We love Autumn in our house. It’s definitely a memorable time of year with so many holidays in que, and that overwhelming feeling of childish emotions constantly being rushed back into your mind from your own past experiences. Halloween has always been a fun time in my sister and I’s family home growing up. My mom is the queen of small, yet BOUNTIFUL, holiday décor, and Halloween was no different than Christmas when it came to garnishing every door, wall, shelf and vessel in our house. My siblings and I were all very lucky to have a talented mother who alone sewed and crafted each and every one of our Halloween costumes Every. Single. Year.
Being a mother myself to a very rambunctious and happy 18 month old, I wanted to take some of that craftiness my own mom always showed us growing up, and incorporate a fun, hands-on Halloween experience for my own child – one that didn’t simply require finger-painting a poor, beautiful pumpkin plucked from a pumpkin patch thinking it’d be carved into something marvelous (albeit, that’ll probably be added to the list as the 31st of October rolls closer). I have seen many people create the infamous felt Christmas trees for their toddlers to embellish during the holiday season, and thought I would take a page from that book and rework the idea to give it more of a ghoulish feel.
Thus, the Halloween felt board was created!
This is such a simple and fun craft to complete – I was able to cut out all of my felty ghosts, bats, haunted houses and the like in the time it took my son to take a two hour nap. The greatest part about this project is that you can really make it anything you want. If you wanted it to be smaller, have more pieces, take up an entire wall – well, it’s really up to you. It just depends on how much time you have to cut many a felt pieces up to make your little one’s Halloween imagination come to light.
All you need is:
- One large piece of felt in the color of your choice to serve as your background (mine is about 1.5 feet x 1.5 feet).
- Several pieces of multi-colored felt pieces, again, of your choice, to create all your ghoulish felt characters, accessories, and scenery.
- Hot glue gun with glue sticks to spare.
- Command™ poster strips – or any tape that’ll adhere your felt background to a wall.
- Fabric scissors – this just makes this entire process MUCH easier.
- OPTIONAL – Halloween stencils to bring your characters to life (if you aren’t naturally creative, don’t worry, this will make everything a lot easier for you).
- A pen/marker to trace your stencils onto the felt.
Did you know that felt sticks to felt? That’s right. That means that once you’ve cut all your little pieces out, there’s nothing more to do than to stick those little guys right onto your larger piece of felt. No Velcro, tape, glue… it’s its own how-to. We love that.
In case this project isn’t easy enough to understand, here’s a quick and simple rundown of how I pulled this baby off:
- Collect your supplies: At my local craft store, I had a large piece of black felt cut (by store personnel) to measure one yard. This is a LOT of black felt, and I knew I wanted this to be relatively small to fit on a side wall in my living room, plus, it served as extra black felt for bats, ghost eyes, Jack-O-Lantern features, etc. Also, pick up some single felt sheets (also available at the craft store) for all the different items you plan to create for the Halloween scene. I thought about what I wanted to create in advance, and chose colors accordingly. If there isn’t a craft store conveniently located near your house, check out fabric.com. They have everything you need for craft supplies and MORE! We love this site, especially when we are feeling especially artsy, but have sleeping babies at home and get stuck in the house 😉
- Free-hand/cut your spooky characters and decor out of different colors of fabric OR find some free stencils online to reference/trace: Once I had all the colors of felt I thought I’d need for all the Halloween embellishments I knew I wanted for the board, I searched the internet at home for stencils I could easily cut out and trace onto the accompanying felt color of choice. You can find free stencils all over the Internet, but Pinterest is a good go-to (because, isn’t it great for everything?). There were some items I didn’t need a stencil for – pumpkins are pretty easy to free-cut, as are moons, spooky trees, and other items. Again, if you are crazy crafty, you may not need any stencils! More power to you! Use a sharpie or good black pen to trace your stencil onto the chosen piece of felt, and cut around to get your design. Here’s an example of the haunted house I created from a stencil found online:
- Make some of your cutouts permanent decor for your background: My tree ended up having so many branches, that it was just way too difficult for my one year old to continually adjust on the felt board, so I took a hot glue gun and made that, as well as a free-handed hill, permanent fixtures in my Halloween backdrop.
- Add embellishment to your spooky felt designs if you choose: Items that needed faces or little pieces, such as the windows and doors on my haunted house, were also glued on with a LIGHT layer or hot glue. NOTE: Don’t use too much hot glue, the felt does stick to felt, but not if the weight of your glue pulls it down.
- Secure your felt board to a solid surface for your little one to play: Once I had cut out all of my felt pieces, hot glued my scenery of the backdrop, and embellished all of my characters, I adhered the background to the wall of my living low to the ground (so my son could sit and play with it at close-glance) with the Command™ poster strips. You could always glue your entire felt background to a piece of poster board and have this thing be mobile – but I thought this would be easy and fun for my kid.
- Let the Halloween felt-magic begin! Let your little ones imagine and play by sticking each felt piece onto the board to create a spooky Halloween scene that they can switch up over and over again.
I still want to cut more characters and different Halloween-related items out so that the scene can be transfixed a number of ways, and you can certainly do that to start. Just keep your felt pieces in a container close to your backdrop, and your kids will have endless fun! My son’s masterpieces end up being a jumbled mess, but he will stick the items on, rip them all off, and then start again. He truly enjoys playing with it, and mommy loves creating a spooky scene once the baby has gone to bed for added Halloween decor around my home!
Enjoy, and Happy Halloween 🙂