Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Felt Me a Story: Tutorial

2.21.2012

Felt Me a Story: Tutorial

I have such a special surprise for you today! My sister-in-law, Angela, has put together a felt book tutorial for you, and it's pretty amazing. I've never seen anything like this before and can already see it's endless possibilities. I am really excited to make one of these for my son!
  Felt Me a Story: Tutorial
First off, a big thanks to Heather! This is my first tutorial attempt, and I'm so glad Heather is letting me do this to challenge myself. And for all the sewing help and inspiration she's given me since joining the family. It’s nice to have sisters. Especially ones who give your son this for Christmas.
I love to sew. I’m not skilled, but I love it. I love short, fun projects for quick gratification. And I especially love it when it helps me save money. But with 2 little kids under 3 and other priorities, I tend to think about sewing more than actually doing it. At night, when rocking my teething, sleep-hating baby I escape mentally and think of all the crafting/sewing things I’d like to make. It’s mental chocolate and a nice challenge to create patterns in my head. This is one of those midnight creations.
Once upon a time there was this little boy who couldn’t sit through church meetings, doctor appointments, and quiet times. Sound familiar? We needed help. Enter this flannel board book.
It has an outside and inside with solid colors to works as ocean, sky, sand, dirt, etc. The book folds up, in half, and can stand up right on a flat surface. It's light, it's small and I love the little pocket in the middle for little hands to pull out their felt fun.
This project takes under an hour (of uninterrupted time, if you get that at your house) to make and opens the door for so many possibilities. In seconds I can cut up a new felt game or story pieces. And as my littles grow up, this felt book will too.  There are great, giant flannel boards out there. But this little, light book can go anywhere with us. We just stuff the pockets with pieces and go!
Materials Needed:
Flannel Material
        ⅓ to ½ yard outside flannel fabric (solid color)
        ⅓ to ½ yard inside flannel fabric (solid color)
        ¼ yard pocket flannel fabric (something that makes your heart happy)
Foam board
Ribbon
Hot glue and gun
Sewing machine, thread and other such sewing things

Step 1. Measure and cut out pieces
  1. outside piece 19” x 12”
  2. 2 inside pieces 10” x  12”
  3. 2 pocket pieces 11½ ” x 12”
  4. 2 foam board pieces 8½” x 11”
  5. 2 ribbon pieces 6” long
 Measure
Yes, that is a hot wheel track
 Cut
Step 2: Sew Pocket
With Right sides together, sew 1 length and 1 width (2 of the four sides). Stop and back-stitch 3 inches from bottom edge.


 
 Fold under and sew hem on the top of pocket.
Turn pocket right side out and sew final length closed, 3 inches seam allowance. Set aside.

Step 3: Sew ribbons to outside of each outer side.
Roll edge of ribbon under to hide raw edge and pin 2 inches from the edge of each side, in the middle. Sew or tack down.
(Options: there are many ways to make a closure for these books. A thin ribbon on one side and a large button on the other; magnets and strap, hooks and strap, etc.)
Step 4: Sew hems for inside pieces.
Fold 1 inch hems on one length of each side and sew. This will make for a clean edge after you slip in the board into the covers. Notice the hem on the inside of each orange piece below? That's what you've just done.
Step 5: Sew outside to insides.
With right sides together, match up outer edges and pin. There will be a 1-2 inch gap in the middle. Sew all the way around the outer edges.
Don't worry about sewing the front piece (blue here) and leaving that short, raw edge. It will tuck under later on.
Step 6: Sew in pocket. 
Align pocket in the center of the covers. Spread out flaps, one on each side, so the sewn edge is touching the material. Pin down and sew on each side of the flap as closely to the pocket seam as possible. You’ll know you’ve done right if you see 2 parallel sewn lines on the outside cover.
Step 7: Insert boards.
Turn cover right side out and slip foam boards into ‘pockets’ and test for fit and tightness. Adjust and trim if needed. If the board is too small and material too loose around it, flip inside out again and take it in a little. (Note: I forgot to put the pocket in first and had to take out the boards and then sew. Thus, no pocket here.  Oops. It's hard to sew when you're accountable to step-by-step pictures. Oh well.)
Isn't there something so satisfying about using an x-acto knife? Mmm, love it. 
Step 8: Close inside flaps.  
Now if you can fit the boards in between your needle and machine, try sewing the inside covers down over the boards. OR take hot glue along that hem and stretch over board and seal down.
and...You’re done!
Now start cutting felt! 
 

There are SO many things you can do with felt! Just stroll through pinterest or the blogging world to find games, stories, and wonderful creations. This, this and this are on my to-do list.
The hiding hearts game kept my son occupied for much of our church meeting yesterday and we had loads of fun hiding his face all around. I'm excited to recreate some of our favorite stories and see if the kids can tell me the story. I looking forward to making more sophisticated matching and math games and flannel or felt dolls. We're going to make cars and roads and signs. And a Mr. Potato head too. 
These would make such a great gift for birthdays or a sick child. Just make up one of these, a few pre-cut felt kits and some felt for them to cut on their own. I have dreams of making these for hospital-bound kids. But one day at a time.
Please let me know if you have questions and I’ll try to respond in the comments. I have such a new level of respect for bloggers and those who make tutorials. Maybe I’ll make another one, in a couple of years. Until then, happy sewing and playing.

7 comments:

  1. Fabulous! I love this idea! So creative! So clever! I love that you can take it anywhere. The book is light and easy to manage. Ideas for felt stories are endless. Little minds can create over and over again. The tutorial is easy to follow and yes, simple to make. Once the babies are asleep, I can cut little felt figures to my hearts content. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for sharing. Go Angela! ~Sincerely, Nancy A.

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  2. I love this idea, Angela! I TOTALLY want to make one! Too bad all of my felt is packed up! But, some day soon... :) Way to go on the tutorial.

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  3. This is a really creative way to use scraps of leftover fabric. Love!

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  4. LOVE this so much, Angela! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. This is fantastic! I love how she used pictures of her family..so child-perfect!

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