How To: Make Your Own Flannel/Felt Board (+ Free Printables)

make your own flannel board, DIY felt board
I do “preschool” at home with Scarlette and one of the things I wanted to do with her was play with a flannel board (some people call them felt boards.) I’m old school like that. No pun intended.

But I did not want to pay for a flannel board because I am also thrifty. So I googled “make your own flannel board” and found a couple of variations on how to DIY it. This is what I ended up doing.

First, I purchased two 16×20 stretched artist canvases from the local craft supply store (the framed ones that look like this). This is what I went out on Black Friday for this year, to score good deals on the supplies for this project. It cost $11 for two canvases. (You might even be able to find cheap canvases of artwork at the thrift store and those would work too since you’ll be covering them.)

Then I purchased 3/4 of a yard of black flannel fabric for just under $3. I also bought a sheet of felt in each color at 25 cents apiece as well as two sheets of sticky-backed felt which were 99 cents each. So the total cost for everything was about $15, almost half the cost of just a single flannel board alone!

I wrapped the flannel around each canvas, pulled it taut and staple gunned it to the back of the frame. Correction: my mother staple gunned it to the frame. I do not trust myself not to staple gun my hand to the canvas. You think I’m joking but once Jeff’s college roommate accidentally staple gunned his hand and the fear of such a thing happening has never left me.
how to make your own felt board, DIY flannel board

That’s it. That’s totally all you have to do to make your own flannel board. The great thing is that these are lightweight so I can easily stash them in the closet when we are done. I’ll most likely hang them inside the closet door when she gets a little bit taller.

Felt sticks to the flannel board so that is what you make your board pieces from. I cut the shapes out of different felt pieces and then I created a full set of alphabet and number circles. I printed them out on cardstock (if I had access to a laminator I would totally recommend laminating these) and then I cut a small square from the sticky backed felt, removed the backing and stuck one to the back of each circle. Now all of my alphas and numbers stick to the flannel board but I didn’t have to cut them all out of felt. Which is good because my cutting skills are really sub par. Please see the orange square above as evidence of this.

Scarlette loves these flannel boards. I decided to make them because she liked to line up all of her flashcards on the floor and I thought it would be easier for her to have something upright. Each morning we play a game where she tells me what each letter/number/color/shape is and then runs to put it on the board.

I’ll use this for each of our monthly themes as well, such as when we learn about the weather or the nativity. I use this book for a lot of my activity planning and it has a ton of templates + rhymes to do felt play with. I’m currently cutting out five little ducks. They go out one day but sadly, only four little ducks come back.

You can get a ton of ideas for flannel board activities from these sites: DLTK’s Felt Board Printables | Storytime Katie | Felt Board Ideas Blog | Ideas For Preschoolers

And since I had the alphabet/number circles already, I made them into PDFs so that if you want to use them you are more than welcome to. Each circle is about 3×3.

Click this link to download: CircleAlphasandNumbers

printable circle numbers and alphabet


  1. Marjorie says

    Just thought I would share with you that you do not need a laminating machine to laminate stuff! 3M makes self sealing laminating pouches. I got them to laminate my husbands EMS certification cards that he has to carry with him. I think I got them at Wall Mart of all places. The sheets are big enough to laminate a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. So if you are laminating a bunch of small stuff you just make sure that they are spaced out far enough to cut them out.

  2. Beth L says

    Very fun! But if you were REALLY “old school”, you would call it “flannel graph”.

    (even the Veggie Tales respect the flannel graph…see King George and the Ducky 😉

  3. Bobbin5k says

    Thanks for the inspiration! I made my own felt board today and it took all of 5 minutes and cost me less than $8. I used a self-adhesive foam board and attached a piece of remnant felt I got on clearance. Then I used a hot glue gun to fold over the edges and make them stick on the back. Very cute and can’t wait to use it for the co-op class I am teaching in the fall.

  4. says

    Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out
    and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that
    deal with the same topics? Thanks!

  5. Clare says

    Thanks for the felt board set up ideas. Just be assured a two or three or four year old doesn’t need flash cards. I know you want to do your best, but many studies show that young children benefit most from imaginative play (like story telling with a felt board) in terms of later academic success and emotional well-being.

  6. Nicole says

    Thank you, I home school two children currently and this is helpful. While looking for crafts for home and co-op, I realized how interesting, artistic, imaginative and how often I could use the felts for stories, math, etc. I am going to likely try to make one.
    God Bless

  7. Barb says

    I made my own flannel board, bought a large piece of foam poster board at the dollar store, bought the flannel at the fabric store.I wrapped the flannel around the board and duct taped it…pretty in expensive for the amount I needed, then printed out pictures from classroom clip art…they have everything..laminated the pics, cut them out and added sand paper to the back with a glue gun….worked fantastic……do no use elmers glue, it wont hold on the laminating..

  8. says

    Fantastic tutorial on how to make a flannel board ~ It’s quick, easy, and inexpensive!
    I’m going to share it with our fans on Playtime Felts ~ :)

  9. Amanda Z says

    I went to the store today to buy the stuff to make this but when I put the felt to the flannel fabric it wont sick. Is there something I am doing wrong? Maybe not the right flannel or something?

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