Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Felt Board Fun

When I was thinking of Christmas ideas for some of the kiddos in my life Kristin mentioned that Layla (3.5) has been loving her felt board lately and would love a set related to family or home. I looked around at different options but nothing completely sold me so I started thinking about making my own set for her!

Then it got me thinking that Zander (2) (my friend Katie's son) might like a felt board of his own! So I went to the University of Google and Pinterest and got some great ideas! Kristin also helped with ideas for making the feltboard. I wanted to try making a felt board that folded up because I thought it might be nice to tuck away or for travel. 

Making the Felt Board

I used: 
foam board and cut it to 30 by 15
blue felt for the front
boat fabric for the back (he likes boats)
spray adhesive
tacky glue
staple gun

-I used spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the back (I just did this to make it cute on the back). It actually did not work at all. I am not sure if I didn't use enough? But I used a lot. Or maybe my glue is old? Either way it didn't stick it down really at all. 
-I also used some spray adhesive to try to get the felt to stick to the front. 
-Then I folded the back up tightly and used a staple gun on the corners. My problem was that I borrowed my dad's staple gun and he only had long staples so I couldn't use it all over. 
-Lastly I used tacky glue all around the edge to hold it down even better. 
-I had the idea to make a flap to hold the edges together and glued a button on one side and glued a felt strip on one side with a slit cut into it to hold the button.

I also decided to make a book to hold all of the felt pieces for both kids. I had this grand plan of 2 hard pieces of felt as the cover with regular pieces of felt inside as the pages. Well the all the felt pieces wouldn't stick and just fell off when the pages turned. SO back to the drawing board. I had already "bound" the books with ribbon, so I just folded up the edges and hot glued the sides to make pouches to stick their pieces of felt into. You can see it better in the third to last picture.

Zander's Felt Board folded up and his book

Zander's set of shapes

Zander's set of fish on the felt board opened up

Zander's set of ice cream

For Layla I made people, clothes, a house, and furniture. The people represent all of the people in her family. A mom, dad, little girl, and baby boy. 

Let me tell you that making the baby boy was NOT the easiest task in the world. I am not really the best artist in the world and I kept making blobs that looked nothing like babies! For the mommy (Kristin) I used the template from this website as a base. For the daddy, I took the mommy and modified him. He ended up looking a little....umm...."shape-ly". You'd never know he has envious hips under those felt clothes.

I made a couple outfits, winter attire, and a bathing suit for each of them. Layla also got a ballet outfit and ballet slippers! I only made one pair of shoes for each of them because I figured they were so tiny and would be easily lost.

I went back and forth about putting faces on them but after much thought (and help from my sister) we decided that they looked better without and just help imagination grow! (Also...again...I'm a terrible artist). 

Layla's family and clothes

I also made a house to fit on her board (it was too big for this one because hers is bigger than the one I made for Zander). I decided to make a few pieces of furniture, but I soon discovered my lack of artistic skills severely impaired my ability to create felt furniture. So I stopped with 3 beds, a couch, a table, and a fridge. Which also are clearly not to scale. 

The kiddos playing with their presents!

I think making felt board sets is a great way to encourage imagination and there are so many ways to personalize them just for the kids they are for!