Everything You Need to Know about Working with Felt

Everything You Need to KNow about Working with Felt - tips and tricks from Shiny Happy World

I LOVE working with felt! The edges don’t fray, it’s delightfully warm, it takes embroidery beautifully, and it comes in the most luscious colors.

But it’s different than regular fabric.

These tips will make it super easy to work with.

Why wool felt?

It’s way more durable that the cheap acrylic stuff you can buy at any craft store! I wrote a post about the difference here.

How to Mark on Felt?

The trickiest thing about wool felt is that it’s hard to mark on it. It’s so thick that you can’t trace a design through it, and drawing on the felt tends to lift the fibers and make it look messy. I use two products that really help – freezer paper and Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy. There’s a video here talking about both – but here are the details in a nutshell.

Freezer Paper

I use freezer paper when I just want to cut out small shapes. Trace or print the templates on the paper side of freezer paper, fuse it to the felt with an iron, and then cut the pieces out through the paper and the felt together. Peel the freezer paper off and it doesn’t leave a even a trace behind. It’s the perfect way to cut out small shapes very precisely!

If I need to mark dots (usually for eyes) I punch a hole in the freezer paper before I fuse it down, then mark through the hole for very precise placement.

Use a hole punch to mark precisely on felt. - Handy tip from Shiny Happy World

Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy

If I need to transfer anything more complex than a dot I use Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy. I love this stuff so much! You print or trace onto the stabilizer, peel off the paper back, and stick it to the felt. Stitch right through the felt and stabilizer and then rinse away the stabilizer. Every trace dissolves in water and you’re just left with beautifully stitched felt. I show a lot of process photos demonstrating this in action in this post.

I can’t say enough how much I love this product. It has opened up a whole world of possibilities!

Whipstitch

I mostly use whipstitch to applique on felt and to sew felt pieces together. It’s called whipstitch for both uses – but the stitch actually looks different for the two applications.

This video shows how to use whipstitch for felt applique. I love doing this so much!

This video shows how to use whipstitch to sew felt edges together.

You can find all my other felt tutorials here – but those are the two main ones.

Free Felt Patterns

Want to give it a try? You can find a whole bunch of free felt patterns here. Baby booties, coasters, garland, softies – there are lots of different designs to choose from.

Shopping Links

Have fun working with felt! It really is delightful. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

27 COMMENTS

  1. vicki SAYS...

    I cut some “paperdolls” and clothes out of felt for my granddaughter but I couldn’t get the clothes to stick to the doll. Is that because I used acrylic felt?

    • That’s possible. It doesn’t have as much “cling” as wool-blend felt. But the problem could also be the fabric. Woven fabrics can have VERY different textures and some of them stick to felt better than others. For optimal stick, you may want to sew the clothing pieces down to another layer of felt and then cut them out – so they’re backed with felt.

  2. suzette SAYS...

    I am so thrilled to have found your site this evening. I have already learned a great deal and I only found you about 20 minutes ago. You must be so proud of your website. I feel blessed to learn from a natural born teacher. We have 3 grandchildren with 2 new ones on the way. I am gathering information for a monster quilt for the first new baby boy coming. I wont know the sex for the other one in January until later.
    I made my granddaughter a paper doll quilt several years ago and she still, as a teen, gets it out to put clothes on. I used an iron on adhesive like quilt batting on the backs of the clothes. They do not stay if the quilt is on a wall but she changes outfits on her bed with the quilt. I am sure there must be a better way but I havent found it yet.

  3. Ann SAYS...

    What a wonderfully set up introduction to the topics. I will keep referring to it for some time to come as I work my way through these projects. I have a bucket list of crafts to try. Congratulations Wendi

  4. Margaret Naine SAYS...

    Thanks for a very helpful site. I use an ‘air erasable felt tip pen’ to draw onto the felt. You have to work quickly or the design does disappear.

  5. Tina SAYS...

    Will roving wool needle felt onto a wool blend felt? The highest percentage I can find in my area is 35% wool/65% rayon

    • I think it will, but I’m not 100% sure. You might try contacting the folks at Benzie Felt – they’re felt experts and I know they sell both roving and felt, so they should know.

  6. Sangeeta Joshi SAYS...

    Dear Mam,

    Thanks for your site and the trasure of information.

    I am thankful to Pinterest from where I always find very informative and interesting sites details.

    I am from India.

    Thanks and regards.
    Sangeeta Joshi.

  7. Pamela Reedy Canapp SAYS...

    I’ve purchased felt by the yardage and it’s very flimsy..how can i give it more body…i’m making stockings to hang on the mantle piece…the individual pieces of felt are to small…thanks for your help…

    • I’ve seen Betz White fuse two regular-thin pieces of felt together to make a thicker, sturdier felt for making little trays. If your felt is very thin you could try that. If it’s too thick to double up like that, maybe try fusing it to regular woven fabric so make it more sturdy?

  8. Dikla SAYS...

    Hi
    How do I make beads from this flat felt fabric?

    • I don’t know. The felt beads I’ve seen have all been wet-felted from roving.

  9. Helen SAYS...

    How to apply felt to a plastic hoop

    • You can hoop up felt like any other fabric for stitching, but I usually find it’s not necessary. The felt is thick/stable enough to embroider without hooping.

  10. bayla horowitz SAYS...

    can you recommend a small hole punch for kids to sew with chunky needles that aren’t pointy

    • Sort of. 🙂 Yes – there’s a tiny hole punch I like quite a lot, but it’s in storage right now (waiting for the final leg of my move in a few weeks) so I can’t go grab it to get the brand name. I know I bought it at either Michaels or Joanns and it was in the paper craft section with all the fancy punches. It has a purple handle. 🙂

      • Anonymous SAYS...

        Is the hole punch that you are talking about the one in your picture above?

  11. nassim SAYS...

    what kind of glue should I use to stick felt?

  12. mm SAYS...

    I am interested in sewing a felt slipcover for an ikea bed. do you have any suggestions for what type of felt to buy and what thread to use?
    thanks
    mm

    • Any felt with some wool in it should be nice and durable. I do NOT recommend acrylic felt. It’s the most common kind and easy to find – but it pills and looks shabby really quickly. Any all-purpose thread should work fine.

  13. HH SAYS...

    Can you use Spray Adhesive to stick felt to felt?

    • Yes. But if you’re using small pieces the “blast” of the spray will blow them around. 🙂 I prefer the control I get with a glue stick.

  14. Rachel Johnson SAYS...

    I have to decorate a Christmas tree with homemade decor and a bunch of three year olds. Do you think if I wrapped a cheap Tree in felt and then let the kids stick a bunch of felt ornaments to it that it would hold up in snow and rain?

    • No – the cling of felt is enough to just barely hold things in place. It wouldn’t hold up to the elements.

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