Today I want to talk about tools for cutting felt. I get questions about this a lot and there are many great options.
Most of the time I use regular fabric shears and cut shapes freehand. If I need even strips or perfect rectangles, I’ll use a small rotary cutter (above, top) a ruler and cutting mat.
But what about decorative shapes and edges? Felt just begs for them! Because felt cuts clean without fraying, tiny little curves and points can stay crisp and add the perfect finishing touch to a project. Pinking shears can add a great little zig-zaggy edge, but my dream shears are the scalloped edge ones from Fiskars (bottom of first photo). I found mine on eBay as I believe they are out of production. I also have a curvy wave pair. These are high quality, heavy duty shears made for cutting FABRIC. Do not think for a minute that cheap light weight scrapbooking scissors will work on felt. Believe me, I’ve tried it and it only ends in frustration and mangled felt. So keep your eyes peeled for them on eBay! I bet you can score a pair for around $10.
|Mimi Kirchner’s Tiny World pincushion|
The artist, Mimi Kirchner, uses scalloped shears when creating her Tiny World pincushions. Isn’t her work amazing? The scalloped edge is also a great guide for keeping your stitches evenly spaced, like on the grass area above the edge of the tea cup.
Something newer to me are the Sizzix paddle punches (center of first photo). I found mine on Etsy. Cutting little flowers or stars precisely with fabric shears is tricky and tedious not to mention impossible if you are trying to make several that are identical. These little punches are meant for scrapbooking but work just fine on nice quality wool blend felt! It works like a cookie cutter. You’ll need a rubber mallet to whack it a few times and…Ta Da! Perfect felt flower…or whatever shape you’re using. I found this tutorial on Flickr by Jen Segrest that shows how to do it using a regular hammer with the head covered with a plastic bottle cap, genius!
|Maureen Cracknell’s birthday crowns|
Crafter Maureen Cracknell uses a Go! Baby fabric cutting machine to cut flowers and leaves for the felt crowns she creates. She sells adorable felt birthday crowns in her etsy shop so she needs a work-horse of a tool to keep up with production. I personally have not used a Go! Baby but I hear people swear by them. They’re not inexpensive, so I recommend trying one out first if you can before making the investment.
I’d love to hear what your favorite tools are for cutting felt! What am I missing? In my next Felt Lore post, I’m going to share some cutting tricks that don’t require special tools.