DIY: Make your own flannel board for preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on August 6, 2011

in DIY, Flannel Board Stories, Flannel Boards, Make Your Own Flannel Board


I really needed a flannel board for preschool and I wanted more than one. I found some that were not really that expensive but I still like making my own things so I made my own thanks to the wonderful tutorial provided by Oopsie Daisy.

You can read her tutorial as well but the reason I am sharing how to make it too is because I have received quite a few questions about what a flannel board is. I just assumed that everyone knew what one was when I posted my last post on how to organize your flannel board stories

A flannel board (or sometimes called a felt board) is a board covered with flannel that you can use in a variety of ways. Flannel is soft and has fibers in it that catch or cling onto other soft materials – like felt or the red fibers from my carpet. I purchased one yard of flannel (which was more than I needed for one flannel board) from my local fabric store. Flannel comes in all colors and I chose white, light blue, light green, and black.

When choosing flannel, you want to choose a color that will make a nice background color for your flannel board.  Light green can seem like grass on the ground. Light blue can seem like the sky and both blue and green are soothing on the eyes and are nice neutral colors that don’t compete for attention with your felt pieces. I had already cut up my blue and green flannel by the time I realized I should have taken a photo of the flannel.

To make a flannel board, I bought several sizes of artist canvases. I purchased my large board at Micheals (it was on sale 50% off) and the rest of my smaller boards are from Big Lots.  This large one is for my circle time area but I also made a couple of small ones for the children to use at the table…

This was so easy to make that I can’t believe I have never tried to make my own before. Just lay your flannel out on the ground and then put your board on top of it with the back of the board facing up…

Trim the excess flannel away and staple the flannel around the edges of the back of the board. Stretch or pull the flannel tightly as you go so the flannel will have a nice, firm, tight, hold on the board and lay smoothly on top of the board…

I used a staple gun to staple the flannel to the board. This is the finished back side of the board once I had all the edges of the fabric stapled into place…

This is the front of my flannel board. I added these little felt bears to show you how well felt sticks to flannel. You can purchase felt and cut out your own shapes to use on the flannel board or there are flannel (felt) board sets available that you can purchase online or at school supply stores as well….

I will share a few ways you can use a flannel board in future posts but just as an overview, you can use flannel boards to tell stories, sequence your stories, count out shapes, visually review concepts, and more…

I set out flannel board with felt pieces for the children to play with on their own too. Here are two of my smaller boards, made the same way, that I will use this school year as table top flannel boards. Notice how the flannel on the board on the right is not as tightly pulled around the board as the one on the left….

While making my flannel boards, I had a little helper hanging out with me…

When the flannel boards were all done, Kai tried out the flannel board too!

For those of you who haven’t tried using a flannel board in your classroom, Kai and I have made this video to inspire you to give it a go…


This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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