So you want to work with felt, huh? Sounds like you’re about to make a craft decision without knowing exactly how felt will cut.
Film noir mood aside, if you’ve never worked with felt on your Cricut before, you will need to take a few more precautions as you choose your felt and load it on the cutting mat into your Cricut Maker. It’s not that the material is finicky, but rather that felt comes with its own set of problems as vinyl would. We generally don’t work with felt most of the time (unless you plan to, then more power to you), so felt’s idiosyncrasies aren’t felt as much as other materials.
That said, you’re here to learn how to cut felt with a Cricut Maker. So let us tell you how.
Why We Like Felt
Felt is an inexpensive, durable, soft, and pliable material. It works great for soft crafts like bags, hats (big on hats), and other accessories and won’t unravel once cut.
What You’ll Need
To cut felt you’ll need your:
- Circuit Maker or Cricut Maker 3
- Standard Cutting Mat
- Felt sheet
- Bonding sheets
- Fine-point/Rotary/Bonded fabric blade
We suggest using the standard cutting mat because felt tends to slip and slide. Avoid using the light grip mat.
What Felt Works Best with the Cricut Maker?
Obviously, there’s more than one type of felt out there, but Cricut felt will be the most reliable for your project. The company designed it to work for the machine, so you’ll find it superior in this application to other felts.
However, if you don’t want to use Cricut felt, your options are many. You’re using the Cricut Maker, and unlike the Explore series, you can use virtually any type of felt you find.
The most affordable option. Though it is smoother and thinner than other felt, it isn’t that durable. Try to use acrylic felt only when it won’t undergo a lot of wear and tear.
The name says it all. Stiffened felt is a type of acrylic felt that has been stiffened using an additive. It is less prone to fray and works well with machines that can’t use the rotary blade.
If you purchase 100% wool felt, be prepared to pay the premium. But there’s no reason to have to go all-in; blended wool felt can work just as well. It is strong and durable.
The felt you ultimately choose all depends on your preference. Go with what you like, and if you’re unsure, it won’t hurt to start with Cricut’s felt.
Do I Need to Bond My Felt?
You may have seen some sources suggesting you bond your felt before cutting it. They are absolutely correct, but only if you’re using a Cricut Explore. The Cricut Maker is more powerful and you don’t necessarily have to worry about the fuzz, pulls, and whatever temper tantrums your machine decides to have while cutting the material. Still, if you think your felt looks “unstable,” give it a bond.
If you do want to bond your felt, you can purchase special bonding sheets that you place on top of the felt and “iron-on.” The result is a smooth, sturdy cutting surface.
Preparing Your Cricut Maker Settings
In addition to prepping your materials, you’ll also want to make sure your Cricut settings are set to the type of felt you’re using.
After your design is set and you press “Make It,” as you would with any other cut, search for “felt” in the materials list. You’ll have seven options:
- Craft Bonded (store brand felt sheets)
- Glitter Bonded
- Wool Blend
- Wool fabric
Each fabric is unique when it comes to the cutting process, so you’ll want to make sure you’re using the correct blade.
What Blade Do I Use?
The fine point blade will do just fine if you are cutting bonded wool, regular felt, or stiff felt. Bonded craft felt will need the bonded blade. If you don’t have a bonded blade, you can try using the deep-cut blade. The rotary blade can take care of everything else, the glitter bonded, wool, and acrylic.
The rotary blade is a great option for felt; it can cut through any thickness with ease and comes with the Cricut Maker.
Placing the Felt on the Mat
Ideally, you’ll have a mat strictly for felt. Felt is a fibrous material and the leftover fibers can interfere with projects using other materials. You can always take a lint roller to it if you need to use the same mat. When you lay your felt down on the mat, use even pressure to press the fabric using a brayer or rolling pin. You don’t want it moving while you’re cutting.
The Blade Isn’t Cutting Through
If your blade isn’t making a clean cut, increase the pressure. If it still isn’t working, pull out the rotary blade. The rotary blade for wool, the material with the lowest rotary pressure setting, cuts over 1,500. You only need 148 for standard felt.
What Projects Can I Make with Felt?
If you’re having trouble finding inspiration for a Cricut Maker felt project, here are a few ideas.
- Gnomes: felt gnomes make for a perfect tree ornament.
- Roses: cut out felt petals and assemble a bouquet for a centerpiece you don’t have to water.
- Pins: pins may seem old-fashioned, but a cute character shirt pin may end up a great party favor.
- Activity Shapes: because felt has a sensory aspect to it, make some shapes for the infant and toddler in your life. These could be as simple as basic shapes to animals or snowmen.
Felt is a durable product, depending on what kind you get, so feel free to experiment and have fun with the material.
When you’re working with felt, make sure you’re using the correct blade and the material firmly adheres to the cutting mat. If you don’t have the proper tools, your Cricut Maker will make a mess of your design. The botched project will be “felt” for the rest of the day.