DIY: Make your own flannel board for preschool

DIY: Make your own flannel board for preschool


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 Oopsie 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

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.

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.

To make a flannel board, I bought several sizes of artist canvases. I purchased my large board at Micheals (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…

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…

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….

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!

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…



  • Holly Posted August 6, 2011 12:42 am

    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. Posted August 6, 2011 12:43 am

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

  • Carol Posted August 6, 2011 1:02 am

    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. Posted August 6, 2011 1:19 am

      Thank you Carol! He’s a keeper:)

  • Melanie Posted August 6, 2011 1:16 am

    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. Posted August 6, 2011 1:18 am

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

  • Mercedes Hayes Posted August 6, 2011 1:23 am

    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. Posted August 6, 2011 9:31 am

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

  • CommonSense mummy Posted August 6, 2011 6:28 am

    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. Posted August 6, 2011 9:31 am

      I am so glad you are inspired;)

  • Leeanne A Posted August 6, 2011 7:04 am

    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. Posted August 6, 2011 9:30 am

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

  • Kristah Posted August 6, 2011 8:10 am

    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.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted August 6, 2011 9:29 am

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

  • mama roses Posted August 6, 2011 9:22 am

    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. Posted August 6, 2011 9:29 am

      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:)

  • Taylor Posted August 6, 2011 9:35 am

    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. Posted August 6, 2011 10:11 am

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

  • SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime Posted August 9, 2011 7:29 pm

    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. Posted August 9, 2011 11:34 pm

      It was my pleasure. Thanks for stopping by:)

  • Melissa W. Posted October 6, 2011 11:50 pm

    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. Posted October 6, 2011 11:54 pm

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

  • andiejaye Posted November 10, 2011 2:34 am

    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. Posted November 10, 2011 7:15 am

      Wonderful! And you are welcome:)

  • Patti Colwell Posted February 18, 2017 7:36 am

    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. Posted February 18, 2017 11:56 am

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

  • kirana Posted November 16, 2017 10:38 pm

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

    • Deborah Stewart Posted December 6, 2017 1:14 am

      Felt pieces will stick to the flannel or felt boards.

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