Make a Felt Board

in DIY,For the House

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I’ve been meaning to make a felt/flannel board for years and never got around to it. Nosing around I heard that glueing the fabric to the board is supposed to interfere with the static that helps the figures stick to the board.  I’m not sure how true this is, but since I preferred a no-glue method anyway I decided to believe it was so. Here’s what I came up with when I finally made one.

Mine is 2′x2′, but make yours any size you prefer. To make one just like the pic above you will need the following supplies:

1/4 in. birch plywood, 2 ft.X2 ft. (any similar board will do, just make it light enough to be convenient and sturdy enough to stand up to wear)

white interior paint, flat, glossy, it doesn’t matter (you can also paint it the color of your fabric of choice)

felt or flannel, at least 25″ X 50″, (1 1/2 yards is plenty–I used the traditional blue–good background suggesting sky, water, whatever)

needle and thread to match your material

If handles are desired, two handles cut out of a paper merchandise bag, I used the rope kind.  Staple gun or small tacks and hammer

Step 1: Paint your board and let it dry. A little sanding at this point will make it much easier to slide the board into the felt later. Painting the board makes for a nicer background without anything showing through your felt. If you have very nice, dense felt (I didn’t) you could skip this step.

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Step 2: If you want handles on your board, cut the handles out of a store bag, including the paper that they are glued onto. Glue the handles to the center of one side, on each side of the board. (Two handles makes for a more balanced carry so the handles don’t make the board wonk to one side and whack your ankles and put stress on the handles). For good measure, staple the handles down or tack them down with tiny tacks that don’t poke all the way through the board.

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Step 3: Sandwich the board inside the felt or flannel with the fold opposite your handle side. Mark the dimensions of the board with a piece of chalk or fabric marker and trim the material so you have about a 1/2 in. seam allowance.

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Step 4: Now you are going to sew an “envelope” for the board. Remove the board and take the fabric to the sewing machine, keeping the edges together (pin if you like). Sew the two open sides which are opposite each other (do not sew the side where the handle will be which is the one opposite the fold) Sew about 1/4 inch outside the marked line to give the board a little room to scoot inside.  Trim the corners and turn right side out.

Step 5: Slide the board into the felt envelope with the handle side on the open side. It should be a snug fit. If it isn’t, you can turn it back inside out and sew one of the side seams again a little closer.

Step 6: Make two cuts at the points where the handles meet the fabric on one side only.

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Fold this side over the board.  Fold the edge of the other side down to meet the edge of the covered board and finger press it down.  With a needle and thread, whipstitch the edges together, enclosing the board.

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Make a few extra stitches on either side of the handles to reinforce the felt.

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Finish stitching, tie off, and you’re done!



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mrs. Money December 23, 2009

Cute! This would be a great Christmas present for a kid!

2 carol December 23, 2009

cool! what are the figures made from?

3 Tomato Lady December 23, 2009

carol–Thanks! The figures are paper with fuzzy on the back, from a set I bought from a bookstore several years ago. I believe they are widely available from teachers’ supply stores and some bookstores. You can also make your own, but I haven’t researched that yet. Future post, perhaps?

4 pumpkinsx3 December 26, 2009

Did something similar several years ago when the kids were little. I covered plywood with felt. I bought a felt family set from the store. Their swimsuit/underware was painted on them – they came with felt clothes. Then I used felt squares in lots of colors to cut out accessories. Outer space scene, underwater scene, garden scene… The felt clings to the store bought felt people and the felt board without any trouble. You can turn the board upside down without losing your picture. Small scale version: 3 ring binder + felt pages + random shapes = quite toy for church bag

5 funfelt December 29, 2009

There are easier ways to make this but this is awesome. I use spray adhesive and it doesn’t interfere with the static. Most of what makes a felt board work is gravity – lean the board at even a slight angle and the felt sticks. I have some instructions at http://www.fun-activities-for-kids.com under Flannel Board Fun and you can get figures and stuff at http://www.funfelt.com Using felt with kids is GREAT, they are so open ended and imaginative!!
Karen

6 Tomato Lady December 29, 2009

Karen–I’ll have to check it out. Good to know about the adhesive.

7 Clarissa January 9, 2010

Found another place that shows some cool new images just found around town…
http://www.wordsaroundtown.com

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