1. Stick (or staple) felt to board.
2. Cut out shapes.
I don't do a lot of fabric crafting, so I needed more details. What kind of felt? Are the shapes made out of the same stuff as the board?
Online tutorials suggested either hot glue or a staple gun to attach the felt to the board. I chose the staple gun since it looked like fun and I've never used one before. It's my new best friend. Special thanks to TJ for the staple gun lesson and troubleshooting.
I needed sharp scissors to cut the shapes out of felt, and I used my American Crafts Galaxy White Marker to trace/draw the shapes. Many people use a Sharpie but I'm picky and didn't want dark lines on everything.
I used some cups and bowls to trace circles, and a ruler for straight lines. Everything else was drawn (poorly) freehand.
1. Cut flannel to just larger than the canvas. About 3 inches extra on each side worked well. The edges don't have to be particularly straight since you're going to fold them in.
2. Iron the flannel. Mine had huge ugly creases in it and no amount of stretching was going to get rid of those. Note to self: Don't iron on the dining table, even with a towel underneath. I ruined the surface of the table when I used the steam setting. Sad.
3. Place canvas upside down on top of the flannel, centered. Before you do this, make sure the surface is clean and dry!
4. Fold the ends in so the frayed edges aren't exposed then pull the flannel tight and staple it to the wood part of the canvas. I put the staples in about 2 inches apart. You can use binder clips to hold the sections tight. Do one side at a time and make sure you don't have any wrinkles or "bubbles" on the front.
|I'm especially proud of this corner!|
4a. Pull the corners in tight, rolling frayed edges in. I did this a little like wrapping a present, where I folded the corner over like a triangle (when I could- some sides just wouldn't cooperate!).
5. Repeat steps 4 and 4a for each side and corner. Make sure you're always pulling the fabric tight. Here's what it looked like when I finished all four sides.
Woot! Now the board is done. Step back and admire your handiwork! If you have pre-cut felt shapes you can test it out now:
5. Draw and cut shapes out of the soft craft felt. The sky is the limit! I made a variety of different sized and colored shapes, stems and leaves for the precut flowers, clouds, moon, a sun, stars, fish and trees. I used the white marker to trace or draw the shapes and then cut them out. Sharp, small scissors are helpful for detailed designs.
Because I was having so much fun being crafty, I found a cute box to hold all the felt pieces and added some letter stickers spelling "FELT" to the top.
Tips and Thoughts
- I'm not sure if the flannel used for the board will pill over time and wear. But it was easy enough to make the board that if it gets that much use, I can always make another.
- You can make *anything* stick to the flannel if you put a small velcro dot on the back. So I may experiment with cardstock or shapes and letters cut with my paper die cutting machine.
- I don't know if the felt pieces will fray over time. I didn't treat any of them with Fray-Check because it seemed too time-consuming.
- When using the staple gun, make sure you hold it close to the front, and press down when stapling, so the staple ends up going in flat, without a gap. A flat head screwdriver is handy to remove misplaced staples.
If I had to make another one, it would be a lot quicker. The most time consuming part was cutting all the little shapes out of felt. I probably cut more than T really needs - there certainly are more than she can place on the board at once!
T was pretty excited about it when she saw it and spent a good 20 minutes playing with it, even after a busy day at preschool when her focus had run out. I expect we'll get at least a year's use out of it, if not more.
If you make one, leave me a link in the comments!