How to Make a Cheap Flannel Board

MommyMondayI have some preschool posts coming up – I hope you don’t mind!

The first one is how to make a (cheap) flannel board!

I didn’t grow up in Sunday School, so I had never seen a flannel board until I started teaching preschoolers. My mind was blown, y’all!

I love it as much as the kids, and I finally got around to making one for my preschooler Samuel.

I will mostly be using ours for imagination play rather than educational use, so I wanted one that could be made cheaply. However, my Sammy is very destructive, so I did make sure it was durable!

What You Need

  • large cardboard (I used a large box that I cut down to size)
  • flannel (I bought 1 yard and actually had enough to make 2 flannel boards, so you could get away with a half-yard)
  • felt pieces
  • stapler
  • glue (This probably makes me not cool, but I used Elmer’s. Hot glue is probably a little better, but mine is holding fine!)

My cardboard was free, and the flannel I bought was $5.99/yard. The felt pieces are about 25 cents a piece, and I bought a bunch of colors. So I have two flannel boards and tons of felt pieces for about $10. I know JoAnn puts their flannel on sale for $2.50, so you could easily do this for only $5 if you wait for the sale!

How to Build a Flannel Board

(Note, my site was majorly hacked, and I lost most images. I hope the text below and pics at the bottom are still helpful!)

1. Cut out a piece of cardboard to the size flannel board you want. Mine turned out to be close to 16×20, but I just eye-balled it. (Note: If you need a sturdier flannel board, I would purchase a canvas and simply staple-gun your flannel on. It’s not the cheapest option, but much more professional.)

2. Lay your cardboard on top of the flannel and cut the flannel so that it has around a 2″+ border. Again, I didn’t measure this.

3. Fold one of the long edges of fabric over the board. Now, make a cut in the flannel at the edge of the cardboard so that you have a “hinge” in the fabric (see pic).

4. Repeat step 3 with the opposite side of the fabric and board. Then, on the width of the board, fold the flannel as though you are wrapping a present.

5. At each gift wrap seam, put a couple of staples.

6. Now, repeat on the other side. The trick to this side is keeping the flannel taut on the cardboard. I placed an intermediate staple on this side to help hold it in place.

7. Glue! Now, many people would have probably pulled out the hot glue from the beginning and not used any staples or Elmer’s. Well, I’m kind of the elementary school crafter that hasn’t graduated yet! So, take your Elmer’s 🙂 and you will lift each pocket of fabric on the back and set out glue on as much surface area as you can. Once it dries, you might have this:

Notice I didn’t iron the flannel beforehand. Yeah, I don’t care that much. Also, a thought I had later – if you want it really super taught and pretty – is to use Elmers Spray Adhesive on the cardboard before laying it on the flannel and folding all the seams over. If you don’t own any, this will up your cost by about $4.


What can you do with a flannel board? Really a lot! We decided to play weather one day, so we just cut out a bunch of weather shapes from the felt. Felt sticks right to the board! It’s so great!

How to Make a Cheap Flannel Board


I am also using my second one to post our daily schedules:

DIY Flannel Board for Daily Schedule

Is this dorky? Now that I shared this, I feel a little self-conscious about my ghetto crafting! What would you put on your flannel board?