Rebecca and Ed Emberley’s version of “The Red Hen” is the inspiration for today’s flannel. I love the crazy bright artwork and the twist of finding a recipe (rather than a kernel of wheat). This allows us to add some PRINT AWARENESS to the story, as does the repetitive “Not I” from that lazy cat, rat, and frog. I’ve also included a few tips here for the newbie felt artists among you.
So first, here’s the pattern I made for the hen. I looked at the illustrations and hand-drew my own patterns. They are not exactly like the illustrations in the book, but heavily inspired by them.
Next, you can see how I cut the different elements out from the drawn pattern. I’ve made the hen from solid red felt, then I add details in other colors. Notice 3 pairs of scissors — I have my paper scissors, my big fabric scissors, and the small detail fabric scissors. In case you don’t know this already — keep your fabric scissors safe from paper. Paper will dull them, so use paper scissors on paper and your good scissors only on fabric. You might also need an iPod loaded with a good audiobook while you are working on your felt story.
Next up, gluing. I use Tacky Glue (Elmer’s works well, too). I cover the piece to be glued with a good layer of glue, then press it down onto the main piece, making sure the glue gets into both pieces of felt. I have a piece of freezer paper under the main piece, glossy side up, so the glue doesn’t stick to that; you can also use wax paper. You’ll need a space for all the pieces to dry – I usually leave them on the paper overnight.
And below are the finished pieces. I plan to make the speech bubble into a “stick puppet” — I will laminate it and put it onto a chopstick so that when the animals say, “Not I.”, the stick will appear from behind the board. I’m thinking I’ll add some bells to the stick so that I will have some sound effects for this part. So, there you have it, The Red Hen.