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We recently created a kid's activity out of felt. It's pretty neat... except for the circles. They're pretty uneven, with a lot of jagged edges or straight parts.

Is there a technique or tool that will help us create "perfect" circles out of the felt? A swivel blade with a plastic stencil works well on paper and thin fabric, but not so much with the thicker felt material.

  • What thickness do you consider as thick felt? – Matt Jun 1 '16 at 3:06
  • @Matt Thick as contrasted with paper and standard fabrics, not necessarily a thick version of felt. – user24 Jun 1 '16 at 3:07
  • Ah ok. I was wondering if perhaps your template technique could use a tune if using a compass cutter was not feasible. – Matt Jun 1 '16 at 3:09
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You can try to use a compass cutter like this:
enter image description here
I find this product rather effective on materials like leather or felt. The only problem could be if your felt is too thin, in this case it could be too flexible and it could move around while you move the compass, but I have only had this problem when I tried to cut household linen.

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  • That blade looks much larger, and should work. If we combine this with our hard stencil, I bet we won't have the bending issues. Welcome to Arts & Crafts and thanks for your answer! – user24 May 31 '16 at 18:58
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In case anyone has a similar need in the future, I'll add a tool. The question doesn't indicate the circle size, but if you're using a plastic stencil, I'll assume the circles aren't very big.

You can get inexpensive sets of hollow punches sold as gasket punches. They're typically a collection resembling this:

enter image description here

Image courtesy Amazon

I bought a cheap set years ago from Harbor Freight that goes up to 1-1/2" diameter (they no longer show it, but hardware stores, Amazon, and other places have similar sets).

They can punch out a circle, or align an outer and inner cut to create a gasket or washer. You put the material on a surface like scrap wood, position the punch, and hammer it until it's all the way through.

They will punch any soft material, and cut all the way through with a clean edge, so there isn't any tearing. I've punched washers out of a roll of weatherproofing felt.

BTW, for this kind of activity, you can also punch out other kinds of shapes. You can buy collections of shape cutters like this:

enter image description here

Image courtesy Amazon

They're often sold as leather crafting tools, but they work with fabric and other soft materials. Note that some of these are on the small size, intended for creating holes and slots rather than pieces.

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  • I’m surprised this didn't come up before! Nice. Could certainly be handy for a variety of crafts – user24 Sep 7 '19 at 21:55
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If your circle have a limited variety of diameter and the felt is firm enough you can consider the use of a puncher like the ones used in scrapbooking or leather puncher.

I don't have those available currently, but here is a little equivalent experiment with an office puncher: One sees that the punched disk will stick to the main piece on one side (right) but with a firm pull the resulting disk is quite nice (left)

enter image description here

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  • This wouldn't cause tearing or uneven edges? I can see getting tufts of felt pulled away. – user24 Oct 14 '16 at 20:53
  • You will need a quite rigid felt like polyester, viscose that I have seen in shop will not do because it's too soft. I don't know about natural wool felt. – Oneira Oct 14 '16 at 20:56

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