Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Portable Noah's Ark Felt Board

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I have been thinking about making a felt board using the story of Noah and the flood for quite some time. My family was not very religious growing up but I had a cardboard boat and plastic animals that I remember being really in love with. We have a cute wooden folk art ark but it is too fragile to actually play with. So, here's what I did.
First I bought a tubular cardboard wine bottle tote from a craft store for $6. I pulled out the shoelace-strap from the lid and sides and covered the top and bottom pieces with purple felt. Glue did not work too well for this task and I actually wound up using double stick tape. I glued on some rainbow ribbon as trim and to cover the seam. I had some really festive pom pom trim and I added that also. After all this was attached I used an awl to carefully reopen holes where the handle would go and threaded it back on.

Next I made a simple felt board from a large piece of white felt stacked on top of some pretty burgondy silk. the silk overlapped an inch all around and I rolled it over and pinned it down for a nice edge.  I used a sewing machine to go around the edge but you might be able to do this with double stick tape or glue or even just use the white felt and forget about a second layer.

Then I made lots and lots of felt creations. I made the ark two-part so that you can fill the bottom with animals while acting out the flood scene. I made Noah and his wife and added some cotton for hair.  I made numerous pairs of animals and cut out some blue water and some green ground and a mountain for after the flood. All of my people and animals and accessories were assembled using craft glue.

I think it is fun for kids to just arrange and rearrange all these pieces in whatever way they would like. However it should be noted that this could also serve a role in assisting with your child's early reading. everyone knows sequencing is an important skill for young readers to master. We get homework all the time asking my son to retell a fairy tale in order by drawing a row of pictures summing up the story's action. With this playset you could have a child go through the story of Noah and retell the story bit by bit.

Noah is cutting down trees to build his boat, under orders from God.

The animals are boarding the ark in pairs. Noah is supervising.

The rain has started.

And so on. You can make the water recede and park the ark on top of Mount Ararat, send out a dove, take away more water and reveal land and set the animals free from the ark. At the end, of course, you will need a rainbow to symbolize the pact Noah makes with God.


  1. This is the cutest thing I've ever seen!! I LOOOOVE it! Now I know what to do with all these scraps of felt I have lying around.

  2. This is so cute!! I love the wine case idea. Simply genius! Again, do you have a tutorial? I would love to make the animals for a zoo page I was thinking of making for my son's quiet book. I'm just a horrible drawer! :) Thanks for posting!!

  3. Thank you so much, at this time, we do not have a template for the animals, Sarah is pretty good with the scissors made them sort of free form! But if that changes in the future and she gets more demand to create a pattern, we will let you know! There may be animals stencils or shapes you could print out to trace.Good luck, and thanks so much!

  4. Oh gosh, you're amazing! I'm so excited to have found your site. I LOVE making miniature or unusual toys, and your creative genius is stunning. Thank you very much for sharing your projects. You've given me enough ideas to keep me busy for the next 6 months!