Felt boards are such a fun, interactive, and SCREEN FREE activity for children of all ages. Felt naturally sticks to felt, so you can use this board for so many activities. One year olds may just like to stick felt pieces to it, while 2, 3, 4, 5, 6+ year olds can create imaginative stories, play learning games, or just have some creative fun with pieces! (Make sure to check out the links at the bottom to some of my free templates and a special deal for my felt stories).
They are also so versatile and easy to make! You can hang them on a wall for vertical play or you can make them for floor or lap play (good for traveling too!!). I will show you how to make both below.
Another benefit - they are pretty cheap to make and make great handmade gifts!
So let's get started!
Hanging Picture Frame Felt Board
Supplies: picture frame, felt, scissors or rotary cutter, Mod Podge1. Buy a picture frame of the size of your choice. This is where your project can get more expensive depending on which frame you choose. You can make it part of the decoration of the room with a large, thick frame like this one! It is from Hobby Lobby and is 22" x 28" I got it 50% off for $30.
Or you can get larger poster type frame that has a plastic frame cover instead of glass. This one is from Michael's and was about $11, plus I used a 40% off coupon!
This one is a Fiskbo 12" x 16" frame from Ikea for $3.49. It also has a plastic cover, and comes in a lot of fun colors.
Depending on the size of your frame, you may need a yard of felt (36") or 1/2 a yard (18"). It is around $7 a yard for craft felt (and goes up from there if you want a wool blend). Craft felt can be found on the bolt at Joann's or Beverly's, maybe even Walmart. You can choose a neutral background like black or you can have it be light blue to represent a sky, ocean, etc.
2. Take out the cardboard and glass/plastic. You will use the plastic next if your frame came with it. If it came with glass, use the frame backing and get rid of the glass.
3. Cut a piece of felt that is a few inches larger than your backing on all sides.
4. Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge (found at craft stores and even the Dollar Store) on the plastic or cardboard/frame backing with a paint brush. You want enough to make your felt stick, but not too much to make the felt squishy. You will need to work quickly because it dries fast.
5. Place the felt over the backing and press it firmly down all over.
6. Flip it over and cut off the excess felt on all sides. A rotary cutter makes it really easy if you have one. Otherwise, you can use sharp scissors. If some of the sides are lifting up, you can add some more Mod Podge. You may need to press down for 20-30 seconds to get it to hold. The cardboard may start to warp because of the dampness of Mod Podge, but it will be fine once it is in the frame.
7. Place the felt in the frame so it is showing through (no glass or plastic should cover it). Flip it over to make sure the felt is smooth in all places. Put the frame back together to secure it.
8. Hang it up! I used Command Strips so I didn't have to put holes in the wall.
Felt Board for Laps or Travel
Supplies: flat canvas, tray, or plastic container with a lid, felt, scissors or rotary cutter, Mod Podge, and paint brush
1. Decide what type of base you'd like. You can make it out of a tray (this one is Fungera from Ikea and was $4.99). Michael's also has plastic trays or you can check the Dollar Store.
You can also use this flat canvas board. It comes in various sizes and costs from $2-4 depending on the size.
Another option is some sort of plastic container where you put the felt in the lid and then you can store the felt sets in the container part.
2. Measure and cut a piece of felt for the background. This time you want it to be the exact size (or slightly smaller) of the surface in which you are adhering it. Like above, you can use black or light blue felt and will most likely need 1/2 yard of felt. (Or use the leftover felt from the hanging felt board so you can have both options!)
3. Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the tray with a paint brush. You want enough to make your felt stick, but not too much to make the felt squishy.
4. Lay the felt down over the Mod Podge and press down firmly. You may need to hold the corners down for 15-20 seconds.
5. Wipe off all excess Mod Podge that may be showing and let it dry for a few hours or over night.
Now that you are on your way to getting a felt board...here's a free template for a felt heart matching learning activity.
I also make all sorts of felt story sets for endless imaginative play - dinosaurs, farm, pirates, ocean, Three Little Pigs, Five Green and Speckled Frogs, the alphabet, and so much more! Some were pictured in this post. You can buy them pre-cut or save some money and cut them yourself. Either way they also come in a nice cotton storage bag (also seen in this post). Check them out here!
If you're interested, I'll give you a code where you can buy 3 and get one FREE! Just sign up for my mailing list and it will be emailed to you.
I also plan to make more free templates for you to use on your felt boards. My mailing list is the place to be so you don't miss out on any!