I got an idea from Pinterest. It’s pretty ambitious, but when I get something in my head, I have to go for it.
I decided to make felt Lola ornaments for our tree (and one for Lola’s BFF Nancy in the leasing office, which I know will make her bawl like a baby).
I used an actual photo of her to make the design, and I’m planning to make it out of basic craft felt — if I can get the damn stuff to cooperate! — using my Silhouette Curio to cut the shapes out.
So, Attempt 1: I tried just putting the felt right on the adhesive cutting mat and doing a straightforward cut. That resulted in a whole lot of nothing. The felt got pulled around by the blade and didn’t cut so much as floof.
Attempt 2: I have some fusible interfacing I bought for just such a purpose. I got my iron fired up and did just a few pieces to test.* Felt on interfacing on mat, same result: nada.
*Pro tip: Don’t get your iron too hot. It will obliterate your interfacing and deform or outright melt your acrylic felt. Trust me on this. I used the polyester setting (medium heat) on my iron, with no steam.
Attempt 3: I read you can use freezer paper in the same way, so I tried felt on freezer paper on the mat AND freezer paper on felt on the mat. Nope on both counts.
Attempt 4: Put the felt on vinyl (I used adhesive contact paper) on the mat and cut. The cuts partially went through the vinyl (which was on the bottom, wut??) and just floofed the felt a bit more. There was maybe a tiny little cut made when the blade first started, but again, no result.
Attempt 5: Felt on vinyl on the mat, but with clear packing tape on top of the felt to make the surface more steady (similar to the freezer paper on felt on the mat in Attempt 3). That really just meant that the blade pulled the partially-cut tape around with the felt, and still no dice.
My next attempt will be with stiffened felt. I’ve seen recommendations from flour-and-water to specialty fabric stiffening products. I’ve seen people lauding a 1:1 mixture of white glue and water, but since I seem to have every single type of adhesive OTHER than white glue, I’m using matte Mod Podge. I measured a few tablespoons of Mod Podge and added 3 to 4 cups of water, mixing it well.
I submerged the felt in the mixture, squeezing it to make sure it was saturated. Then I squeezed again to get the excess moisture out without stretching the felt and laid it out to dry. I just ironed the first piece (again, polyester setting) to get it nice and flat. Heating it with the iron felt like it removed some of the stiffness, and it freaked me out because I’m just so ready to get on with this project, but as the felt cooled it stiffened again.
Tomorrow I’ll try cutting again (since today has been horribly exhausting and the bed needs me). Updates then!