Easy Craft: Felt Farm

So let me just begin with the fact that I already typed out this post once and it disappeared when I tried to publish!  I'm sure you can imagine the death stare I was giving my computer.  It was lucky it didn't get thrown against the wall!  RRRRR!  So hopefully I won't forget anything in my frustrated typing. So as easy as this felt board is, it is also time consuming. One thing you'll need to understand is that you will be cutting each piece out 3 times.  If you are a knucklehead, like me, (haha, the first time I was a numbskull) and try to do this in two days then you will have MAJOR FINGER PAIN from all the cutting.  Just a warning! I did a farm but there are so many options to choose from.  Just find what fits your situation/personality best.  Mine happens to be for a little girl who likes horses (it wasn't until halfway through this project that I thought the wild west theme would have had more horses but there was NO WAY I was starting over now). First you'll want to find some pictures that you like for your board.  If you are intending to sell your board I would recommend getting the rights to whatever pictures you use. Print out all the pieces and cut, cut, cut.  This is cut #1.

Once you've got all your pieces cut out (and you're crying for mercy from the scissor gods) the next step is to laminate them. If you don't have a laminator, well I guess you're just tough outta luck and need to move on to another project.  Totally kidding.  If you don't have one of these beauties for yourself most printing stores will laminate them for you.  Or, if you've got the "in" with a teacher, try to get them to do it for you pro bono.

Now that your pieces are all laminated you'll need to cut them out (there's cut #2).  Make sure when you do this you don't cut too close to your pieces.  If you do, you could break the seal and then the lamination will peel apart. Each piece you cut out you'll now want to trace, face down, on some felt.  I used a coordinating color for each piece. Get ready!  Here comes cut #3!  Cut out your traced felt.  Finally no more cutting...oh wait, nope, just kidding there is more. (Waaaah!)

Your laminated pieces and the matching felt now need to be attached to each other. I used Crafter's Pick: The Ultimate craft glue.  I chose this glue because it works for fabric, plastic, and other hard to glue surfaces.  Whatever glue you choose just make sure that is dries clear, since you'll be able to see some glue through the lamination. Completely cover the backs of your laminated pieces, with the exception of any big ones, which you'll just glue around the entire edge and swirl around the middle.

ATTACH TO FELT!  Let dry.  Your pieces are done!  Aren't you thrilled!  You're all done!  Well, with that part anyway.  But now you have the background to do! Yay! The background is another one of those "full of options" things.  So it's completely up to you.  You could go totally slacker and tack a swatch of felt onto the wall and call it good, but where is the fun in that! I decided to frame my board and found a too cute frame that looks like old barn wood (ha, get it? farm? barn wood?).  But first you need to create the background. Depending on the size you want, you may need to buy felt from the bolt instead of the singles.  I bought green and blue for the sky and grass. I wanted to keep it relatively simple so it wouldn't compete with all the little characters.  Pretty much anything you can think to put on your background you could make into a separate piece for more fun!  So I put on just a path and a river.  If you want a path, river, etc. I would recommend making a template first.  I went through three templates before I got the look I wanted.  Just lay your paper down and draw what you think you want.

Once you have your templates set, trace them to your felt and cut them out. Now that you have your background scenery ready it's time to put it together.  I just used a basic straight stitch on my sewing machine to attach all my pieces.  You could also do a cute hand stitch like the whip stitch or the blanket stitch.  If you don't want to sew at all then you could use Heat n' Bond or something similar.

Now with your background done you're ready to frame it. Cut out some cardboard (or other rigid material) to fit your frame.  Once you have that cut out, use spray adhesive to attach your background to your cardboard.  You don't want it wiggling around when the kiddos come to play (and let's be honest, sometimes be rough) with it. And in the frame it goes!  If you got a frame like we did, that has no back and no tabs, then you can just staple it to the back of the frame. VIOLA! You're done!  You're now the proud owner of a fantabulous, fun, framed, felt farm!

The sky is the limit with this project and if you have time you could let your imagination run wild. I was on a little bit of a time crunch so I had to "wrangle" myself in, but if I ever make one of these again, with more time, maybe I'll make it extra super-rific! The best way to hang this is to use the 3m picture hanging strips.  They will hold your frame solid to the wall with no sway. Hope you enjoyed!  Please let me know if I left anything out.  (I am still seething a little bit after all, could you blame me?)