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Everything You Need to Know about Working with Felt

Fanned stack of felt in pretty colors, with threaded needle. Text reads: Everything You Need to Know about Working with Felt

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.

One important thing to know – it doesn’t need to be 100% felt to get that quality boost. The main thing is that it’s NOT acrylic. That’s what makes cheap craft felt pill. The felt I use is only 20% wool and 80% rayon and it’s lovely. If you have allergies and can’t work with wool, try bamboo felt instead. It can be harder to find, but it’s WONDERFUL!

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 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!


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 a little 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.

Here are a few of my favorites. . .

set of pretty felt coasters with flower applique and embroidery - a free pattrn for a great way to learn about working with felt

This free felt coaster pattern is a great way to get started working with felt. You’ll do a little applique and a little embroidery and you’ll end up with a pretty set of coasters.

Baby Bear Booties - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

These baby bear booties are just too adorable. This is a terrific first not-flat project.

Felt Heart Garland - a free Valentine's Day pattern from Shiny Happy World

If you’re got a lot of random felt scraps, try this free felt garland pattern. It teaches you a different way to applique and join pieces together – the blanket stitch.

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

Happy stitching!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World


Play with some felt! Try the Oddballs – a fun pattern for silly monsters.


  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 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?

    • Graciela Parsons SAYS...

      You can buy different kind of felts. Some are thicker than others. They are acrylic, polyester and wool. You can also line them with some kind of fusible fabric. I think you need some research about the kind you want. Good luck!!

  8. Dikla SAYS...

    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?

    • 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.

  15. Kris Divita SAYS...

    I bought some felt, needles and embroidery thread. I am new to sewing. I wanted to make something but I can’t thread the needle with the thick embroidery thread. Do I separate it into smaller pieces? Find different needles? Help!

  16. Kaitlyn J Moore SAYS...

    Can you wet felt two pieces of completed felt together so that they look like one? I have a large head and am trying to make a cloche hat without having stitches running up the crown.

    • I’m not sure – I think it depends on the felt. You might want to look at felt hatmaking supplies. They use a thickish cone of felt and stretch and shape it over a wooden form to get a seamless hat. I think that base form is called a hood? Or a body?

  17. Marcie Stoyke SAYS...


    You are really good at explaining stuff. Thank you. I am working on freelance
    wall hanging of birds. I am very personal in my work but unfortuntely not perfect.
    Thank you so much. I use your tutorials all the time.

  18. Selina Tivey SAYS...

    Hi. What a useful site it’s is. Please can you advise me what thickness of wool felt I should use for a 10” doll?
    Many thanks

    • It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s soft enough to flex a bit. Most of the felts that are easy to find (that don’t specify “thick”) would work just fine.

  19. Kim SAYS...

    What’s the best type of felt to use for trivets? I was thinking 5mm thick stiff felt. Should I spray some kind of scotch guard or anything like that so hot pans don’t ruin them?

    • I recommend wool felt. You can use the thick stuff, but it’s harder to find and doesn’t come in as many colors – so another option is to use 2-3 layers of regular felt. Scotch Guard protects against stains – but not heat. If you can find 100% wool felt you can use that. It’s pretty heat resistant.

  20. Kathryn Ellis SAYS...

    My son has a book with felt pages onto which he can “stick” felt shapes. The book is quite old now and the felt shapes don’t stick as well as they used to. Do you have any ideas how to revive the felt shapes please?

  21. Maggie SAYS...

    I’m so glad I found you through Pinterest, of all places! I’m wanting to make some felt play food for my granddaughter. Of all the different kinds to choose from, which do you think is best for this kind of project? (Wool, acrylic, polyester…)

    • Definitely wool, or a wool/rayon blend. Acrylic felt (the inexpensive felt you find in most craft stores) will start to pill almost immediately. Bamboo is also lovely and durable, but it’s a lot harder to find.

  22. Anonymous SAYS...

    Hello dear
    I’m bigginer in felt work
    I want to ask if we must wash the felt after use it

  23. Chris Amphlett SAYS...

    Help how do I turn very small felt 🐻 inside out

    • Hemostats are stuffing tools can be helpful – but you have to do it REALLY carefully because felt can be fragile. I usually sew felt right side out so I don’t have to turn it.

  24. Fanfan SAYS...

    Peut-on utiliser la machine à coudre avec le feutre ? Si oui, comment ?
    Merci, j’apprends beaucoup avec vous !

  25. Tara Meyer SAYS...

    What do you recomend for cutting felt for small pieces? I tried using my regular fabric scissos and I had a hard time cutting fellt.

    Thanks. I love your creativity and helping us get confident enough to try things we would not have done before.

  26. Hello! I am making a quilt for my first grandchild that calls for felt applique. I have two worries: that the felt will bleed and shrink when washed. Since its a quilt for baby, Should I instead substitute cotton for felt in the applique? There are many tiny pieces and I’m not the greatest at hand stitching, so if I use cotton, I worry it will fray over time!

    • Cotton will definitely fray over time, unless you use a fusible adhesive. Acrylic felt will pill terribly, and wool felt will shrink. 🙁 If you want the no-fray features of felt, but with washability – maybe try fleece or a knit T-shirt fabric. Both of them work great for applique!

  27. Judy Henn SAYS...

    I love your designs and you give great advice. Now I need your help: I made a name garland for a new baby, and want to know how to attach it to a stick, or a hoop or a background. I worry that hot glue can dry up. What about stitching to a cord? How do you assure it doesn’t unravel? I also don’t want the figures to slide back and forth, but to be stably attached. Advice? Ideas? Thanks in advance, Judy

  28. Kathy M SAYS...

    I bought class school banner made of felt. I would like to change the class year to another class year. The numbers are glued on What would be the best way to remove the old numbers with minimal damage. Thank you Kathy M.

    • I’m not sure you can. Most glues are permanent and trying to remove glued felt will usually just shred it.

  29. Dean Bulman SAYS...

    i have a felt play book and the pieces have lost the ability to stick…all temporarily. is there something to add to the felt to increase their stick?

    • Try washing them gently. I’d do it by hand and rinse them really well and see if that brings the cling back.

  30. Hello. Can you use felt inside feminine cloth pads as an absorbent?

    • I think it would depend on the felt content – but my gut says it wouldn’t work very well.

  31. Beth SAYS...

    I want to embellish a child’s quilt with felt appliqué but I also want the quilt to be machine washable. Any suggestions?

    • You can use a felt made from a washable fiber. Wool felt can be washed, but only with cold water and no dryer. I’ve worked with bamboo felt and it’s lovely, but I don’t know how washable it is.

  32. Pingback: Easter Craft Ideas – Free Embroidered Felt Egg Pattern - Shiny Happy World