My Tips For Cutting Felt Using A Cricut Cutting Machine
Three years ago I didn’t know what a Cricut was but now i call it my “sous sewist” and it has become essential to my creative process. Ruby Threadgood patterns often feature intricut cutting and I would much rather let my Cricut handle that heavy lifting.
Now I’m no expert on Cricut crafting but I have experimented enough to find what works best for me to achieve the desired effect I'm looking for. So here are the tips & tricks I’ve discovered for cutting wool felt on my cutting machine. I hope you find them helpful!
Always use the Cricut PINK FabricGrip™ Machine Mat and PINK Bonded-FabricBlade + Housing with a fine point blade. The mat comes in 12" x 12" and 12" x 24". I have both and use them about equally. The fine point blade which is magnetically held inside the housing can be replaced easily. I usually buy about a dozen replacement blades when they go on sale to last me a while. You will get a surprising number of cuts from one blade.
I know that many people cut wool felt with a rotary blade, but I have found the fine point blade works best for me. If you would like to send your suggestions and share your experience please do! I'd love to learn from you!
BOND YOUR FELT
As much as I love the fuzzy feel of felt, I don't love the mess it makes on my cutting mat. So I bond my felt before cutting. The adhesive material I use is Heat n Bond® Lite (you may have something you like better). I use this A LOT in my process. Not only does it cut out the fuzzy residue on my mat, but I can trace easily onto it using a light box before adhering.
Another reason I like to bond my felt before cutting is that it adds stability to the smaller, more delicate areas of my design when cutting and sewing. It also allows me to sew pin-free, which is great for machine appliqué. (Follow the manufacturer's instructions for adhering the adhesive to the felt).
Always burnish your bonded felt down onto the cutting mat (paper side down) before sending it through your Cricut. It's best to use a brayer as not to damage the fibers of the felt, but I have used a regular scraper as well. You want to press out any bubbles or creases so the felt lies smoothly and there are no bumps to interrupt the lines of your cuts.
UPLOADING FILES / DESIGNSPACE
Once you have your SVG files, you'll need to load them into DesignSpace (the software used with a Cricut). Consult the DesignSpace tutorials to start a NEW PROJECT and UPLOAD SVG files to your library. Once you have your files uploaded, you are ready to choose a file and ADD TO CANVAS. At this point, choose all the shapes you want to cut and WELD them together. You can find this function at the bottom of the layers menu on the right-hand side. Turn off any layers you do not want to cut (by clicking off the eyeball icon on the layers to be omitted).
When your SVG file is loaded up on the gridded art board within DesignSpace, you're ready to MAKE IT. Here are the next steps:
Browse down through the list of materials until you reach the Felt Category.
Choose 'Felt, Wool Bonded' (your Circut® will then call for the Fine Point Blade).
I always set my pressure to MORE (except maybe when using a brand new blade). Experiment with the pressure settings to see what works best for you.