Making a Felt Board with My Cricut Explore Air 2

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

Who knew you could easily DIY a homemade felt board with (mostly) materials you already have at home?  I say easily because I still consider myself a novice Cricut creator, and the entire project took me about two hours from start to finish (including the design in Cricut Design Space!).  For this project, I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 and my Cricut StrongGrip mat.

Weeks ago, I found an old poster-sized frame that I have kept for nearly two decades.  In my teens, I bought it to display a poster of Johnny Depp.  Since then, it's had a few coats of paint and seen a few different pieces of art in a few different homes.  But this one is by far my fave.  Sorry, Johnny.

To start the project, I took apart the frame and spray painted it satin black.  It just needed two quick coats and was quick to dry.  I then recycled the glass to make the frame lighter.  For the felt backing, I used black (black is usually my go-to for bulletin boards and display areas) to make the letters really pop.  I found a yard of black acrylic felt on Amazon for relatively cheap.  For the backing, you really can use any felt of any color or material.  I cut the felt to-size right on the frame backing then attached it all together.  I love the monotone of the frame and the felt.

For the letters, I have read that certain felt works best to cut on a Cricut.  Of course, Cricut sells some made for the machines that would be best.  Second to Cricut, I've read that wool felt works well.  I bought a rainbow (duh) pack of wool felt from Amazon from Benzie Designs (also available on their website and Etsy).  I then cut the pieces in half, as I wouldn't be needing the entire sheet of felt for this project.

I designed this project in groups of four to five letters at a time to easily use different colors.  Although Cricut has a FabricGrip mat made specifically for fabric, I just used the StrongGrip mat and it worked fine (although the felt stuck to it, so I'm not sure how many more projects I'll be able to use it for).   To cut just one group of letters at a time (this would only be needed if you want to do rainbow colors), I hid the other groups as I cut (to the right in Design Space--click the eyes open or closed by each cut group).  I set the machine settings one notch beyond the "Bonded Fabric" setting and just used the blade already in my machine.  To my surprise, it all came out super easy and I did not need to use scissors or a knife to get any letters apart.

To finish, I lined up all of my letters in the center of the board using the hearts (included in the design) to off-set the groups with less or more letters. 

If you are wanting to make an alphabet felt board of your own, but don't have a poster-sized frame, simply edit the design in Design Space to make the letters and hearts smaller.  You can also use any felt board you already have or make a bulletin board out of felt directly on the wall.

I absolutely LOVE the way this project turned out and think it will make an amazing addition to any classroom, playroom, or home.  If you make one of your own, I would love to see it!  Tag me on Instagram @missmskindergarten.

Happy crafting!

<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="" />


Kindergarten Summer Practice

As a teacher, the "summer slide" is always one of my fears.  We work so hard for ten months out of the year to get our kindergarteners reading, writing, adding, and subtracting.  And many times, our students do not keep up with their newfound skills over the summer.  This makes for a backward "slide" in reading levels and academic abilities.

And this year, I anticipate it being even worse.  The "COVID slide" is five months of missed classroom instruction; much more than the typical two months of summer.

So to provide my students and their families with meaningful summer activities, I created my Summer Kindergarten Handbook.  It includes 11 essential end-of-kindergarten skills to continue practicing during the summer.  In the beginning of each section, I included a parent instruction page that explains the skill, why it is important, how to practice it, and extra tips to make learning fun.  The skills included are: reading, finding just right books, sight words (Fry 101-200 words), writing sentences, digraphs, long vowels, reading CVC words, nonsense word fluency, addition fluency, subtraction fluency, and numbers to 120.

I printed these books, bound them, and delivered them to my students in a fun "summer swag bag" filled with various other fun things like Play Doh, bubbles, and books.

And this year, I had a lot of students that were loving writing at home, so I also created some Creative Writing Prompts to send home in addition to the handbook.  I added this to my summer HyperDoc for parents to print and use as they wish, along with my FREE Summer Reading Log for extra reading motivation.