Sunday Bags and Quiet Books

This past year for Christmas my girls received a fabulous gift from their Aunt Tiffany.Tiffany sewed adorable doll sleeping bags for each girl, along with a matching pillow and pillowcase. They are really wonderful and have been getting a lot of use since Christmas day. All of their baby dolls have been inside for a nap, and so have their zhu zhu pet hamsters! Tiffany wrote a little bit about how she made them on her blog here.

But that wasn’t all. Tiffany also made them scripture bags! Let me tell you, I was thrilled beyond measure.

The background: The Ant Bug has been using her dad’s scripture tote from when he was a little boy. The bag is cute and has worked well for her, but the handle is starting to fray. The Sweet Bee would be a little Sunbeam in Primary in January, so she also needed her own bag. I knew that sewing a scripture tote should be a simple enough project and perfect Christmas gifts, but unfortunately, I don’t really sew. Not really at all, except for this project. I searched on Etsy for a tote bag, but failed to find exactly what I was looking for. As Christmas Day approached, I had to admit defeat in this project and file my thoughts away in the “hope to figure out a way to do this project soon” category.

This is the bag the Ant Bug has used for the last three years. It has to be at least 20 years old, from when my husband was in Primary.

So I was really thrilled (and suprised!) by the adorable scripture totes that Tiffany made. She told a little bit about how she made them on her blog here. I am also very excited about what goes inside the scripture bags. Would you like to take a look inside?

A copy of the Book of Mormon (my girls are young still, so they don’t have a complete set of scriptures just yet).

A small notebook for writing and drawing (not pictured) and a set of these awesome markers. I was spying on the family we were sitting behind in sacrament meeting the week before Christmas and I noticed their solution for Sunday writing tools. Never lose a marker lid or crayon under the bench again! The markers are made by Roseart and come with a clip attached to the cap, so they can all be easily held together on the clip. Just uncap the marker you want to use for the moment, and the markers all stay together. Pure genius. They are washable, and I found them easily for sale at Target.

Quiet Books, courtesy of Simply Fresh Designs.

The story behind the quiet books: I discovered Simply Fresh Designs while looking on Sugardoodle for ideas for the 2011 Primary Theme. Heather had shared a file of images illustrating each of the monthly Primary themes for 2011. The images are beautifully made, using accepted LDS artwork, and she made the jpeg files available to download free in a variety of sizes. What a great resource! But as I started to browse through her site I discovered more of her files that make perfect quiet books. And she is generously sharing them all for free!

The images are available in a variety of sizes and can be printed using a photo lab (like Costco, Walgreens, Walmart, etc) just like you would a digital photo. She suggested inserting them in a 4×6 photo album, which is exactly what I did. I found my albums at Target for $1 each. So I downloaded the files, sent them off to Walgreens (they had a nice print special before Christmas-I think I printed between 70-80 images), and then stuck them in the inexpensive albums. Three quiet books for about $10, not too shabby. I used them as stocking stuffers, and my girls have been excited to have special new books to take to church.

Here are the links to the files I made my books from:

Quiet Books–We Believe (adorable illustrations of gospel principles)

LDS Primary theme 2011

Articles of Faith (colorful text)

Book of Mormon Stories (26 story summaries from the Book of Mormon, illustrated with the well-known LDS artwork)

I combined the Primary theme and Articles of Faith into one book, since it wasn’t as long as the others.  There is also another book available, Prophets and Apostles. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I think it would be great for General Conference.

So there you have it. Now each of my girls has their own Sunday bag with their own activities to help them be reverent during Sacrament Meeting, and they are responsible for carrying it. I also usually stick a Friend magazine in my bag, and they each get a small container of snacks in their own bag (pretzels and fruit snacks), and that’s it. My own Sunday bag(s) just got a lot more manageable, and the girls feel special carrying their bags into church/Primary. Whenever the Sweet Bee talks to someone at church she proudly says “This my Sunday bag!” and shows it off. Thanks again Tiffany! And be sure to go check out Simply Fresh Designs if you would like to make your own quiet books!