Flannel Friday: Tips for multiple use flannel pieces

Since I have no new flannel stories to share this week I thought that I would post a tip or two. 

I will start by noting that it can be helpful to try and use the same material when making your flannel sets.  In general I use craft foam.  I do this because it is easier to draw shapes, it cuts easily, and the colors are very bright.  (Flannel is great too, I am just partial to foam.  If flannel is your preference then stick to that when you can.)  There have been times when flannel is more practical to use, but most of the time I opt for foam.  Have pieces mostly made of foam comes in handy when I have a story or rhyme that uses a piece I already have.  For example, awhile ago I made a flannel to go with the story The Case of the missing shoe.  A year or so later when I made my Pete the Cat flannel I already had shoes in the colors I needed, so I borrowed them from the older flannel.

Pete the Cat: I love my white shoes
The Case of the missing shoe
When I use pieces from other set I make sure to note that on the envelope when I store the other pieces.  So, on the file for Pete the Cat I have a note under the title that says use shoes from 'Shoes.'  That way when I or a co-worker pull out Pete the Cat we don't freak out that all his shoes are missing.  (Although, the key here is to remember to put all the pieces back where they go.  The note helps with that as well.)
I have also found it useful to make similarly sized pieces.  Some time ago I made a flannel to go with the song 'Zoo Train.'  For whatever reason I decided to make only the heads of the animals using the same sized circle as a base.  So, I ended up with a variety of similar animals.  I have found this set to be very useful.  I even started a file of just round animals.  This way I can quickly locate them when needed.  I keep the more unique pieces with the story file and keep the more generic animals in the round file.  Occasionally I will need to make an animal or two, like this fall when I made the story What will it rain.  For that I needed to make a Bird and a Squirrel, but I could make them with a circle base and they were able to match the horse, cat, dog, and bunny that I already had.
What will it rain
The Enormous carrot
Five red apples (adapted down from ten)
So, whenever I go to make a new flannel I look to see if I have any pieces that I can re-use.  Now that I have built up a 'flannel library' I tend to find that I often do.  This can really save time.

I had hoped to add more pictures, but Blogger is telling me that I have reached my limit!  Oooops.  I had to glean all of this posts photos from previous posts.  So, I guess instead of adding more photos I need to find a remedy to that issue.  Suggestions?

You can find the rest of this week's round up with Library Quine over at Loons and Quines @ Librarytime.  An explanation of Flannel Friday, along with the hosting schedule, tips, and more can be found at the Flannel Friday blog, and all posts will be pinned to the Flannel Friday Pinterest page.


  1. Ok, so I have not been following your blog but I am loving your ideas. I am wanting to make a felt board for my son and I to play with during the day. do you have a post about how to make one? And when you say you like the craft foam....do you put anything on the back or does it stick right to the board?
    Thanks for your help and tips!

  2. Thanks Marci. I posted a few weeks ago about making a small flannel board from an old binder here: http://misssarahsstorytime.blogspot.com/2013/02/flannel-friday-flannel-board-on-fly.html I have also been thinking about trying something similar but with an old picture frame with the glass removed and the flannel glued to the back. Basically you just need a flat surface for the flannel. Cardboard can work well or if you have a larger piece of wood you can use that. I like using the rubber cement to stick the flannel on, you could try a spray adhesive as well. They make a nice flat bond. I have used a glue gun in a pinch, but that leaves some lumps.
    I add a small piece of velcro (the sticky, or 'rough' side) to the craft foam to make it stick. I just like the foam as it is easy to cut, very bright, and you can easily draw details with a sharpie.
    Good luck! I know my kids always love when I let them play with the flannels.