is a slider that can be set to the current temperature. A special pocket allows children to post the current weather conditions.

I worked hard to really make the pattern and instructions look beautiful. I’ve included a full tutorial and a brand new stitch guide! As an added bonus, there is a $5 American Felt & Craft coupon to help you purchase beautiful felt!

Felt Weather Station Pattern

As a free add-on to this felt set, I am providing my matching 3-part cards free for educational use! Click here to download the pdf. The cards include many of the same weather conditions as the felt set, giving you an additional way to teach the new vocabulary.

3-Part Cards - Weather

Montessori MondayTo assemble, print out the cards ad cut them out. Glue them to card stock backs, then laminate and trim. I use this laminator. To make laminating a bit easier, you can try adding a dab of glue stick to the cards when you position then in the lamination sleeves. It keeps them from wiggling and overlapping.

If you liked this free homeschool printable and want more homeschool ideas, visit Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now.

 

Felt Weather Station Pattern

I hope you enjoy this pattern! I can’t tell how much your support means to me. Big thank yous to all of you who are a part of our Facebook page. You have given me so much inspiration! Please feel free to comment here or on Facebook if you have suggestions for new projects. I’ll also be posting sneak peeks at this week’s free pattern on my Instagram. Come follow along!

Felt Weather Station Pattern

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

This is such a fun quietbook page and study unit! It page sews up quickly, but is a big hit. Sorting is always fun for preschoolers, but sorting money is even better!

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

This page features a felt piggy bank with labeled coin slots and a key at the bottom to help kids sort the coins.

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

To make this quietbook fit in with our Montessori-style homeschooling, I have created several free printable packs. You can use these with or without the quietbook page.

Downloads

The Quietbook Pattern3-Part Cards for US CurrencyMini US Coin Card MatchingUS Coin Addition Game

What I Used

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

I began the page with the embroidery on the coins. I back stitched the numbers onto each of the coins, then stitched them down to the bottom of the page.

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

I stitched the smaller numbers and coin slots along the top of the full-sized piggy bank piece. Make sure the slots line up just above the partial piggy bank pieces, as seen in the photos.

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

To take out the coins, open the flap. The hook & loop separates and allows access.

On the outer (light pink) partial piggy bank piece, I sewed down the dollar sign and a button eye. I sewed the two ear pieces together, then attached it to the pig at the base.

On the inner (dark pink) partial piggy bank piece, I sewed a strip of pink hook tape towards the bottom (this will need to line up with the loop tape you later sew immediately below the clear vinyl pocket later). I then sewed the front and back of the piggy bank flap together on the sides and bottom, but not the top. I lined the top of the clear vinyl pocket up with the top of the flap, then sewed through all three layers across the top.

The trickiest part is making the coin slots. Have one of each coin on hand for sizing. Lay the completed piggy bank flap in place, then sew it down between each coin slot line. I flipped the flap up, then sewed the sides of the clear vinyl down top the inner piggy. Just below the bottom of the vinyl, I sewed a piece of pink hook tape. (This closes the bottom of the pocket when the flap is closed, keeping the coins from falling out.)

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

At this point, the page was nearly done. Test out the coin slots, and if yours are a bit too tight for tiny hands as mine were, you may need to tweak. I made the coin slots stretch open a bit by making stitches that pulled the ends towards each other: So the right end of the 5 cent slot was stitched to the left end of the 10 cent slot, etc.

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

Downloads

The Quietbook Pattern3-Part Cards for US Currency part 1 & part 2Mini US Coin Card MatchingUS Coin Addition Game

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

Montessori US Currency Printables

Montessori-style 3-part cards are so great for introducing anything that can shown with a picture and name. They consist of three parts: a labeled picture card, the picture alone and the label alone.

IPiggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

A child begins with the labelled cards, then eventually starts matching the labels to the pictures, using the labelled cards as control cards. They can be used as reference for writing exercises later on.

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

Click here to download my free pdf files (here is part 2) to make your own. To make mine, I cut them out, glued them to green construction paper, then laminated them. I included the fronts and backs of each coin or bill.

Mini US Coin Card Matching

Coins can be tricky to learn. You have how they look, what they are named, plus two ways of writing their values! I made a set of mini cards that can be used to learn and match everything. Add in coins so they can match them to the pictures.Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

US Coin Addition Game

To help Jax learn how to add up coin values, I made a little coin addition game. It can be used at two levels – one side has the values written, and one does not.

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

Start with the labeled side, then have your child use beads or counters to add up to the totals. When they are ready, they can use the unlabelled side, then check their answers on the back.

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

To create these, I folded and laminated the strips so they were two-sided. The answers are two-sided as well: I glued the two different ways of writing the answers back-to-back.

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

There are also two strips that add up to the same answer, to show there are multiple ways to get the same sum!

I hope you enjoy this free quiet book pattern and homeschool printables! For more homeschool ideas, visit Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now.

Montessori Monday

Have you seen my Etsy shop? At the moment, I am selling commercially licensed versions of my patterns to allow crafters to sell finished products from my patterns. I will eventually have some pay patterns to help pay for the site and the time I put into it, but any free patterns will remain free for personal use. Would you like to support my site? You can purchase one of the commercial patterns regardless of whether you plan to sell the finished item – the money will go towards keeping Imagine Our Life alive!

Piggy Bank Quietbook Pattern & Free Currency Printables

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

The winter Olympics are always a favorite in our house. This year we can’t wait to share them with Jax! And, now that we are homeschooling, it’s such a wonderful opportunity to learn.

When I began preparing works based on the Sochi Olympics, I quickly realized I needed to make some printables. Montessori 3-part cards are such a wonderful resources to learn new nomenclature. I prepared a large pack of printables for him – and also for you!

If you follow us on Facebook, you probably already saw our winter Olympics pack. I wanted to get it out to everyone right away as I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to post it on the blog for a few days.

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

What’s Included

I created 3-part cards for all the base sport categories featured in the winter Olympics. I made both a photographic version and a version featuring the beautiful Russian pictograms created for the games.

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

A fun activity to do with both set is matching the pictogram to the correct photo. You can do this with the labeled card at first, them move to the unlabelled version. For now, I am just using the labelled cards with Jax.

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

Another feature of the Olympics that I wanted to feature was the medals. Jax will be hearing “gold medal” a lot and won’t necessarily understand that means 1st place. I wanted to teach him the three medals and which place they represent.

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

I created a little set of 3-part cards with the actual medal designs being used this year in Sochi. I also put together a little matching game with a key Jax can follow to match the correct medal to each place on the podium. He can add some of his wooden number cards to reinforce the activity.

Winter Games Homeschool Printables  Winter Games Homeschool Printables

The last printable I included was the Olympic rings. The logo was originally designed to feature all the colors in the flags of the countries competing. There are many more countries in today’s Olympics, but they all have at least one of the ring colors on their flags.

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

I made a color by number sheet so Jax can color his own Olympic rings. And to give him some self-correction of error, I included a color version of the rings that I printed and laminated.

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

Olympic Rings Craft

I’ve prepared a quick paper craft for Jax to do. This can be done with or without cutting. Your child can simply place the precut rings in their correct places and glue them down, or you can have them make a cut in each ring and interlock them.

To create the rings, I used two of my circle punches. I punched a 1.5″ hole in the paper, then centered that in my 2″ punch and cut out the ring. Two inch rings match the color printable perfectly.

I hope you enjoy these free winter Olympics printables! Do you have any fun ideas for this learning unit? Leave a comment for me or tag me on your Instagram photos @iolstephanie.

Winter Games Homeschool Printables

Please visit the Montessori Monday linkup on Living Montessori Now for more great homeschool ideas!

Montessori Monday

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

At last, the final sewing installment the Montessori wall map! It’s hard to believe I’ve finished sewing the whole world (just about)! The next and final post in this series will feature the world landmark printables. If you haven’t been following our Montessori wall map and quiet book yet, you can read all about it here. This post is for the continent of Australia.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Every continent (and the oceans) will have landmarks and animals. Australia has so many wonderful animals, but is too small on the scale of this map to fit more than 4 pieces I ended up choosing 3 animals (thanks to your votes on Facebook!) and one landmark for this continent. The landmark, the Sydney Opera House, is the only landmark I chose in this project that doesn’t have a matching Safari LTD figurine. It was so iconic that I couldn’t not make it, though. I included: The Sydney Opera House, and Emu, a Koala and a kangaroo.

Overview and Map PatternsAfricaAntarcticaAsia • Australia EuropeNorth AmericaOceansSouth America

Our finished map!

Our finished map!

This project is totally free for you to use (though commercial use requires a license.) If you’d like to support my designs, one way is to make a purchase off of Jax’s Amazon wishlist – he turns 4 on February 5th! I use his list to bookmark school and craft items until I am able to get them. For more ways to contribute to this site, visit my support page.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Materials I Used

The Pattern (see the first post for the main patterns) Felt from American Felt & Craftpastry [golden taupe], chocolate [deep brown], fresh linen [off white], monkey [red brown], honeydew [light green], sparrow [light blue], ice [aqua blue], rocky point [heather taupe], elephant [charcoal], graywhite and black. Hook & Loop – I used white snag-free Velcro on the backs of all these pieces and brown hook & loop (loop only) on the front of the Australia puzzle piece. My brown hook & loop was from here. Felt glue to tack down the pieces before sewing, printer fabric for the continent label, embroidery floss in colors to match the felt and micro tip scissors.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

For the Australia quiet book page, I sewed a running stitch (dashed) outline around the Australia pattern piece and sewed down snag-free Velcro to line up with the Velcro on the back of the Australia piece.

Australia: (Felt used: chocolate brown) For the Australian continent puzzle piece, I sewed down pieces of brown loop Velcro. On the back, I sewed strips of white snag-free Velcro to correspond with the Velcro in the quietbook and the wall map. I finished it by sewing the two sides together around the edge with a blanket stitch.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Label: (Felt used: chocolate brown) For the continent label, I folded under the edges (just a tiny bit to hide the rough edges) and creased it with my nails. The printer fabric held the folds nicely without ironing. Then I stitched the label to some brown felt and trimmed it down to be a border. I cut a matching felt rectangle for the back, sewed snag-free Velcro to it and then sewed both sides together.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

For all of the animals, I started by gluing the pieces down to a scrap of background felt with a very light amount of felt glue. I glue multiple animals at a time to give them time to dry. I sewed them down, trimmed the background and cut a matching backing piece. I sewed snag-free Velcro to the back and sewed both sides together with a blanket stitch.

We love this animal encyclopaedia!

We love this animal encyclopaedia!

Emu: (Felt used: rocky point heather beige and chocolate dark brown for the body, grey light grey and elephant charcoal gray for the head and legs and honeydew light green for the background) For the emu, I tacked everything into place with felt glue. I then sewed all the pieces down around their edges. I made little dashed stitches with brown floss to make his feather texture. His eye is a gold French knot with a tiny black stitch in the center. His mouth is a black line.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Kangaroo: (Felt used: monkey red-brown for the body and pastry beige for the background) I started by tacking everything down with felt glue. The joey’s head and kangaroo leg go on top of the body. I stitched everything down around the edges, the back stitched the line of the kangaroo’s elbow. There is a straight stitch in her ear and the pouch. Both eyes are black French knots.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Koala: (Felt used: gray for the bodies, white for the ears, black for the noses, chocolate dark brown for the tree and honeydew light green for the background) I started by tacking everything down with felt glue. Then I stitched everything down around the edges (except the white of the ears). The eyes are brown French knots. Their nails are brown straight stitches. I back stitched the mama koala’s mouth.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Sewing the Landmarks

For all the landmarks in this project, I started by sewing the front piece. Then I cut out a backing felt to match the final shape and added some snag-free Velcro to it. I finished sewed around the whole edge, switching colors where needed. For all of the detail work, see the photos for a sample of where to stitch.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Sydney Opera House: (Felt used: pastry beige and white for the building, ice for the water and sparrow blue for the background) I glued down the building pieces and stitched down the edges. Using three shades of brown floss, I made many straight stitches to add details of the building. I looked at photos online for reference. See my close up for exactly what I did.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

These animals are from Safari LTD’s Down Under TOOB

Montessori Australian Animals 3-Part Cards

The series of 3-Part cards I am making for this project is something that Jax will be using for many years in homeschool. I have been focusing on the animals in these posts, but the next post will feature all the landmarks we sewed. Eventually, we will expand our collection of cards even more to include cultures, more landmarks, and so much more. Three part cards are extremely flexible learning tools.

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Click here to download my free pdf file to make your own animals of Australia cards. To make mine, I cut them out, glued them to brown construction paper (to match Australia’s Montessori color) then laminated them. I use this laminator and I’ve been very happy with it. It makes everything so shiny and strong! My photos come out slightly faded from the printer (I use normal paper) but turn gorgeous after lamination. (Quick tip: Add a dab of glue stick on the back of your pieces before you place them in the lamination pouch to keep them from sliding around as you feed it through the machine.)

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I know many of you are sewing along (or plan to after the holidays!) If you are, stop by my Instagram @iolstephanie and leave a comment on one of my photos (I can’t see your photo if it you are private, but I can request to follow you temporarily if you leave a comment on mine about it) or share photos on Facebook. You can also email me. I love seeing what others make from my patterns!

Animals of Australia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I know many of you are sewing along, or will be soon. If you are, stop by my Instagram @iolstephanie and leave a comment on one of my photos (I can’t see your photo if it you are private, but I can request to follow you temporarily if you leave a comment on mine about it) or share photos on Facebook. You can also email me. I love seeing what others make from my patterns!

Montessori Monday is a fabulous resource of Montessori and homeschool ideas! Please visit for more great projects…

Montessori Monday

DIY Washi Phone Case

If you have an iPhone (like me) and a talent for dropping said iPhone (like me) then a good impact-proof case is a must. However, those strong cases are never cute. I need cute!

DIY Washi Tape Phone Case

DIY Washi Tape Phone CaseI’d been using Otterbox cases for years. They come in a lot of colors, but aren’t cheap, so I’m stuck with the same look for a long time. I was having trouble with the silicone part of the case wearing out and the hard part cracking, so my husband suggested I try Spigen cases. The color options are a bit better – the case is in two pieces and you can buy extra colors separately. However, I really didn’t like that the inside color was black on all but one and I was over solid colors. I ended up buying the one option that came with a gray inner piece and a silver outer piece (Satin Silver) with the intention of making it beautiful!

DIY Washi Tape Phone Case

Have you used washi tape? I’m sure there aren’t many people who haven’t at this point, but if not, go get some now! It is beautiful patterning masking tape that can be used for decoration and easily removed. It was the perfect solution to my ugly but functional phone case! I’ve been decorating my new case and switching it up every few weeks. So easy!

What I Used

DIY Washi Tape Phone Case

It’s as simple as cutting strips of tape and sticking them on the case! Take your phone out first so you can wrap the edges of the tape to the inside where they won’t be seen. Be creative! Sometimes I use all one pattern of tape. Sometimes I let the case color show through.

DIY Washi Tape Phone Case

Have you decorated anything unusual with washi tape?

A Year of Quiet Book Pages 2013

A Year of Quiet Book Pages 2013

Happy new year!

In 2013 I felt like I always had at least 2 sewing projects going at all time. With Jax turning 3 back in February, my quiet book projects grew with him. For our annual beach trip, I sewed him a large fire station quiet book. I also began a massive project to sew the whole world!

Felt Patterns on Imagine Our Life

With a new year beginning, it’s fun to look back on the pages I made and shared with you, as I did in 2012 and 2011.

Current Top 5

  1. Sock Matching Quiet Book Page – 71,096 views | 18,000+ pins
  2. Bumble Bee Lacing Maze Quiet Book Page – 16,972 views | 2,000+ pins
  3. Autumn Leaves Quiet Book – 8,794 views | 1,000+ pins
  4. Forest Quiet Book Page – 37,092 views | 1,000+ pins
  5. Circus Train Quiet Book Page – 35,987 views | 3,000+ pins

The sock matching page has been the top page for 3 years!The sock matching page has been the top page for 3 years!

All Time Top 10

  1. Sock Matching Quiet Book Page – 32,292 views | 9,000+ pins
  2. Forest Quiet Book Page – 37,092 views | 1,000+ pins
  3. Circus Train Quiet Book Page – 35,987 views | 3,000+ pins
  4. Sandcastle Quiet Book Page – 35,333 views | 7,000+ pins
  5. Let’s Cook Breakfast Quiet Book Page – 28,227 views | 4,000+ pins
  6. Mailbox & Letters Quiet Book Page – 27,230 views | 2,000+ pins
  7. Treasure Quiet Book Page – 26,466 views | 3,000+ pins
  8. Cookie Shapes & Colors Quiet Book Page – 25,461 views | 2,000+ pins
  9. Astronaut Quiet Book Page – 22,976 views | 1,000+ pins
  10. Dump Truck Quiet Book Page – 22,073 views | 1,000+ pins

The dump truck made the all-time top 10 for the first time in 2013.The dump truck made the all-time top 10 for the first time in 2013.

10 Most Popular from 2013

  1. Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook – 18,854 views | 1,000+ pins
  2. Bumble Bee Lacing Maze Quiet Book Page – 16,972 views | 2,000+ pins
  3. Felt Fire Station – Fire Truck & Dalmatian – 10,259 views | 1,000+ pins
  4. Autumn Leaves Quiet Book – 8,794 views | 1,000+ pins
  5. Felt Fire Station – Cover – 7,289 views | 298 pins
  6. Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook – 6,989 views | 675 pins
  7. Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook – 6,657 views | 661 pins
  8. Felt Fire Station – Garage & Locker Room – 5,299 views | 876 pins
  9. Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook – 4,631 views | 512 pins
  10. Animals of South America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook – 4,522 views | 395 pins

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with PrintablesThe Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook posts got a combined 52,682 views this year!

Overall, I’ve shared 62 quiet book pattern posts with you since I started sewing them in September of 2011, including 4 multi-page books. Wow! You can check them all out here.

Click a thumbnail to visit a post:

Felt Fire Station - Fire Truck & Dalmatian  Ready to fight fires!  Felt Fire Station - Kitchen

Felt Fire Station - Office & Bedroom  Felt Fire Station - Cover  Bumble Bee Lacing Maze Quiet Book Page

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards  Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables  Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map  Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables  Animals of South America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Autumn Leaves Quiet Book & Fall Homeschool Unit  Animals of Asia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables  Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I’m always taking suggestions for new page ideas. Join our Facebook page, or leave a comment here!

Small Sewing Projects

Along with quiet book sewing, I also did a long of small sewing projects in 2013. My Little Ponies are a common project for me, thanks to my niece who adores them. I also do a lot of ornament sewing every Christmas.

Top 10 Sewing Projects in 2013

  1. Wee Wonderfuls – Sewing Rag Dolls – 11,512 views | 897 pins
  2. Pillow Quiet Book Cover – 5,550 views | 218 pins
  3. Felt Valentine Play Set – 5,155 views | 3,000+ pins
  4. Christmas Tree for Toddlers – 5,137 views | 179 pins
  5. DIY Rainbow Dash Plush with Goggles – 4,383 views | 324 pins
  6. DIY Sewing Labels - 3,444 views | 330 pins
  7. Make the World’s Best Robot Costume! - 2,890 views | 82 pins
  8. Mini Advent Ornaments Set One - 2,331 views | 97 pins
  9. Felt Caterpillar Coin Purse - 2,283 views | 238 pins
  10. DIY Felt Poppy Headband - 1,811 views | 199 pins

Mini Advent Ornaments Set FourOur Reader’s Choice project this holiday was the Christmas Tree Play Set!

Preschool Handbells: New-Sew Felt Musical Notes and PrintablesHonorable mention to this no-sew project: our color-coded handbell music note set!

Thank You!

A big thank you to American Felt and Craft for supplying felt for many of my creations! Their wool blend felt is just so nice to work with. And thank you Safari Ltd. for helping me make a lot of my projects more exciting and educational!

Thank You!Thank you American Felt and Craft!

Top 5 Referring Blogs in 2013:

  1. The Quiet Book Blog
  2. American Felt and Craft – The Blog
  3. Living Montessori Now
  4. Lapappadolce
  5. Proverbs 31 Woman

Let’s Be Friends!

Stephanie Segall

Want to get social? I’m the best at responding on Instagram, but you can always email if you don’t mind waiting (Sorry about that!) You can join my Facebook page or message me via Twitter. My personal site is Stvlive.com. I’m on Pinterest, and I host a large quiet book board. I also love postal mail! Jax enjoys postcards from around the world. Our mailing address is here.

Jax is growing up (he’ll be 4 in February!) but he hasn’t outgrown quiet books. But, you may have noticed that I am tending towards educational projects and larger multi-page books.

Upcoming projects will include a bit of everything: a weather page and money page that can be used in homeschooling, the last installment of the world map (Australia!) and something donut-themed (the birthday party theme Jax chose!) Have an idea for me?

Happy New Year!

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Time has been flying by with lots of projects on my plate. I can’t believe it is nearly Christmas! But I finally have the last two polar family felt ornament patterns ready for you to enjoy.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

This year’s theme is Polar Families, inspired by some of the animals Jax and I have been studying in homeschool with our world continent project. There will be four designs: a penguin daddy and chick, a narwhal family, a pair of penguin mates and a polar bear mama and cub. The latter two are featured here.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

What I Used

I am listing all the supplies I’ll use for the 4 ornaments, noting the ones not needed for these two.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins  Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

These beautiful sequins are a new offering of American Felt and Craft!

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Penguin Daddy & Chick

 I cut a rounded strip of white felt for the snowy ground and tacked it down across the bottom of the white background felt with felt glue. After I cut out all my pieces, I tacked them into place as well.  Then I trimmed down the background felt so there was just a small edge around the penguins.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

For the penguins, the heart and the top of the snowy ground, I stitched all the edges down with matching floss. (I use 2 strands.) I stitched crystal sequins randomly onto the snowy ground using 2 stitches each. I also added them to the heart. At the end of the scarf, I made upside-down V stitches as tassels. I made French knot eyes on the chick.

On the white background, I stitched snowflakes: a plus sign shape of four stitches, all stitched towards the center, then four more longer stitches on the diagonal in between.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

I cut a length of red ribbon and a piece of orange whip (coral orange) felt to fit as the ornament’s backing. I stitched all the way around, adding stuffing halfway and catching the ribbon loop in the top. I used a blanket stitch.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Narwhal Family

I love narwhals! They live up in the Arctic ocean, so I was happy to include them in this polar series. Narwhals are brownish grey, and they turn speckled white with age. I stuck with my color scheme, as they look blue gray under the ocean water. I had intended to use two shades of brown sequins for the adults’ speckles, but I ultimately decided to skip them. I found them distracting. [ You can see what they look like here and decide for yourself. ]

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

There aren’t a lot of narwhal pictures out there. I was very inspired by this drawing. Narwhals don’t typically stay in family groups, but I wanted to show all of their forms in this ornament.

I started by tacking everything down to a dolphin teal-gray background with a light layer of felt glue, including a pointed strip I cut out of lemongrass to be the male adult’s tusk. I cut the tusk into two pieces and layered part behind the heart and part in front so that it looks like the heart is pierced. I stitched around all the edges, and added sequins to two of the hearts. The eyes are French knots with little stitches in one corner of each. The tusk was done with diagonal stitches running across it.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

After sewing everything down, I cut around the outside of the ornament to trim it down, then sewed crystal and mermaid sequins on as bubbles. Add as many or as few as you’d like. I overlapped and grouped mine.

I cut a length of red ribbon and a piece of blueprint (blue-gray) felt to fit as the ornament’s backing. I stitched all the way around, adding stuffing halfway and catching the ribbon loop in the top. I used a blanket stitch.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Are you an Etsy or craft fair seller? Would you like to sell these ornaments, or any other item sewn from an Imagine Our Life pattern? Visit my Etsy shop and contact me for custom commercial licenses. All authorized sellers get featured on the website.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

If you make one of these ornaments, I’d love to see it! Stop by our Facebook page, or mention me @iolstephanie on Instagram or Twitter. (If you are private on Instagram, I’ll have to request to follow you to see it.) Happy Holidays!