DIY Felt/Flannel Story Pieces
August 12, 2012 11:53 PM   Subscribe

What is the best method for making my own flannel or felt story board and story pieces?

I've searched online, and while there are prepackaged sets that look fairly nice, I'd rather have the flexibility of creating my own. It looks pretty easy to adhere flannel or felt to a board, but I'm wondering what is the best way to create pieces.

It looks like for basic shapes, you can use felt directly and draw on it. However, for more detailed figures, I'd like to print it out in color and find a way to adhere to the flannel board.

Here are ways I've seen so far:
*print on cardstock, laminate, then attach velcro
*print on iron-on transfer paper then attach to felt
*print on paper and glue to felt

I'm afraid that attaching to a small piece of felt may be too heavy and not stick well to the flannel board. I'm afraid that using velcro will damage the surface after multiple uses.

What do you recommend?
posted by lirael2008 to Education (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You're right, the velcro will tear up the felt and wreck it. Either of your other ideas would work just fine, I think. Those felt board toys are fantastic - I just bought a few for my daughter, who adores them. I thought about adding some more homemade bits and pieces too, thanks for reminding me!

You could cut out your felt shapes and make them more detailed in other ways, too - like glueing felt shapes onto them, embroidery, glueing other bits and pieces, drawing on them directly with fabric pens.
posted by thylacinthine at 12:17 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: I'm about 95% sure that gluing paper to felt will work just fine. And trying an experiment in that direction will cost you virtually nothing.

I'd use a glue intended for flexible materials (fabric glue, Gorilla glue, Shoe-Goo, etc. Maybe even spray adhesive.) Not Elmers since it will just soak into the felt and then turn rock hard.
posted by Ookseer at 12:29 AM on August 13, 2012

Couldn't you buy a pair of magnetic sheets and use one for the board and one for the foreground stuff?
posted by 23 at 12:38 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: If you have the right kind of printer, you can print on fabric, and then attach the felt however you like. Although maybe iron-on fuse tape would be fastest, you could use sewing in a decorative way around the edges.
posted by Mizu at 1:31 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: You can print, trace or draw on non-fusible interfacing and it will stick to the flannel board. I believe it works with inkjet printers. One brand is Pellon.
posted by amapolaroja at 1:35 AM on August 13, 2012

+1 for non-fusible interfacing -- that is what the librarians who taught me how to make flannel boards used. I haven't tried running them through a printer, but you can color them with colored pencil or marker.
posted by Jeanne at 3:57 AM on August 13, 2012

I've heard of trimming milk filters to the size of your printer and then just printing your figures and cutting them out. Milk filters are felted, so they stick to flannel boards. This was popular in my church-going days, where "flannelgraph" was a big thing.
posted by terilou at 5:58 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: They sell 8.5x11 sticky-backed felt. (At my hobby stores it's next to all the regular 8.5x11 pieces of felt.) They cost 20 cents more than normal felt, I think. You print a normal page, stick it to the felt, and cut out the figures.

I recently tried a variety of methods and that was the best one. Also stick the paper to the sticky felt BEFORE cutting, or trim a fairly wide margin around the figure, stick to felt, and then cut ... it's much easier to cut paper and felt together than trying to trim the felt to the size of the already-cut paper.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:06 AM on August 13, 2012

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