Monday, 27 February 2012

How To Cut out Small Felt Shapes

One of the questions I get asked most often is "do you have any tips for cutting out small and fiddly felt shapes?"... I've written about it before in my guide to designing and making your own felt brooches, but I thought it would be helpful to have a separate post about it.

I always recommend buying a pair of embroidery scissors for felt crafting. The small, sharp blades make it much easier to cut out small or intricate shapes.

These are the scissors I use in my work - you can see how much smaller the blades are on the two pairs of embroidery scissors compared to the standard sewing scissors.

I sell a smaller pair of stork embroidery scissors in my shop. If you're going to be doing a large amount of cutting, you might want to invest in a pair with comfy handles (I bought mine from John Lewis).

I always roughly trim any excess felt around the paper pattern piece before I start cutting the shape - I find a small piece of felt is much easier to manoeuvre.

Hold the pattern piece in place against the felt between your thumb and fingers while you cut around the pattern.

Cutting out small or fiddly shapes can be tricky, so go slowly, turning the felt & pattern piece in your hand as you cut.

If the shape is really fiddly and/or if you're using a nice colour or some lovely felt you don't want to waste, you might want to practice on some unwanted scraps to get the hang of it before you cut out the shape for real.

Please do share any of your own tips in the comments :)


SMILE factory said...

A pair of embroidery scissors can be very useful. I use the pedicure scissors, it works ok ;) I'm looking for an emboidery scissors so thak you for reccomendation - I will buy the "bird" ones :)
Great tips!

Tumus said...

I use these for my felt work:

That micro-tip feature is a Godsend when it comes to cutting in tight places and they're highly accurate on felt of ALL weaves and textures. I've used them for nearly 2 years and they haven't dulled yet (knock on wood).

And I use these for larger sweeps of cutting whether it's felt or fabric

They make cutting ANYTHING like slicing thru warm butter, honest.

I too cut out a bit from my patterns before I do the actual shape which is a great tip for your readers ^_^

Choo Choo Family said...

Thanks for sharing! v(^-^)v

futuregirl said...

The curved blades of manicure scissors are sharp, thin, and cut curvy bits in felt beautiful. They are great for edge clean-up, too.

Anonymous said...

I iron freezer paper onto the felt and draw the pattern onto the freezer paper. Then you don't have to hold anything steady, just cut. When finished, pull the freezer paper off and throw away. This makes working with felt so easy. I can't believe that I spent years trying to deal with felt without knowing about this. Try it and you will see how easy it is.

Kathy said...

I have also used freezer paper but for very small pieces of felt I have used a glue stick to temporarily stick the pattern to the felt.

Feltia said...

I have just found your blog. I love it! When I cut felt, I always use my "bird" scissors.

Rachael said...

thank you so much for your comment - I will endeavour to give it a go - I guess taking your time is the key xx

Alicia said...

Thanks to all !!
Great típs

Anonymous said...

I use double sided tape! :)

Anonymous said...

I have had success with just taping the pattern piece right onto the felt and cutting out. The felt under the pattern isn't affected by the tape at all as it is under the paper safe and sound. Keeps everything from moving about.

BugsandFishes said...

Thanks for sharing all your tips everyone! :)

Francisca said...

I trace the pattern with a (colored or black) pencil and just cut it out. Of course this means that I'm always using the side with no pencil on it as the front side.

Tami said...

I love working with felt and my favorite trick for cutting it out, especially small pieces, is to spray the pattern with a tiny (and I mean super tiny) bit of Super 77. If I am using a patter printed on tissue paper from a commercial pattern company I trace it onto printer paper so it is less likely to be torn during removal. Most of the patterns are printed onto printer paper any way. The paper sticks well enough to cut with no pins but it peals off cleanly. I also use a bit more spray glue two attach two layers of felt together (before cutting) to create thick felt, like for the body of a felt doll or to stick cut out pieces of felt together before stitching them either by hand or especially by machine.

BugsandFishes said...

Thanks for the tip, Tami! :)


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