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3 top tips for cutting felt with freezer paper

Top Tips for Cutting Felt With Freezer Paper

I don't know about you, but I love crafting with felt. And when I need to cut out pieces with any kind of precision, I use freezer paper as the templates. This simple product you can buy at a grocery store is a game changer. If you've never tried it, you're in for a treat! And if you've used freezer paper for cutting felt (or other fabrics!) before, I have a few tips that might just make things even easier.

First, let me tell you about freezer paper if you've never used it. 

This is paper that has a plastic backing. Its original purpose was wrapping meats and things to—surprise, surprise—go in the freezer! Somewhere along the line crafters figured out that it's so much more than that. Now the packaging even lists crafts in the list of uses. Instead of only finding it at the grocery store near things like plastic wrap or aluminum foil, you can often find it at craft stores.

Because it has a plastic coating on the back, when you place the shiny plastic side down on your felt or fabric and iron the paper side, it sticks to the material. That means you can trace a pattern on the paper, iron it down, cut out your shapes, and then the freezer paper peels off without leaving any residue. Magic!

I first learned about this trick as a kid from an introductory sewing book and I've never been the same. In a good way!

Now, let's talk about felt.

When it comes to making almost any kind of felt project, I recommend wool or wool blend felt. It is much more pleasant to work with and it makes for a nicer finished item. Using freezer paper on wool or wool blend has never let me down.

I DO NOT recommend using freezer paper on acrylic felt. I have tried it and while it can be done, you risk melting the felt and it also doesn't peel off as easily.

Now, are you ready for my 3 top tips for cutting felt with freezer paper?

Stick Freezer Paper Onto Standard Paper for Printing

1. Print the patterns instead of tracing them.

I honestly can't believe I didn't try this one sooner. Folks have probably been doing this for a while because you can actually buy sheets of freezer paper that are cut to standard paper size. I am a recent adopter of this and I won't be going back.

You don't need to buy the pre-cut kind though because the stuff on the roll works just great! Simply cut a piece that's the same size as a piece of printer paper. Next, use doubled sided tape to tack it down to a regular piece of paper. Doing this really helps make it easier for your printer to grab it and pull it through.

Once you print the templates, they're ready to use as you typically would.

One important thing to remember. This is only for inkjet printers. Laser printers use heat and that would just melt the plastic on the paper!

Move the Felt, Not the Scissors

2. Move the Felt, Not the Scissors. 

 My grandma taught me this one and I know a lot of folks learned this in early elementary school, but it bears repeating.

When cutting out a shape, guide the felt with your non-dominant hand and keep your cutting hand steady. Your cuts will be so much more accurate this way! This is also a huge benefit to using freezer paper because the pattern doesn't shift around as you move the felt.

Bonus tip: Find a pair of scissors that cuts your felt with the paper easily and keep it as your felt scissors. You don't want to use expensive sewing scissors because the paper will dull them. I like using inexpensive student scissors that still do the job...if they get dull, I don't feel bad and just use them for paper going forward!

Use Simple Freezer Paper Shapes More Than Once

3. Use simple freezer paper shapes more than once. 

For a long time I assumed that this was a single-use product, but I was wrong! After you cut out a shape and peel the freezer paper away, you can iron it down and use it again...and again...and still again.

This tip is best suited to simple shapes that allow you to cut around the already cut template, but that's still helpful in my book. Of course, you could also use reuse larger templates by tracing smaller pieces on them.

When I recently made a set of 34 felt ornaments, I reused the same few circle templates (like you see above!) over and over and they still held!

Speaking of ornaments, I have made a lot of felt ornaments and other felt-focused patterns over the years. You can find some in my Etsy shop, and lots more here on my blog. Pretty much any time I have to cut small pieces of felt or anything that has details, I use freezer paper.

If you haven't tried it yet, now is the time!


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