Cutting Felt on a digital cutter: headband tute

Sep 5th

Cutting felt on a digital cutter makes sense when you have many multiple pieces to cut in the same color and shape.  This post will discuss some of the things learned when cutting felt on a digital cutter, and focus on a tutorial to make a flower headband with felt flowers.   Read on to find out how I mastered cutting felt on a digital cutter to make hair decorations.

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The headband and the blouse that inspired it

A beautiful handmade blouse by Monita George (her Etsy shop has craftsmanship that is outstanding, take a visit) arrived at our home.  I’ve never met Monita, but I feel like I know her from the beautiful clothing that we have of hers.  So pretty and well made, that when it is outgrown after years of hard wear, it is put away for the next generation.  A suitable skirt was found for the blouse. Some socks were made to match.  But there was a big problem.  There was no hair pretty that matched!  And if there is no hair pretty, well, we don’t have an outfit we can wear.   So we used the digital die cutter to make a pattern and cut out  flowers for a hair pretty with that!

Cutting Felt on a digital cutter:  the essential points

This bunch of sweet violets is made from cutting felt on a digital cutter;  from 100% wool felt using a fabric blade at 65 pressure and 2 passes.    Your felt may require you to use different settings and number of passes.  What I used is only a guide for you to start and test with on scrap pieces.  You can learn how to design the bouquet and  make one yourself by watching this video which goes into depth on cutting felt on a digital cutter.   In case you don’t have the interest in sitting though the entire video, the first part tells about cutting with felt, the second part about constructing the headband.   I’ll summarize the key things about working with felt here:

  1. Use 100% wool felt
  2. Have enough repositionable spray adhesive so that the felt does not move (use 2x-3x normally used for paper)
  3. Cut with a fabric blade
  4. Don’t cut pieces less than 1/2 inch
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Why you should use high quality 100% wool felt

Here are the steps we used to sew the headband together:

Cut out your flowers.

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Single flower, cut

Fold your flower in half, and stitch as shown

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First stitch

Now stitch again

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Second stitch

Here’s what your finished flower looks like

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Finished, unfolded blossom

Now make your base and your leaves:

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Top Row: Blossom Top, Leaf Bottom, Leaf Top
Bottom Row: Blossom Bottom, Leaf Bottom, Leaf Top

You’ll make a “cushion” to hold your blossoms to make the full flower, and two petals with a bottom and top leaf.  The cushion will be slightly padded to give it some shape, so make your top circle quite a bit larger than the bottom circle which will be your final diameter.

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baste around edges of larger cushion circle

Next, sew on your bottom circle by pulling on your basting thread to fit.  Don’t sew it all the way, remember to leave some room to stuff it.

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sewing base on flower cushion

Stuff your cushion, and then sew it closed.  For visual ease, the photo below does not show the base attached

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Stuff the cushion

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Top of completed cushion

Sew your leaf top to leaf bottom, and then sew your blossoms onto the cushion.  I added some yellow seed beads when attaching to look like the stamens.

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leaves and flower

Add your leaves to the blossom back

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Attach leaves

Once your leaves are attached, you can place your finished flower where you choose.  In this example, a plastic headband wrapped in pink ribbon was used.

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Finished headband

If you have leftover violets, you can use them to decorate many things, like these pony elastics.

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Pony Elastic

This example of cutting felt on a digital cutter is for a headband, but almost any simple shape that is not tiny will work just fine.  If you make a lot of felt food, for example, the small, repetitive pieces can easily be cut out with the cutter.  But like anything else, unless you have a lot of them to do in the same color, it may not be worth your time to do it on the digital cutter.  Sometimes doing it by hand is the quickest way of all!