How To Cut Fabric with the Cricut Die Cutting Machine

September 22, 2011

Craft Projects, Fabric Crafts

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You know that the Cricut is an amazing tool for cutting paper, and last month I showed you how it can cut polymer clay.  But did you know that you can also use it to cut fabric? With just a little preparation, you can cut fabric appliques with the Cricut to make fun, low-sew projects!

Last year, I made these cute placemats using my Cricut, some fusible webbing- then I stitched it down with my sewing machine.

Really, the key to this technique is preparing the fabric so that it’s stiff enough. The easiest way to do this is to fuse paper-backed fusible web to the fabric & set you machine up accurately. So here are my best tips for success!

  • Use light-weight, cotton fabrics like quilter’s cottons. I don’t recommend felts, upholstery fabrics, or denims. Keep it light weight.
  • Wash and iron your fabrics first. If you are making something that you’ll want to wash later, like a quilt or placemat, you certainly want to make sure that you’ve gotten the shrinking out of the way.
  • I found that Heat-n-Bond was a great brand to use, but if you can’t find that, it’s OK to use other brands.
  • Use a NO-STEAM iron to adhere the fabric to the fusible web. Make sure you adhere the bumpy side of the paper-backed web to the WRONG side of your fabric:
  • NovDec2009 002Make sure you have NO BUBBLES- that ALL the fabric is securely adhered.
  • NovDec2009 001Let the fusible-backed fabric cool completely, and then remove the paper backing.
  • Make sure your mat is super-sticky. (You might need to hit it with a spray of basting spray.)
  • Press the fabric securely onto the mat. Again, make sure there are NO BUBBLES that might cause the fabric to shift.
  • NovDec2009 003
  • Use a fresh, new blade. The blade you use for paper is already too dull. (Just like paper scissors!)
  • NovDec2009 004
  • Load the mat into your Cricut and set the PRESSURE at 4 and the SPEED at 2. It’s important that the pressure be high (you may need to even go to 5) and the speed is slow, so that you get a nice clean cut. (You may want to practice on scrap fabric first.)
  • Carefully remove your fabric, and get ready to fuse to your project!

Alternatively, you can leave the paper backing on and tape the fabric to the mat- but this is best for small, simple cuts.

This is a great technique to learn- once you master cutting fabric with your Cricut, you can make quilts, baby onesies, fun pillowcases, wearables, totes, and more. What would YOU make?

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About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

View all posts by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

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5 Responses to “How To Cut Fabric with the Cricut Die Cutting Machine”

  1. Ninette Says:

    I am buying this maching because I thought it would be helpful for the mixed media art that I do. I am needing to cut large letters and decorative pictures as well. I would like to ask if this can cut on felt even though you do not recommend it? I noticed in your other blog that a women that was looking at the silhoutte because she can create her own artwork on it. I noticed that you cant cut any bigger than the 12″ I need up to 24″. do you think this is a good choice for me?

  2. Jenny Says:

    Ninette- I cannot recommend cutting felt with an electric die-cutting machine. It’s iffy at best, so if you’ve already GOT one and can work it out, that’s great. But I really recommend a manual die-cutting machine for felt and thick/ stretchy fabrics.

  3. Ruthie Says:

    Hi! I’m so upset my husband bought me a cricut 2 for Christmas and I’m having the hardest time cutting fabric. I tried cutting the boot and even using your numbers it’s still not working….please help, I’m wanting to return it since I’ve only cut a few vinyl things and the fabric is the whole reason i wanted this….argh…Please any help will do…

  4. Jenny Says:

    Ruthie- I’m sorry you are frustrated. Let’s problem-solve it! What kind of fabric are you using and how are you stabilizing it? That step is crucial. Try a sample with freezer paper if your fusible adhesive isn’t providing you enough stability.-Jenny

  5. rachel Says:

    Will interfacing work in place of fusible web?

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