Felt and flannel board sets are versatile educational toys, but it can be difficult to find commercially-available sets for all of the topics you want. For this reason (and because of the expense of the sets), many parents and educators make their own. Some people print images from a template and glue felt, sandpaper or velcro to the back of the paper to make it stick to the board. Some people color or paint directly on a sheet of felt and cut it out. Still others use iron-on transfers to apply images to the felt.
The iron-on variety looks the most like the store bought sets. The only problem is that the felt pieces don’t stick to one another, which makes it inconvenient for dress up sets. One solution is to use repositionable spray adhesive on the fronts of the pieces. See the slide show for step by step picture instructions for felt and flannel board pieces like the Sherlock set pictured above.
You will need:
Markers or paints
Iron-on transfer sheets
Light-colored felt or flannel
Light duty, repositionable spray adhesive
1. Start with your design. If you don’t like to draw, use a template underneath tracing paper and transfer your design to the paper. If you like to draw, you can use the tracing paper to layer your own drawings to create items like clothing or accessories that are just the right size.
2. Once you have your design, make a copy of it or use a window or light box to transfer the design to paper.
3. Color your designs with markers or watercolor paints.
4. Put as many images as you can on one sheet of paper. Cut and paste if necessary.
5. Scan your image and print on to the iron-on transfer sheets. Note that you will want to print the mirror image of your design, because when you iron it on, it will be backward.
6. Follow the package directions to iron your image to the felt.
7. Cut out your pieces.
8. If you don’t need for the pieces to stick to one another, you are finished! If you want the pieces to be sticky, then lay them out in a well-ventilated area and give them a very, very thin coating of repositionable spray adhesive.
9. Allow to dry for about half an hour.
10. The pieces should feel like the sticky part of a Post-It note. They should stick to one another, but should be easy to move around.
11. Store flat, folded into a piece of waxed paper or small tarp. This will keep the pieces from getting too fuzzy, too fast.