This past Christmas I decided to make my daughter (1), niece (1.5), and nephew (2.5) felt boards and felt board sets as gifts. As a crafter with no actual ability to draw or cut a straight line I went looking for a better way, and I found it in this tutorial from Keeping Life Creative. I will never cut blobs out of colored felt again.
I know that other librarians have used this method before, but I don’t see it used widely so I wanted to share.
First, you need some cute clipart. These are the sets I used for my project:
- Monkey Business, Cars and Trucks/City Transport, and Brown Bear sets from MyClipArtStore
- Farm Animals, Woodland Animals, and Sea Animals sets from PixelPaperPrints
- Star Wars and Cute Kids sets from Dorky Prints
I’m planning to do some other themed sets for holidays and birthdays as well.
Then you need Avery Inkjet T-Shirt Transfers, an iron, and some white felt.
I used Publisher to fit as many images on one page as I could and printed them out on the transfer paper. Don’t do what I did here, if there is text you need to flip your image so it comes out right when you iron it on.
Iron the transfer face down on your felt. It takes a pretty hot iron, no steam, and a lot of pressing. I was singing verses of songs while I was doing the ironing so I wouldn’t get impatient and pull away too quickly.
Here is what they look like on the felt sheets:
Then you just need to cut around the characters. I left a little bit of the white border because I liked the way it looked. If you are doing a lot of sets be sure to leave yourself time for a break, the cutting got to be hard on my hands.
You can make your own flannel board by stapling some felt over an artist’s canvas.
I store our felt pieces by slipping them into page protectors in a three ring binder. For most of the sets I slipped some rhymes in the sheet protector as well.
There you have it. For me this method has so much better results that it is worth a few extra steps.