I *THINK* I’ve got this felt crap figured out, finally.

My recommendations so far are:

  1. Use stiffened felt.
    • The Mod Podge formula I used the other day seems to work well. The felt is stiff enough to cut pretty well, and it still feels like felt.
    • I let the felt dry for at least 24 hours, flipping it over once to make sure it’s thoroughly dry before ironing it flat. If you feel any areas that are cooler to the touch or softer than other parts of the felt, let those puppies dry some more.
    • Iron on a heat setting appropriate for your material. Check the sticker or your felt’s packaging if you’re not sure what it’s made of. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and use a lower heat setting.
  2. Back that shit up!
    • I got some Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold iron-on adhesive and applied it to the back of the felt. Then I stuck the felt paper side down on the cutting mat (which will hopefully spare me some felt fuzz accumulation). It gives the felt a nice firm base, and the back sides of the cuts I’ve made are nice and crisp.
  3. Fiddle with your Curio cut settings.
    • I finally settled on these parameters:
      • Deep Cut blade, max depth (20)
      • Platform: 6 (2x #2 platform, 1x #1 platform, 1x cutting mat)
      • Speed: 1
      • Thickness: 25
      • Double Cut: Off*
        • I have been testing the cuts before removing the platform and manually applying a double cut if the pieces weren’t easily lifted out of the material. Denser felt needed one pass, while fluffier felt needed two.
        • DON’T REMOVE YOUR PLATFORM OR MATERIAL UNTIL YOU’RE SURE OF YOUR CUTS. If you need to run a second cut, removing your platform or pulling the felt up will pretty much guarantee your repeat cuts won’t line up with the first ones.

Whew!

I’ve successfully cut out most of the fiddly bits (enough for 3 ornaments), and this method has worked pretty well so far:

Though you’d think the opposite would be true, I think my biggest worry now is how the Curio will handle the bigger cuts. I’ve had some platform gear slippage on earlier tests, but I hadn’t refined my process at that point. We’ll find out tomorrow!

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