Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Can I use a die cutting tool to cut felt?

how to die cut felt
Two questions I get asked all the time: "How do you cut your shapes so perfect?" and "Can I die-cut felt?!" Yes, I say while nodding my head enthusiastically! You can die cut felt -it makes perfect edges every time and makes felt even more versatile and production friendly.

die cut felt bows

First -there are two different categories of machines: electronic and manual. We are going to take a look at manual die cut systems today. There are several different systems and brands of dies from companies such as Accucut and Sizzix. Dies for these machines generally fall within two types: wafer thin dies and steel rule dies. Steel rule dies are approximately 3/4" thick dies encased in foam where wafer thin ones are just like it's name; thin, light and kind of like a cookie cutter for crafters. You can mix and match dies and machines using combinations of platforms and shims.

We are going to focus on the Evolution die cutter and Genius platform system by Lifestyle Crafts to cut Benzie's felt. I am on a fabric team with Lifestyle and you're welcome to use my 20% coupon BENZIE at shopwer.com for dies and tools and anything else We R. Let's get started!

First, the Genius platform is what is used to sandwich your die, felt and cutting pads. Genius is also compatible with other die cut machines as well. There are a couple of fun things about this, first off, the base is magnetic. The wafer thin dies just stick to the base -and don't move around either! This makes it easy to place multiple dies down while getting maximum cuts from your felt. The cutting pad is also flexible -kind of like a self-healing pad so it still looks great after hundreds of cuts! Here's a diagram that explains what order you will want to sandwich the parts.

how to die cut felt

1. The magnetic platform is placed first.
2. In order for the felt to be cut cleanly -a shim needs to be used. I used a sheet of card stock.
3. Then place your die, cut side up. We are using Lifestyle Crafts bow-tie die.
4. Benzie's 6x9" felt sheets work perfect in die cutters -just order it to the size you need!
5. Then place your final cutting pad 'Mat A' on top.

die cut machine for felt

Then take your die sandwich and roll it through your die cutter.
shims for die cut
See how it comes out?! A perfectly formed shape!

diy felt bow
With a few quick folds and stitches or glue -it's even easy to make a bow -a bow tie for a boy or a hair bow for a girl! I love that I can quickly put together a gift and not worry about tedious cutting or time consuming patterns. Let me know how you use dies with your felt -I would love to hear about it! And don't forget to use BENZIE for 20% off your next shopwer.com purchase. To use the felt shown check out our Dapper Collection in our shop. I love these colors together!

14 comments:

  1. I never would have known to use a shim! Thanks for the great info!

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    Replies
    1. If you find that it doesn't cut -adjust the thickness of the shim -or roll it through the die machine twice!

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  2. Renae,
    I'm swooning over this post--love the ideas, the tutorial, the photography! I'm planning a Little Man - Vintage Office party in a few weeks and just sent you a custom order, including this felt. I need to cut 30-40 mini felt bowties and definitely need to invest in a die cut machine soon, since the thought of tracing and hand-cutting those bows is giving me a hand cramp. :)

    Have you seen the new Cricut Explore machine? It's at the top of my wish list--will cut just about anything (felt, fabric, leather, foam, metal, chipboard) and can cut files from your computer, either with our without cartridges! Sounds like just what I need.

    Lisa Frank :)
    handcraftedparties.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my -LOVE your party theme! Bows will go super quick with a machine! And yes, I have heard of the new Cricut and am squealing over here -so curious to see how well it really does with felt!!

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  3. this is great! I just asked my husband if he thought it was possible to cut felt this way. Wondering if you know of any machines that cut a shape that YOU design?
    I might just do cartwheels if you do!
    Happy Friday!
    aubreyplays@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cricut just came out with a new machine called Explore -it might cause you to do cartwheels!! :)

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  4. I just ordered the bow tie die last night and am headed to your etsy shop to order some felt now!! Thanks for the tutorial and coupon code!

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    Replies
    1. Fabulous! Let me know if you have any other questions!

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  5. Do you know if this die cut will work on the sizzix big shot? This would be so much easier than hand cutting. I love things that make my work load easier. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes -generally all dies are interchangeable with all die cutting systems! And you're right, you're going to love it!

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  6. Hi, I came across this tutorial tonight and I love it. I was wondering if you know if regular quilt weight fabric could be cut like this with the Evolution? :)
    Karen

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    Replies
    1. I haven't done regular cotton yet -but I'm sure it would work... if not add some interfacing! Have fun!!

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  7. I go this machine and love it so far but I am having a hard time cutting out some of the we r memory keepers alphabet wafer thin dies on my felt...are the dies too little? I don't have mat A yet just B. I am using card stock as a shim and I only use wool felt blends. Suggestions?

    Thanks! Linsey
    p.s. just bought some of your felt and I am so excited to get to cutting more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linsey -I've only tried one alphabet die from WRMK -and it was High Rise -it didn't work super well either! One suggestion we have is to pull out the foam sticker that is found on some of the dies and roll through the machine several times. That may help! DM me if you have any more questions!!!

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Thanks for your comments!

 
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