How to Make a Felt Board.

For the craftily challenged.

This is NOT a post for crafting superstars who can whip up handmade awesomeness in seconds.

This is for us moms who craft under duress.  And only just to save money.

Not to save time.

Because when you craft like me, all laborious and imprecise, it’s impractical and time consuming and low on fun.

But.

And, this is a pretty significant but.

It’s almost sorta kinda super close to being worth it.

Almost.

So hold on to your Fiskars ladies, things are about to get Dumb!

Dumb Mom’s Guide to Enhancing Story Time with a Story Board filled with Hideous Monstrosities

Step 1: Get inspired.  I’m rarely inspired to craft.  It’s just not in me.  I’m a perfectionist and I’ve never made one thing with these hands that actually came out prefect.  Or even close.  So, I tend to find hand making things (unless they are edible) to be frustrating.  But, I recently found myself uncharacteristically standing in an aisle at a craft store (only just to buy goodie bags) and I came across the cutest little things.  Glittery felt stories in prince and race car and all sorts of keep-a-kid-busy scenes.  They were insanely overpriced.  Deluded individual that I am, I convinced myself that I could easily create a replica.  Or something.

Step 2: Buy the stuff.  As an untrained and inexperienced crafter, I just went ahead and got some stuff that looked like what I needed.  Pretty much I just bought felt in al types of colors.  I even got a little crazy and bought some custom pieces that were textured.  That made me feel like a pro.

Step 3: Do some research.  You could go online and see what the real pros have to say but, if you’re anything like me, that will just be discouraging and cause you to put your stack of craft-terials on the shelf for a week.  Or longer.

Step 4: Try, try, and try again.  I started with one thing.  It was a bust.  And then I started another, and it was pretty sucky too.  I went ahead and repeated Step 3 a few times before moving on to Step 5.

Step 5: Get inspired.  Again.  This time, instead of using the unrealisti goal of making something I saw in the store, I decided to base my project on what I envisioned we would actually do with these little felty thingy’s ‘o fun once they were completed.  Goodnight Gorilla is Dude #3’s favorite story at the moment.  It has few characters and even fewer words.  Plenty of room to improv.  Perfect.

Step 6: Keep it simple.  I just swallowed the lump of fear in my throat, picked up my permanent marker, and went to town drawing, free hand, each of the character’s in the story.  I started with the gorilla because he was the most important (Don’t. Laugh!)…

 photo (9)

Then I did the elephant.  He looked the easiest…

 photo (15)

Nope.  It’s not an anteater.  It’s an elephant.  Don’t ask, just believe.

They were uglier than sin, but whatever.  They would get the job done.  So I stopped there.

Step 7: Test your theory.  We started reading the story.  We got to page two and realized that this would be very anti-climactic if we only had two felt people to play with.  So I decided to get buck.  I drew hyena.  He looked hideous…

 photo (10)

And, get your mind outta the gutter.  That under-the-belly-protrusion-thingy is supposed to be a leg!

Step 8:  Get creative.  In an effort to not have wasted the better part of my Tuesday morning making a felt board and 2/8 of the characters from a story, I had myself a bright idea. Trace them.  But, not on paper (too thick to see through).  Use a plastic baggie!  Worked.  Like.  A charm…

 photo (11)

Slightly-less-hideous hyena and mostly-still-horrible giraffe were born…

 photo (12)   

Step 9: Go with it.  2 hours, a cork board covered in felt, and six poorly made zoo animals later (and armadillo which is nothing more than a scrap of felt because these club hands of mine just couldn’t cut another inch) and you won’t care one bit how maniacal your creatures are.  You will read with gusto and perform with your little felt-imals like your Broadway Mama.

Step 10:  Party like a rockstar.  If your little person has eyes completely unaccustomed to pleasing art he won’t know or care that your elephant looks like an anteater.   He’ll enjoy his little felt story so much that he might even play with the thing for 10 whole minutes.  And, if you’re really lucky, he will even sleep with his happy little felt abominations, making the time, effort and embarrassment you invested so, SO worth it!

photo (13)

Have an easy craft to share with my hands of thumbs?  Link it in the comments I’d love to give it a go!

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Comments

  1. Ha!! I don’t know who you are, but you missed your calling as a comic.

    Thanks, I HUGELY enjoyed your whole piece, including your charming elephant & hyena. –And your kids are gonna love you for life too simply because you care. God Bless you and I hope you have a happy life.

  2. Thank you for this! Crafting under duress is my specialty, particularly when I’m constructing something for my kid. I will get started on this tomorrow.

  3. I too am craftily challenged. But alas my sitter is not so my daughter is all too accustomed to making super cool things at least 3 days a week and expects me to also come up with fun and cool crafts. Yeah. Not so realistic.

    But I love the felt board idea. I think even I could do that.

    But here’s a super simple crafty thing we did that your little man could help with and maybe even like. Just don’t get hung up on it being all perfect. http://bitspiecesandcrumbs.blogspot.com/2011/03/cold-weather-craftiness.html

  4. Yeah, I thought I’d make a felt board. Perhaps I should have tried but luckily, someone gave us their old one. Phew!

    Less charm, more felt pieces.

  5. You did an awesome job, though your hyena totally looked like Wilbur the pig from Charlotte’s Web. You know I’m only saying that because I love you right? ;) Thanks for the laugh and the great project!

  6. I’m impressed. That anteater is particularly spectacular.

  7. You should sell those n Etsy ;-)

  8. This is a sweet, thoughtful project. And that ant eater was stupendous!! Just get out some raisins, they’ll stick if you let #3 lick em’ a bit, and put them on the board too. Viola!! ANTS!

    (elephants are overrated anyway)

  9. You are hysterical – I died laughing at your crafting trials and tribulations! I think craft-erials and felt-imals are my new favorite words. I, too, am a perfectionist and often overly critical of my creations but the best part is that your little guy appreciated all the effort you put in with you hands of thumbs!

    Sarah

    • Dumb Mom says:

      Sadly, I just found one of the creatures shoved in his boot and the other one I can see in the canister of m Dyson. Must’ve been under the couch!

  10. Wow, that was pretty funny and awesome. Me I love crafts, but am serious laking in the drawing area. I would have found pictures of the characters online, cut them out and glued a piece of felt on the back to make them stick. But I will have to try making that board. Good job!

    • Dumb Mom says:

      I tried the cutting stuff out technique, but believe it or not, my coloring skills are actually worse than my free hand drawing skills.

  11. I’d call that crafty, I would have given up after the first character, aweseome job!

    I’ve never been very inclined to the artsy fartsy stuff, though having kids has inspired me to do more crafts. I’ve found it really fun and my girls love having things mommy made.

    I’m currently into making fashion jewellery; http://cynandco.blogspot.com/2011/03/wordlessish-wednesday-first-edition.html

    I’ll have to give this storyboard a whirl, it’d be an absolute hit.

  12. You don’t give yourself enough credit. Just the effort alone I think is worth it. I love to craft. The experience of creating something, even if it turns out awful. Plus it gives me something to do other than cleaning up spit up and changing diapers.

  13. Look at how crafty you are!!! I used to be crafty…when all we had was one kiddo. Even when kiddo #3 was a baby..I was a craftin’ mama with the older 2. Now I’ve lost my desire to scrub marker off the table and glue off the floor. Our 2 youngest are really getting the shaft. Bad mommy!

  14. My kids would lose the animals and then I would get pi… upset.

    I think you are being way too hard on yourself. I think you did a good job, and the whole idea of using a baggie to trace the animals was very inspired.

  15. That’s a GREAT project:-

  16. So. Cute.

  17. Okay, you are a better mother than me. I cannot even fathom spending two hours on something like that. Go you though!

  18. You are speaking my language. I am beyond craft challenged. We don’t even have felt in our house. I laughed through this whole post. I must admit that hyena took talent. I mean to draw one that looks maybe like a frog with curly hair? That is skill ;).

    Off to buy some felt. If you can do it I can too, right? Oh and how sweet that your son slept with his story board animals. I’m sure you will be illustrating a children’s book in no time. :)

  19. Wish I had had this brainstorm back in the day. I bought one of these at a premium. Dangit.

    My Cherubs did love that thing and get a lot of mileage out of it, though.

    But still…kudos to you. :)

  20. Oh.

  21. Very ambitious! I made a felt board for my kiddo a while back but it was only geometric shapes. Actual characters to a real story? Hats off lady!

    • Dumb Mom says:

      Doh! Why didn’t I think of geometric shapes or something easy? I think that’s why all of my crafts fail; I go WAY over my own head! Thanks for being kind though, Dumb Dad laughed for an hour!

Trackbacks

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