Felt material will sit on felt. In early childhood settings, story time at the library, Sunday school and so on, teachers and caregivers will tell stories on a flannel board using felt pieces. In addition, felt pieces can be used for teaching lessons and concepts. The felts can be used to create a visual aide for singing songs, and telling poems. The options are plentiful. In addition, young children enjoy playing with the felt pieces themselves. Many felt pieces are made with a sewing machine or bought at a store, but this article explains basic steps for hand-making a felt project using felt material, fabric paint and glue.
Required Material for Making Felt Activities
- Felt Material: Before beginning a project, make sure you have enough felt fabric in various colors to create a project. Individual felt pieces can be bought at most craft stores, and many dollar shops. In addition, big fabric stores like Fabricland will sell felt material in rolls.
- Fabric Paint: The next important material to purchase is fabric paint. There are many colors and variations in fabric paint, such as glitter or 3D. Fabric paint and fabric pens are available at most craft stores, for instance, Michaels or large department stores, such as Walmart. Although more difficult to master, the fabric paint will come out more vivid then the fabric pen for your finished product. If you are on a tight budget, felt pens, like Sharpies can also be used on felt material.
- Glue: Craft glue is essential for making felt activities. All purpose glue like Tacky glue can be used or specific felt glue is also available, but may be difficult to find.
- Scissors: A sharp pair of scissors used for cutting fabric material is best.
- Google eyes: This is an optional choice, but they do add the cute factor to your felt project.
Once the material is purchase and collected, then the next step is to decide what project to make. Is it a story that is being made, or a simple song, such as Five Little Ducks? Find some thick paper, such as old file folders, and begin drawing out the pieces required for the project. These drawings will become your templates. If a story is being made, then have the illustrations of the book in front of you to help draw the required pieces. Once the templates are drawn, then cut out each piece and label it. For instance, if you are making The Very Hungry Caterpillar, then label each template: apple, orange, etc.
After all the templates are cut out, then take an individual template and place onto the appropriate color felt material. The template can be held down by one's hand while the other hand cuts around the template or the template can be taped on using a little scotch tape or double sided tape. Avoid tracing the template onto the fabric because then the pen marks will be seen on the material with your final project.
Decorating The Felt Pieces
Once the felt pieces are cut out, it is time to finish with decorating details. This step can be complicated or simple depending on your wishes and comfort level. Fabric paint can be fickle and it is a good idea to try it out on a scrap piece of felt before working on your required piece of felt. By tracing the outline of your piece, such as an apple, it can add to its visual appeal. The paint can be the same color as the felt material, or a darker paint like black or brown can be used. Glitter fabric paint is also fun for adding details or outlines. Googly eyes can be glued on or other smaller felt pieces to add detail to your felt characters.
Finishing Touches to Hand-made Felt Projects
After the details have been added, then allow for proper drying time before storing the felt project. Ziplock bags work well to keep all the pieces together. A great idea for the story teller is to add the words required onto a card paper and place with the final felt project.
Felt activities are fun to make and great for preschool children to enjoy. There are many benefits for using this style of teaching and story telling within any early childhood setting.