Friday, March 18, 2011

Make a Flannel Board

My kids always loved the flannel board at library story time. You know, the boards with the felt shapes that stick to them.  I mentioned this one day when talking to my pre-school-teacher sister.  Her response was Oh yeah, the kids at school love the flannel board that I made. 

Project!   I made a flannel board for my kids, and over the years we have used our flannel board to tell stories, play games, and as they got older even to study spelling words with flannel letters!  It was inexpensive and easy to make.

Here's how:


  • piece of foam board or heavy cardboard
  • piece of flannel a couple inches bigger than the board on all sides
  • clear shipping tape
  • felt pieces in various colors
  • fabric glue or rubber cement, optional ( use if glueing paper to felt to create your pieces.
To make the board:

1. Wash the flannel first to rough it up a bit so the felt clings easier.
2.  Cover the board with the flannel.  You can use spray adhesive to keep the fabric in place if you want  mine worked just fine without.   Folding the fabric over the edges of the board and secure it with clear packing tape on the back on all edges.

More Ideas for the Board:  I chose to make mine on the foam board so the kids could easily move it around from room to room.  They just leaned it against the wall or couch to play, and then I could put it away in a closet when they weren't using it.   If you want to attach the board to a wall, you can use a large frame (without the glass) or a wooden board.  
You could also use a small piece of foam board to make travel boards for use in the car.

To make the pieces for your flannel board:

Use the pieces of felt to cut out shapes to use on the board.  You can get rectangles of felt at any craft store and there are tons of ways to make great cutouts (even if you can't draw).
Felt Pieces
  • You can simply cut out basic shapes of various sizes (Our first set was just basic shapes as seen in the picture).  
  • You can do a search for free applique patterns, trace those onto felt and cut them out.  They usually have simple lines and which makes them easy to work with.  You can draw in the details with a sharpie marker or even decorate pieces with a few sequins or google eyes (a word of caution: if you attach too much to them the pieces will be too heavy to stick to the felt so you don't want to get carried away)
  • You can trace pictures from kids coloring pages or books.
Paper Pieces
  • For pictures from coloring books or online, you can glue the paper onto a felt backing.  You will need to use fabric/felt glue or rubber cement. (White school glue just soaks into the felt and doesn't seem to hold well.)
  • You can also use heavier paper or laminate your paper and then attach course sandpaper or the hook side of velcro to the back.
More ideas:

Print out pictures of your child's favorite items or cartoon characters. 
Print out letters or numbers and glue them to a larger circle of felt.
Let the kids color pictures to cut out or even draw them themselves. (Some of my kids favorite pieces were cut from coloring pages and then colored by the kids.)

You can also purchase pre-made sets - just search for "felt board sets".  You can find letters numbers and tons of story sets.

Hope you have as much fun with your flannel board as we've had with ours!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Never miss a post-Subscribe by Reader or Email!
Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipes, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclosure


Kyla said...

We LOVE our flannelboard! I actually used an old cork board that I bought from a yard sale for $0.50.