I am not a Cricut user, but as more and more of my friends have been playing around with this fun crafting machine, I’ve become Cricut curious. And one of the things I’ve been wondering about is how to cut felt with a Cricut.
Big thanks to my friend Kathi for being my Cricut coach through this post! I’ll ask some questions about cutting felt with a Cricut, talk tools, and we’ll test out results.
What kinds of things do you need to cut felt with your Cricut?
Felt is a linty thing and your Cricut mat doesn’t need to look like it bathed in cat fur!
There’s a couple ways to protect your mat and also to make sure that the felt stays put while it’s in the middle of cutting.
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Mats for cutting felt
If you have an old gunkified mat, why not practice cutting felt on it? If it goes south, you won’t have ruined it, and if it goes well, bonus. You might consider having a dedicated felt mat. That way you can schmoo it up without having to worry about your best vinyl mat getting linty bits all up on it.
You might think, hey let’s use the pink grip mat. It’s designed for fabric. Felt is fabric, therefore, the pink mat is the thing! You do want to be careful with this only because the pink mats have more delicate adhesive than other mats. After playing around with my friend Kathi’s mat + felt on her Maker, we came up with some good ideas for helping you cut felt on a Cricut with a pink mat.
Can transfer tape help with cutting felt on a Cricut?
When it comes to cutting felt on a Cricut, transfer tape can be your best friend.
The tape can create a barrier between the mat and the felt. This way instead of leaving lint all over your mat, you’ll only have it where the cuts are. Minimal mess here!
Apply the tape so the sticky side is up, peel away the backing and set your felt pieces on top.
After cutting, peel off the cut felt. Remove the transfer tape gently with a spatula tool.
What I did notice is that the transfer tape has a tendency to split when you peel it off the mat. For bigger pieces, it worked okay. Peeling away the tiny bits, the transfer tape was not my favorite. There was much tediousness, but thankfully there’s other options.
Is contact paper better than transfer tape for cutting felt with a Cricut?
If you don’t want to buy a roll of transfer tape, contact paper is another option. Apply a piece of contact paper again sticky side up onto your mat in the cutting area. Add the felt pieces from there.
Once you cut the pieces, remove them, then peel off the contact paper with the help of the spatula tool.
What you’ll see is that the contact paper is much easier to pull off vs. the transfer tape. It’s especially awesome with small pieces.
Bonus: contact paper is like a big ole lint brush for your mat. After contact paper, be prepared for a much cleaner looking mat!
While contact paper is awesome, there’s one more option to consider…
How to cut felt with a Cricut: Freezer paper for the win
You can also try ironing on a piece of freezer paper shiny side down to the backside of your felt.
Use a wool setting on your iron for wool felt, ironing on the paper side for wool fabric. Use a lower temp to fuse the freezer paper for acrylic or wool blend felts. Don’t melt your felt now!
Once you’ve applied the freezer paper, place the felt on your mat with the paper side to the mat. The freezer paper will do the same work as the transfer tape for a fraction of the cost.
The freezer paper is a serious dark horse when it comes to the bigger pieces. They peel off SO easily, and they’re very gentle on the felt as well.
Before you cut felt on a Cricut, use a brayer
Felt can pop up off the surface of the mat when you’re cutting, but a brayer can save the day.
Once you add the felt to your mat, flip it over and roll over the surface with a brayer. The brayer will help remove any air pockets between the mat and the felt. It will also help the felt adhere well to the mat.
You can use a Cricut brayer although a less expensive brayer like this Speedball blockprinting brayer works well too. Kathi uses a simple wooden brayer. I think as long as you’re working on the wrong side of your mat, you’re good to go with any option.
Which blade to use + pressure
A rotary blade is your blade of choice for cutting felt with a Cricut. This little incredible blade swoops around large shapes and tiny bits remarkably well.
If you use your blade a lot for paper, maybe consider getting a replacement rotary blade.
For all of my tests, we used the acrylic setting when you go to choose your fabric inside of Design Space before cutting. This setting worked equally well for acrylic, wool, and mystery felt I had.
If you’re working with a thicker felt, you might need to increase your blade pressure. With standard craft felt weights, the default settings work well.
Crafty showdown: Wool felt vs. craft felt
Sometimes you pay for quality, and such is the case with felt. Wool and wool blend felts are just nicer.
Wool felt cuts ever so cleanly in a Cricut and it just looks, well, not cheap.
Can you cut cheaper acrylic and polyester craft felts in a Cricut? You bet. The Cricut slices through them easily too. Just be careful to really bray it down well, and be careful when pulling off the cut pieces. The fibers of craft felt aren’t as tightly meshed together as wool felt. Because of this, thinner sections can stretch or even break off when you go to remove them from your mat.
If you’re looking for some wool felt to try out, I love this pack from Over the River.
So there are some good ideas for how to cut felt with a Cricut. If you follow these tips, you’ll have no problem cutting felt. One last thing…
What to make with your felt
Christmas tree ornaments are a great thing to make with your felt once you’ve cut it! Check out my Eguide Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies. It walks you through how to sew 12 fun cookie-themed Christmas tree ornaments with felt. And for my Cricut friends, the patterns included in this guide are in SVG as well as PDF formats!
Click on the image below to learn more!
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.