DIY Hulk Felt Busy Book

I have the honor of knowing the Grey family and the pleasure of calling their mom, Shannon, one of my dear friends.  Logan, their second son, was born with multiple congenital heart defects, also known as CHD.  Logan has overcome more obstacles in his short 15 months than many of us will overcome in our entire life.  If you want to read about his incredible journey, please visit Shannon’s inspiring and heart wrenching blog Logan The Great.  Logan is fearless.  Incredible.  Strong.  The Incredible Hulk strong.  In fact, between his CHD friends he has gotten the nickname “The Hulk.”  November marks an important month for the Grey family as Logan will be going in for another major surgery.  I wish there was more I could do for the Grey family, but they live in the opposite side of the country as me and my funds are limited.  I do know that between long doctor visits, hospital stays, and recovery time, the Grey family will be going through a lot of waiting in the near future.  I decided to make a Hulk Busy Book for both Logan and his older brother to play with.  I scoured through Pinterest and found a lack of inspiration.  After bouncing off ideas with my husband and friend Kayla, I was able to pretty much invent the following Hulk Busy Book.  If you would like to find ways to help families living with CHD, please visit Mended Little Hearts, an organization my friend supports and said she would not have been able to get through without.

Can The Hulk save the Grey family before he destroys the city?  We shall see!

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Materials:

  • 9×12 Felt sheets: (2 blue, 1 red, 1 black, 1 dark grey, 1 light grey, 1 green, 1 yellow, scraps of various other colors)
  • Felt glue and/or hot glue
  • Plastic sheet (I used ziploc baggies)
  • Fabric (less than 1/3 of a yard should be fine)
  • Ribbon
  • Velcro dots
  • Black puffy fabric paint
  • Black permanent marker
  • Buttons (optional)
  • Small plastic bags (optional)
  • Green sheet of foam (optional)

Directions:

  1. Gather your materials.  I got my fabric at JoAnnes and the rest at Michaels.  I was able to use felt glue for everything except one small part I needed hot glue for the added strength.
  2. Background– Lay the two blue sheets next to each other horizontally.  This will become your backdrop to your cityscape.  Cut two strips of black about an inch wide.  Glue this to the bottom of your blue felt, creating your road.  Cut thin yellow strips and glue them to the center of your road, creating the “median.”  I used a snake skin patterned felt for the road, but regular black would work too.
  3. “Smashed Wall”– Cut a piece of red felt large enough to “hide” your Hulk figure.  On the top I made a wavy line to make it look more like old brick.  Using the black puffy paint I drew horizontal lines, and then uneven vertical lines to give it a brick pattern.  Once the paint is dry, cut a big “X” through your brick, so Hulk can “smash” through it.  Flip it over and put a thick line of glue around the edges of your red piece, then glue it to blue felt.                                                                                      wp_20161024_008
  4. “Clock Tower”– Cut a strip of grey felt into your clock tower.  Feel free to copy the look of a famous clock tower or do a generic one like I did.  Cut out a large white circle just big enough to fit on your clock tower for the clock face.  Cut out two thin strips of black felt for the clock arms.  I made my clock working using a brad in the center of the clock arms (though I admit it doesn’t work too well), or you could just glue the arms in place.  Glue the clock face on the tower.  Then I embellished the tower by decorating both the tower and face with the black fabric paint.  Add an even layer of glue to the back and glue to your city.  (see picture below)
  5. “Fallen Buildings”– I had room for two fallen buildings, however make as many of them as you want.  Cut a strip of grey/black felt into the size of your building.  Cut out double the amount of yellow windows you want your building to have.  Glue the windows on both sides of your building, making it look the same on both sides.  On one side, use the black fabric paint to make your buildings look broken by drawing cracks in the windows and concrete.  Add a thick layer of glue to the bottom of the “broken” side and glue it to your blue felt. Repeat making as many buildings as you want.                                                                                          wp_20161024_020
  6. “Counting Windows”-  I wanted there to be some “educational” aspect to this busy book, so I made a simple counting game.  Cut a piece of black felt big enough for your building.  Glue/sew buttons in a clump of 1, 2, 3, and 4 down your building.  If you have room for more, feel free to go up higher.  If you don’t have buttons, you could use beads, stickers, or even draw little designs.  Cut out large enough yellow squares to cover your buttons.  Use your black fabric paint to write a “1” “2” “3” or “4” on each square.  Once dry, add a thick even layer of glue to the back side of your yellow pieces, and glue them to your building.  Make sure they can “flap” open.  Add an even layer of glue to the back of your building and glue it on the blue felt.                                                             wp_20161024_009
  7. “Picture Windows”– I think this is my favorite part of the whole project, and it was definitely the most challenging.  Cut a large piece of grey felt big enough for your windows.  There are 5 members of the Grey family, so I made 6 windows (so it was even) which gives them room to grow their family and add/change the pictures how they choose.  Cut 6 squares of even size out of your plastic material.  I used two pieces of a plastic baggie and it seems to be strong enough to hold.  Glue (felt glue worked fine for this part) a thin border of black felt around each plastic window.  Then add an even layer of hot glue around the two sides and bottom edge of each window, gluing it to your building.  I first used felt glue for this and they peeled right off when it was dry.  You really need the strong hold of hot glue.  Print out small pictures (mine were roughly 1.5″ by 1.5″) and carefully slide them into your windows!  If you have extra windows like I did, you can make a little thought bubble, add pets, add other relatives, or add whatever you want!  The windows are strong enough to change the pictures out occasionally, but I wouldn’t encourage the child to move the pictures in and out as a game because I am not sure they would hold up with regular child use.

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    Yes, that last picture is an ultrasound!  They are expecting their third Grey baby in May.
  8. “Building Puzzles”– Like the “Fallen Buildings” this is a good one to use as a space filler because it is easy to make as many buildings as you want/need.  Cut a small piece of grey/black felt big enough for your building.  Cut out yellow squares for your windows and glue them in place.  Once dry, cut your building into a few pieces, either doing it in straight lines or zig zags.  I love the clear velcro circles I use for my felt books because they don’t stand out too much and they hold up well.  They come with glue on the back, but I always add a thin layer of my felt glue to give them a stronger hold.  Glue the clear side to the blue felt and glue the white side to the back of each building piece, making sure they line up.                                                             wp_20161024_012
  9. “Brick Wall Pocket”– Similar to the “Smashed Wall,” cut out a large piece of red felt big enough to fit all your extra pieces.  Using your black puffy paint, draw the brick pattern on your red felt.  Once dry, add a thick even layer of glue to the back bottom and both sides of your felt and glue your pocket to the blue felt.  Make sure you do not put glue on the top side otherwise you will glue your pocket closed!  I have little tiny plastic baggies I like to put my pieces in, but if you don’t have any you can put your extra pieces straight in.                                         wp_20161024_013
  10. “Hulk Action Figure”– I wanted Hulk to have a little more strength than just the felt since I hoped he would be played with the most, so I added a layer of thin green foam inside of him.  I drew the Hulk outline on my green foam (or you could print a picture and trace it), then I cut him out.  I then glued green felt to both sides of the green foam and cut around it.  I used a picture of the Hulk for reference and used a black sharpie to outline his muscles and make a face.  Then I used some scrap purple felt and cut out little shorts for him and glued them on.
  11. “Car/Truck”– First I wanted to make these cars on a ribbon track along the road, but then I realized half the fun of Hulk is he can lift cars and throw them around, so I left them free floating so the boys could put them in any position they want.  I drew a car and truck outline on scrap pieces of felt.  Then I cut out tires and windows and glued them to both sides of the car/truck.
  12. “Fire”–  When I was researching the Hulk I read that he is so powerful that his force alone can cause a fire.  What?  Cool!  I cut out flames in orange, yellow, and red felt in various sizes and glued them together.
  13. “Bad Guy”– I made him last, and by then I was exhausted.  I wanted to make a little bank robber guy, but all I had left in me was to cut out a generic stick figure man in black, figured bad guys usually “dress in black and live in the shadows.”                                     wp_20161024_022
  14. Cover– I found some really great Avengers themed flannel fabric, one of which had the names of the popular heroes and the other had a picture of the heroes with their name.  I bought both.  I laid the name fabric down, front side down.  Then I laid the two finished blue felt pieces on top of it.  I then cut the fabric about an inch bigger than the two pieces.  Using my felt glue (or fabric glue would work, or sewing) I folded down about an inch on each side and glued the seams down.  Cut four long pieces of matching ribbon and glue two pieces on each side of the fabric equal distance apart.  Add an even layer of glue to the back of your cityscape and glue it to the fabric, making sure your edges align.  Then I cut out a piece of the second fabric that had the Hulk logo.  Since Logan is a CHD kid, I found a huge glittery heart and decided that even though it wasn’t “manly” Hulk should still have it, so I sewed it over where Hulk’s heart would be.  Then I glued the Hulk logo to the center of my cover.  Cut your ribbon equal length and long enough to tie a bow.  You could also make your cover out of two extra felt pieces.  wp_20161024_023
  15. Done!!  Enjoy your Hulk Busy Book.  This would be easy to adapt to any  hero.  I wanted mine to be a soft cover with the idea of them rolling it up and throwing it in their hospital bag, but if you want yours to have more support you could always add a layer of foam, card stock, or cardboard between your felt backing and fabric.

LOGAN BOOK.jpg

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