Friday, April 16, 2010
Felt Story Board
Yesterday I made a two sided, portable felt story board for my son for his 3rd birthday. We are going on a road trip to my parents' house for his birthday, and I wanted him to have this for the car ride. He got to test it out today, and he loves it. I also was able to show it to a friend of mine who is a storyteller.
First I cut a standard sized foam board in half so that it was 15" x 20". Next time I will use a foam board that my oldest used for a school project, thus recycling it. You could also use 2 pieces of thick cardboard for this.
I was thrilled to find this felt in the store. It is made from post consumer plastic bottles (recycled materials). Normally I pick a black one and a white one for these boards, but they did not have black or white available. So I picked a natural color and the blue. They could be the ocean, the sky, the sand, and a blank background. The main idea is to have 2 different colors that can be a great back drop for the felt stories and the imagination. These pieces of felt are cut from a bolt. It is not the little sheets bought in the craft section of the store.
Lay your board over the felt, on the side that you consider the back. Then cut the felt out so that you have an inch or two all the way around the board. Then cut the corners off of the felt.
Using tacky or fabric glue, glue the felt to the back of the board. Do not glue the front of the board, because that might mess up your felt. Do this with with both boards and both sheets of felt.
Cut some ribbon to the length that you would like your handle to be. Glue it to the back side of one of the boards. Put glue all over the back of one board, especially along the sides. Then lay the other board on top of it, back sides together.
Clamp the two boards together. I bought some of these clamps at the craft store and some at the office supply store. Allow your boards to dry for at least an hour before moving on to the next step. I placed an object that wasn't to heavy on the center of the board while it dried. You don't want it to heavy, because you don't want your board to get dented.
Next glue the ribbon around two sides of your board, on the front and back of the board. Also place some glue in any open cracks where the two boards meet. Then clamp the ribbon / boards once more and let it dry over night. The ribbon will help keep the 2 boards together even more, plus it adds a nice finishing touch.
I made a black and white one for my nephew when he turned 3. His ribbon had baseballs on it. Then I made him some fun felt stories, including a felt birthday cake and candles. He loved it.
Luckly I kept all of my felt stories that I made over 3 years ago. I use to be a preschool teacher, and I loved making felt stories for my classroom. It's a great way for kids to retell stories that they love from books or songs. They can make up their own stories as well. The lady bugs were for a lady bug counting book that I have. The blue horse and black sheep were from an Eric Carle book. The others were just for fun. The bigger animals have glow-in-the-dark paint on them.
A perfect on-the-road thing to do. He loved it.
How I made the lady bugs and Santa Claus felt pieces: You will need fabric with your subject on it (lady bugs, frogs, etc.), fusable webbing, a sheet of felt, an iron, and scissors. Lay down the felt with the fusable webbing on top of it. Then place your fabric on top of that. Iron them together. This does take some time. Then cut out your felt pieces and reiron them (sometimes they aren't fully fused to the felt). Now you have some professional looking felt story pieces.
How I made the other felt pieces: I cut the shapes out using a die-cut machine. I do have my own, but some of them were done at a craft store. Some craft stores have one for public use if you buy something from them. Also some teaching supply stores will let you use theirs for a small fee. You can also use a template and cut out the pieces. The sheep and horse were from home made templates. I copied pages from the book, and then cut out the shapes for those pages. Then I used puffy fabric paint (from the craft store) to decorate them. I like the look of them with an outline around them.
This is my favorite website for getting the templates and stories for the felt: preschool express.
Here are some of the stories from this site that I have made into a felt story:
The Baker's Cat
Wee Willie Winkie
Ten Little Pumpkins
Snowflakes Falling Down
The Eensy Weensy Spider