Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Can I use a die cutting tool to cut felt?

how to die cut felt
Update -Benzie is now blogging over at Benzie Design - don't miss any of our new tutorials or news!

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 but the Sizzix Big Shot is a great option too. 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! Grab one of our felt palettes to get started!. I love these colors together!
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