DIY: Make your own flannel board for preschool

How you can make a flannel board in just a few easy steps!

I really needed a flannel board for preschool and I wanted more than one. I found some that were not really that expensive but I still like making my own things so I made my own thanks to the wonderful tutorial provided by Oopsey Daisy.

You can read her tutorial as well but the reason I am sharing how to make it too is because I have received quite a few questions about what a flannel board is. I just assumed that everyone knew what one was when I posted my last post on how to organize your flannel board stories

What is a Flannel Board

A flannel board (or sometimes called a felt board) is a board covered with flannel that you can use in a variety of ways. Flannel is soft and has fibers in it that catch or cling onto other soft materials – like felt or the red fibers from my carpet. I purchased one yard of flannel (which was more than I needed for one flannel board) from my local fabric store. Flannel comes in all colors and I chose white, light blue, light green, and black.

Choosing a Background Color

When choosing flannel, you want to choose a color that will make a nice background color for your flannel board.  Light green can seem like grass on the ground. Light blue can seem like the sky and both blue and green are soothing on the eyes and are nice neutral colors that don’t compete for attention with your felt pieces. I had already cut up my blue and green flannel by the time I realized I should have taken a photo of the flannel.

Prepare your Materials

To make a flannel board, I bought several sizes of artist canvases. I purchased my large board at Michaels (it was on sale 50% off) and the rest of my smaller boards are from Big Lots.  This large one is for my circle time area but I also made a couple of small ones for the children to use at the table…

The Step-by Step Process

This was so easy to make that I can’t believe I have never tried to make my own before. Just lay your flannel out on the ground and then put your board on top of it with the back of the board facing up…

Trim the excess flannel away and staple the flannel around the edges of the back of the board. Stretch or pull the flannel tightly as you go so the flannel will have a nice, firm, tight, hold on the board and lay smoothly on top of the board…

I used a staple gun to staple the flannel to the board. This is the finished back side of the board once I had all the edges of the fabric stapled into place…

The Finished Product

This is the front of my flannel board. I added these little felt bears to show you how well felt sticks to flannel. You can purchase felt and cut out your own shapes to use on the flannel board or there are flannel (felt) board sets available that you can purchase online or at school supply stores as well….

Ways to Use the Flannel Board

I will share a few ways you can use a flannel board in future posts but just as an overview, you can use flannel boards to tell stories, sequence your stories, count out shapes, visually review concepts, and more…

I set out flannel board with felt pieces for the children to play with on their own too. Here are two of my smaller boards, made the same way, that I will use this school year as table top flannel boards. Notice how the flannel on the board on the right is not as tightly pulled around the board as the one on the left….

While making my flannel boards, I had a little helper hanging out with me…

When the flannel boards were all done, Kai tried out the flannel board too!

More Flannel Board Inspiration

For those of you who haven’t tried using a flannel board in your classroom, Kai and I have made this video to inspire you to give it a go…

By |2018-12-05T12:08:53+00:00August 6th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.

29 Comments

  1. Holly August 6, 2011 at 12:42 am - Reply

    I love the idea of having a big one for circle time and smaller ones for independent play/centers! I used to have two felt boards, but when I moved to 2nd grade I let someone else have them. Now I’m kicking myself for that because I’m heading to Pre-K this year! Oh, well. At least now I know how to make my own!! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 12:43 am - Reply

      LOL Holly – Go make your own and hang on to them:)

  2. Carol August 6, 2011 at 1:02 am - Reply

    I love this video and the sweet baby in it. Kai is responding to you so nicely. Thanks for sharing. ~CW

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 1:19 am - Reply

      Thank you Carol! He’s a keeper:)

  3. Melanie August 6, 2011 at 1:16 am - Reply

    Your little grandguy is too cute! This is a neat idea — I made felt board this year from small tri-fold foam core display boards. The board was made by Elmer’s and its 14 inches high and 33 inches wide (three 11 inch sections). I cut the felt to fit each of the 11×14 sections. I made the felt slightly smaller so that it wouldn’t interfere with folding the board. I used red, green and yellow on one and green, blue and purple on the other. I also made three that are just white. I used spray adhesive to stick the felt to each section. I figured the kids could use them to sort as well as re-enact a story. We’ll see how the kids like them 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 1:18 am - Reply

      I am sure they will love them! You really went all out – well done!!

  4. Mercedes Hayes August 6, 2011 at 1:23 am - Reply

    Thank you for the tutorial. I have been wanting to make one of these for my kiddos. They are soo much fun!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 9:31 am - Reply

      I like the different ways they can be used. I have lots of plans this year to put them to good use:)

  5. CommonSense mummy August 6, 2011 at 6:28 am - Reply

    Love this! I am mum to a toddler as well as a paediatric OT. Definitely inspired to make one at home and at work!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 9:31 am - Reply

      I am so glad you are inspired;)

  6. Leeanne A August 6, 2011 at 7:04 am - Reply

    I love to make my own felt characters for finger plays and I want to get into felt boards a little more this year – thanks for your post! Oh and BTW I am sharing this on my Facebook page because not only is the felt turtorial awesome but Kai shows us just how early children can interact and learn! LOVE IT!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 9:30 am - Reply

      Kai actually responded very well to the flannel board play! Having a perky voice helps too:)

  7. Kristah August 6, 2011 at 8:10 am - Reply

    I like the idea of getting to chose the size you want for your flannel boards. I will also be making my own flannel board stories. I have found a few sites that allow you to print them for free. A lot of them are related to our favorite children’s books. You can check it out here. https://educationalcreativity.blogspot.com/2011/06/felt-board-pieces.html

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 9:29 am - Reply

      Thanks for the link Kristah! I like having size choices too!

  8. mama roses August 6, 2011 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Hi Deb, Kai is so cute!! Thanks for the video and brightening my day early in the morning.
    Do you read minds…I was planning to do one for my toddler. This really helps! Can I use brushed fleece instead?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 9:29 am - Reply

      I don’t know if you can use brushed fleece. You should take a piece of felt (maybe cut a small square) and see if it will adhere to the brushed fleece without falling off. I haven’t seen this used before but it is worth testing it:)

  9. Taylor August 6, 2011 at 9:35 am - Reply

    This is a great idea! This will be my first year teaching pre-k. I have nine 3’s that I can’t wait to meet! I’m glad I found this site – I’m sure I’ll be on it all the time this year 🙂 Thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 10:11 am - Reply

      I am so glad you found me too Taylor! Have fun with the threes – that is such a fun age:)

  10. SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime August 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    This post made me smile. Thanks for inspiring me and many others to even attempt this feat. Really appreciate that you linked up at the Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      It was my pleasure. Thanks for stopping by:)

  11. Melissa W. October 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this! And I’m sure you’ve heard this before – but your little baby boy is ADORABLE!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      Isn’t he a sweetie – I just stare at him all the time! Thank you Melissa:)

  12. andiejaye November 10, 2011 at 2:34 am - Reply

    just wanted to thank you again for this post. i will be citing this on satureday for my post on my flannel board 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 10, 2011 at 7:15 am - Reply

      Wonderful! And you are welcome:)

  13. Patti Colwell February 18, 2017 at 7:36 am - Reply

    I saw this tutorial. In my classroom I had a large dry erase board that was NOT magnetic (ugh) and I just had no use for it. I left it out for the children to draw on during centers but it was not popular. So…… I covered it in felt and WOW! It’s in the classroom library. I use it for retelling stories. Target has adorable felt cut outs – especially around holidays. The activities the kids come up with sitting over there…. they sort, they give the shapes names, it’s so much fun! My old worn out dry erase board has new life!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 18, 2017 at 11:56 am - Reply

      What a great reuse of your dry erase board! I might have to borrow that idea Patti!

  14. kirana November 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    how to stick the pieces flanel to the backround? dothey automatically glued or need other stuffs to keep themsticking

    • Deborah Stewart December 6, 2017 at 1:14 am - Reply

      Felt pieces will stick to the flannel or felt boards.

  15. Fruit of the Spirit craft for kids August 6, 2018 at 10:53 am - Reply

    […] Here is the step-by-step tutorial I used – Felt board. […]

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