When I got my Cricut the first thing I wanted to learn is how to cut felt or fabric with a Cricut Maker. The first time I tried cutting felt, I almost completely ruined my new fabric mat. I found a solution that works in most instances.
I wanted to start by saying that this method works for me. Your results may vary so you’ll need to decide if this method works for you. This is my honest review of using contact paper with a Cricut Maker only.
So you may be wondering, “Can you cut fabric or felt with a Cricut?” You can definitely cut felt with different Cricut models, but to cut fabric with Cricut, you’ll need the Cricut Maker and the Cricut rotary blade. We’ll get to that in just a bit.
How To Cut Felt With Cricut Maker
I know you can cut felt with Cricut Explore Air models, but I don’t have one so I can’t give an honest opinion about cutting felt with other models. I have a Cricut Maker and I’ve tried cutting felt with the fine point blade and also with the Cricut rotary blade. I prefer cutting felt with the rotary blade because I get cleaner cuts.
The fine point blade was always digging into my mat and creating a lot of scratches. Especially if I cut several passes of the same shape. You can minimize this by changing the placement and orientation of the cuts. First, cut using 8 1/2 x 11 size and then cut using 11 x 8 1/2, for example. This just moves the blade around a bit so it doesn’t continue to cut in the same spot. You can also move the designs on the mat entirely.
Using the rotary blade to cut felt takes longer, but the cuts are cleaner and I have to do less manual trimming to free my shapes from the mat. This brings me to the subject of avoiding ruining your mat! From experience, I’ve learned that felt can ruin a mat but I’ve found a solution that works. More about that in a bit.
How To Cut Fabric With Cricut Maker
Cutting fabric with Cricut maker is so fun. You may be wondering which Cricut blade works for fabric. I make a lot of buntings or banners with my Cricut Maker and I always cut fabric with my rotary blade. I’m not even sure you can use a fine point blade.
So what fabrics can you cut with Cricut Maker? I’ve tried several different types of fabric and have had success with cotton, cotton/poly blends, satin, felt fabric, and even some old quilts and comforter covers. I did try to cut some stretchy upholstery fabric once and had no luck. It bunched up and I ruined the fabric. I’ll have to try it again soon with the secret weapon I use for cutting fabric without ruing your fabric mat. Let’s get to that!
How To Cut Fabric Or Felt With Cricut Maker WITHOUT Ruining Your Mat
The first time I cut felt I basically ruined my mat. It stuck all over the mat. Now I have to tape everything down to use the mat. I tried cutting fabric with the Cricut rotary blade, too. It wasn’t as bad as felt, but lots of fibers stuck. You can use a lit roller to pick up some of the fibers, but I’ve found that for basic designs, contact paper works great!
The contact paper I use has measurements on the back which makes things so much easier. Before I show you how to use contact paper to cut felt with a Cricut Maker, I want to give you a couple of tips.
- Cut the contact paper to be slightly larger than the piece of fabric or felt you’re cutting. We’re trying not to ruin our Cricut mats when cutting fabric or felt so give yourself a little extra room. 😉
- Only cut simple and larger designs. The contact paper will have to be peeled off later and the blade does cut through the contact paper. It doesn’t peel off as easily as the backing of vinyl so you don’t want to have to pick off a million tiny pieces.
- This should work with any mat. I’ve used my fabric mat, but I’ll have to try a light grip. It might be even easier to pick pieces off. I’ll have to udpate this post later.
- Don’t leave contact paper on your mat. When you’re done cutting, remove it. I left mine for a week thinking I could save it for another cut. It worked but I was picking contact paper off for quite a while.
If you’re wondering how to cut felt flowers with Cricut, it is the same method as cutting other felt shapes. Here’s one I cut. I do recommend the most simple design because it took forever to cut the ones with more petals. It’s possible, I just don’ have the patience to wait that long. The flower on the top was cut with the most simple design (all smooth edges) from this rolled flower SVG file. The one on the bottom I cut by hand.
How To Use Contact Paper To Protect Your Cricut Mat
Using contact paper to cut fabric or felt with a Cricut is super easy and saves so much time. Here are the step-by step instructions for using contact paper with Cricut but also refer to the photos. This is how I cut felt on Cricut.
- Cut a piece of contact paper just larger than your piece of material.
- Stick the contact paper to the mat, backside with grid showing facing UP. Stick the top first then smooth the rest down.
- Separate the backing from the contact paper a couple of inches (assuming you’re using a larger piece) and fold it over but don’t peel it all the way off yet.
- Stick your felt to the top two inches that are now sticky.
- Reach under the felt or fabric and as you peel the rest of the contact paper off with one hand, smooth the felt down with the other hand.
- Cut your designs.
- Remove your felt designs and excess felt.
- If you have stray fibers sticking out past the contact paper, try to remove them. Also move any felt scraps away from the mat and wipe your surface off. We just kept the mat clean and we want to keep it nice and clean for the next use. 😉
- Peel the contact paper off of the mat and replace the clear mat cover.
After I cut felt bats and peeled the contact paper off, the designs remained so I had to peel those off separately. This is why you won’t want to cut a mandala or anything intricate.
This is my mat after cutting red silk fabric, green felt and black felt. The little white specs are tiny pieces of contact paper. I’ll pick a few off but that’s all that remains.
So I’m curious, did you ruin your mat the first time you cut fabric or felt with a Cricut? I hope learning How To Cut Felt Or Fabric With Cricut Maker saved you from this fate! Be sure to follow my Cricut crafts board on Pinterest.