Felt boards are a mainstay of the elementary teacher. They can be used for more basic activities like identifying letter-sound correspondence or they can assist in a retelling of a story and support reading comprehension. It is quite easy and inexpensive to make your own at home. I made mine a little over three years ago and they are holding up quite well (they even survived a move).
- Gallery-Wrapped Canvas (I used a 16×20)
- Felt from the bolt (we originally bought 2 yards which was way more than we needed, but we wanted to have extra for other projects.)
- Craft felt of various colors (pictured below)
- Hot Glue Gun or Staple Gun
- Ribbon (to cover staples if using a staple gun)
- Permanent marker or pen
- Lay out your felt from the bolt. Place your canvas (front side down) on top and measure about 2 inches out from the side. You want to have enough fabric that when wrapping your canvas you are able to completely cover the sides and adhere the fabric to the back frame.
- Cut your felt to size.
- With your canvas front side down on the felt, begin wrapping the fabric around the back. Make sure you hold the fabric tight and fold your corners as you would while wrapping a present. Staple or glue as you go.
- If you used staples to secure your fabric, I recommend using ribbon (mine is about an inch wide) to cover the staples. I simply cut the ribbon to length and hot glued it in place. If you are going to be hanging your felt board permanently on a wall, then you may skip this step.
To Make Felt Letters:
- If you are talented enough (I am not) you can cut your letters out free-hand. However, I recommend searching for a nice bubble font and printing out your letters. My letters have a height of 3 inches.
- Cut out each letter from your printout. (Note: If you have a Cricut or Silhouette, you can do the first two steps with these machines.)
- Lay your letters backwards on your squares of craft felt (I chose different colors for each letter) and trace with your marker. By tracing the letters backwards, you won’t end up with ink on the front.
- Cut out each of your letters.
Tip: If your artistic talents do not extend beyond drawing stick figures and you want to have felt board objects and animals, you can do the following:
- Take pictures of the animals and/or objects you want to use for your board.
- Print your pictures onto card stock or photo paper.
- If possible, laminate your pictures.
- Cut out the precise image you want from the photo.
- Apply the photo to an adhesive backed felt.
- Cut the felt backed image out.
You can also purchase felt figures from your local teacher supply store or online. I found this Brown Bear set on Amazon.
Have fun with your felt boards. They are not only great for learning, but for free play as well! As always, I recommend watching for these items to be on sale or to take advantage of craft store coupons.