Monday, January 18, 2010

Felt Figure FUN!

Pin It Felt boards are a great teaching tool. I was first introduced to them when I was an elementary school teacher before I became a mom. I would use it to teach colors, numbers, shapes, and all other sorts of things. At home, I have always wanted a set of "felt figures" to help me teach scripture stories to my children. Such as these:
They look nice, and are a fun, hands on way to teach little ones. Buying them can be expensive though. A set like this will cost you around $50! Even if you buy the stories individually (for instance, just Noah's ark), it is still $15. That is NOT in my budget! So, I had to get creative.

There are various resources out there that make felt board figures available. As I looked for resources, I found a blog that has 48 flannel board stories in ONE place, and they are available to download!

Here is where you can access this AMAZING resource. You can also find similar resources for shapes, colors, etc... if you want felt figures to teach other subjects as well.

This is the creative part. Normally, the idea is that you print the figures (or shapes, colors, etc...) on paper or copy them from a magazine and then, using velcro, place them on the flannel board. These can be a good substitute for the more expensive, pre-made felt figures and can be made more durable with lamination. I'm stubborn though and I really wanted figures just like the pre-made felt ones! I wanted to turn these into felt figures, and have an entire library of scriptures stories, for not a lot of money! The key is printable T-Shirt Transfer Paper!

Supplies Needed:
8.5x11 inch sheets of felt (20 cents a sheet at Wal-Mart)
Printable T-shirt Transfer paper (found in the office supply section of Wal-Mart, Target)
Iron
Scissors
Manilla Folders (to create files for all the felt figures)


Steps to make FABULOUS FELT FIGURES (for very little money)
  1. Print story figures (found here) on Printable T-Shirt Transfer paper
  2. After printing your story on the transfer paper, it will look like this:
  3. Cut out each picture with a small margin around the image. Keep the edges round; it prevents the edges from lifting while ironing.
  4. After cutting out your pictures, lay them image side DOWN on your felt.
  5. Use an iron set on cotton (highest setting) and NO STEAM
  6. Apply a good amount of pressure to the pictures (with your iron of course!) moving the iron back and forth over the picture. It usually takes about 20 seconds to transfer it.
  7. Test an edge of the picture to make sure it transferred all the way by gently peeling off the paper backing. If it comes off easily, it probably is ok. You can eyeball it.
  8. After you peel all the paper off, cut out your images from the felt.
  9. Print off coordinating story/lesson to go along with each figure. (located beneath story figures)
  10. Voila! you have an entire set of felt board figures for CHEAP!
Here is what my "Adam and Eve" set looked like when finished:

STORAGE for all your new felt figure sets is important! Keeping them organized will save you time. I bought a box of plain old manilla folders. I taped BOTH sides of the folder closed, making a little pouch. I wrote the name of the story on top, and put all my figures inside with the story/lesson to go along with it.
I now have felt figures for dozens of scripture stories. It makes teaching the scriptures so much easier for our little ones. It takes some effort to make all the stories, but is WELL worth it! I use my 'collection' all the time. And guess what? It was WAY cheaper to make than to buy.

42 comments:

  1. I have fixed the comment section, so leave any thoughts or ideas!

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    1. what did you use to make the backgrounds? I don't see any templates for the backgrounds?

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  2. I've got my flannel board done, and I have a spot for it that I want to put it up in the playroom...I definitely want get all the scripture people done, but I was thinking of first starting with shapes and easy pictures for briggy to start talking...ball, dog, sun, rain, that kind of stuff...any ideas where I can get cute clipart to print on the transfer paper? (great tip, btw--because originally when I started this I planned on just printing out on cardstock, laminating, and then adding velcro on the back....your process makes so much more sense!)
    ps--i like the color change of the header, i knew you could jazz it up!

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  3. just found your blog,couldn't you also use photograph of people. i was thinking of my grandson who loves spiderman. i would use photo of grandson (also using the transfer paper) figure of spiderman, photos of building etc. this would get the child into the story line also

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  4. that's a great idea patty. you really could use this idea for anything. it's pretty versatile!

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  5. Wow! What a great way to make the flannel board story pieces. I'll leave a link on the flannel board story master list so others can come and read it.

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  6. This is exactly what I've been looking for! I have a question though: how much ink did you use to print these out? Considering 1 color ink cartridge is over $20 I was wondering if it was worth all this time or just buy it already made. Thanks so much!!

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  7. Another quick question: Do I need to buy an actual felt book to get these backgrounds? Or are there printable backgrounds I could make my own book with? Thanks!!

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  8. Alyssa,
    I think I used a little more than one cartridge to do all the Old and New Testament Stories, and part of the Book of Mormon stories. Ink is expensive, but I haven't actually seen felt figure sets for the Book of Mormon and D&C stories. I think it is worth it to do it yourself! If you want to save on ink, you can make the figures smaller, therefore getting more on one page, and using less ink. That would be my recommendation. Good luck!!

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  9. Also, I haven't seen any backgrounds online that you could print off. If you want backgrounds, you might have to buy them.

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  10. This is such a great idea. Those other flannel board stories are so expensive and this sounds much cheaper.

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  11. Did you find the t-shirt transfer paper somewhere for cheap? I have found it at places like wal-mart and you can only get it in packs of 6 or 12 and it is pretty high priced. I wondered if there is somewhere you can buy it in bulk?

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  12. You can cut the price of your ink in half by taking old cartridges into places like Walgreens and getting them refilled.

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  13. This is wonderful. Now I just need to find a good idea for a flannel board, any suggestions?

    Thanks so much for the idea!!!

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  14. GSGC,
    I made my own flannel board. I used some super stiff foam sheets that came in a box of large furniture we ordered. I just hot glued the flannel to it. You could also use MDF board (can get it @ lowes). It is really cheap, and pretty sturdy. I bought my flannel for my board at a fabric store; they sell it by the yard. Hope this helps, and thanks for stopping by!!

    Sarah

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  15. ingenious idea, THANKS!

    http://www.dltk-kids.com/type/felt_board.html

    this website has several to make into flannel board stories as well-love them too!

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  16. Found this link through Chocolate on the Cranium. I love the idea. I haven't seen real flannel board figures since I was little. I was wondering, since this post was a year ago, how are they holding up? Can they stand up to being handled by toddlers? Thanks!

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  17. Ooooh...just what I was searching for. Thanks for the tutorial. I think we will be making these in the near future. I love the idea.

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  18. Thank you! I have been trying to figure out how to transfer images to felt to use!

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  19. Thanks for sharing this!! I'm excited to get started!

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  20. I've been doing these for awhile for my son. They make great church toys. I keep each set in an zipper pencil case. I use the kind that are made to fit into a three ring binder. If I'm in a hurry I can grab the whole binder on the way out the door.

    I've also found that stickers copy nicely.

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  21. I love this idea and am going to do it for my family gifts this year! Question: Since it was awhile ago are they still holding up well?
    Thanks!
    Alyssa

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  22. @Anon,
    The felt figures are holding up great! I have had no ripping or tearing or falling apart whatsoever. And this is with 3 children under 4!

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  23. I'm so excited to try this!!! I've been wanting to do this for years but didn't have the $ for it. Thank you so much!

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  24. Just a quick question--so once you iron the print out face down, then the image is a reverse of the original, right?
    So if I wanted it to match the original I should reverse the the image when I go to print it?

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  25. Yes, you would want to reverse the image. Happy Crafting!

    Sarah

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  26. Love this! Thanks!
    Where did you come by the great Adam and Eve set??

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    Replies
    1. I found this felt figure post through Chocolate on my Cranium, which is where the Adam and Eve set is. It's part of The Creation story in the Old Testament section. Here's the link (with lots of other flannel board stories). I know this is an old question, but I hope it helps!

      http://chocolateonmycranium.blogspot.com/2007/11/flannel-board-stories.html#.UwqmNNIcazk

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    2. I found this felt figure post through Chocolate on my Cranium, which is where the Adam and Eve came from. It is part of The Creation in the Old Testament Stories section. I know this is an old question, but hopefully it helps! Here's the link.

      http://chocolateonmycranium.blogspot.com/2007/11/flannel-board-stories.html#.UwqmNNIcazk

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  27. That is absolutely brilliant! I have tried to "make" flannel board stories several times drawing them myself (they never turn out well) and other methods. I'm gobstopped that I never thought to do this as I've used this transfer paper dozens of times for other projects. Thank you so much for posting this!

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  28. Hi this may sound silly, but do you use white felt to transfer the image? Thanks!

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  29. Brilliant! I can't wait to get started. Do you have patterns for shapes, numbers, etc. from your elementary school teaching days? Thank you!
    Stephanie

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  30. Thank you!!! I got to this site from chocolate covered cranium and I am so excited to make my own flannel boards!

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  31. Thank you for the great idea! Found you through Chocolate on my Cranium. I plan to read my kids the story from the "scriptures with pictures" as we call them, and then have them tell me the story with the felt figures. Thanks again!

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  32. I get the Friend and there is a page in the back with scripture figures. Is there a way to use those and transfer them onto felt without printing on transfer paper

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    1. You might be able to do wonder under on the back of the paper and then iron that on the felt. I don't think it would be as durable, but if you took care of them, it should work great and wonder under is much cheaper than printing it out and using transfer paper.

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  33. Thank you for sharing. I am going tomorrow to get the supplies. This is great for the kiddos. 1 question. I have a laser printer. Does itstill work with a laser printer since its not ink?

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  34. 5 years later and you're still answering comments! Good blogger, have a cookie! I'm thinking of creating a fedora for my son. I'll start with a plain felt hat, purchased anywhere because the hipsters love them. But I was thinking of transferring images of favorite book quotes, characters, etc onto the hat. My question is, after having done this project, do you think my idea might work? I'm willing to fail in the process, but I'm wondering if working with the transfer on felt seems like it would translate.

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  35. I have been wanting to get flannel story pieces for FHE for a while and this is the PERFECT solution for me! Thanks so much for posting this!

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  36. Do you have to cut it out before you transfer it? I'm thinking it would save on time to just transfer the whole page, that way you only have to cut once.

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  37. awesome, thanks, I will use this idea for my Sunday school class.

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