Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flannel Friday: Share a Trick or Two, Maybe Three :o)

It is 


Welcome to another Flannel Friday Round-Up

I am hosting this week ~ which I always enjoy doing! Since I am the host for this week's Round-Up, it is done as a Blog Hop. You will see a list of the entries for this week at the end of this post. Click on any thumbnail and you will be taken to that particular post.

 If you prefer to start at the actual Round-Up post, there will be a link to that post at the end of this one, as well.

This week I am posting in response to several email questions that I have been receiving. So instead of a felt set for a book or rhyme, I am sharing a few Felt Cutting Tricks that I have learned from several different sources.

The questions were mainly about how I cut my felt pieces ~ especially the smaller detailed ones. 

The best answer to "how do you cut such intricate, small details?" is a very good pair of scissors. My Mom was a seamstress in her spare time while being a wonderful mother to seven children. She taught each of us to use scissors at a very young age. One of the most important tricks she taught us was to only use sharp scissors. (Oh, my! Little children with sharp scissors???? As long as there is appropriate supervision, young children truly benefit from using sharp scissors. Cutting is less frustrating for them so they learn the skill much quicker and with less fuss! Just don't leave your child unattended with a pair of sharp scissors. Commom sense!)

 My own scissors are extremely sharp! 

My Mom also taught us to choose the right pair of scissors for the job at hand. If the job is small then don't use big, clunky scissors! 

My go-to scissors for my felt projects ~ especially the smaller, more detailed cuts ~ are a small pair of Fiskars (see picture below). I bought them at WalMart about 5 years ago and they are still going strong. Well worth the cost!

The next tricks I want to share are about the actual cutting. Since I need some lettering for an upcoming project, I thought I would use them as my examples. 

The first thing I do is find a font that I like and print it out in the size that I want to use. I then cut the individual letters a part.

This next step is one that I learned from a fellow Flannel Friday-er. It has made cutting felt so much easier for me! It is magically easy

***I have mentioned this trick before and had a link to the helpful post. I will find the link and update this post with it ~ as soon as I can!

The magically easy step is to simply position your pattern on your felt and then tape it down. Believe me, it will make your felt-cutting experience a lot less frustrating!

The tape holds the pattern in place and it makes it easier for you to move the felt and pattern around as you cut the details.

I usually trim off the excess felt before cutting close to the pattern. This also makes it easier to maneuver the felt to get right into each little nook and cranny.

There you have it ~ every librarian's favorite two letters!
Just kidding! 

My next trick has to do with cutting from the middle of a pattern. Below is a step-by-step collage for cutting out the center of a lowercase A. I tried to make the pictures as large as possible. If you click on the picture it will get larger. :o) Hopefully, you will be able to see exactly what I am talking about.

Step by Step:

First, I poke a hole in the center of the area being cut out.

Next, I cut out a circle that is smaller than the area that needs to be removed.
This allows more room to move the scissors around without stretching the felt too much.

Next, I slowly cut around the actual line ~ usually I get a little spiral as I cut the circle.

Finally, I trim any little fuzzies left inside the circle from the felt. I usually bring my scissors up from the bottom and through the hole rather than angling down from the top. This helps you see better and control the smaller movements needed to do the clean-up of your cut-out area.

I hope these tricks are helpful to you. I enjoy cutting felt so much more when I take the time to collect the appropriate tools and take the time to set up each step rather than rush to just get it cut out.

Below is a picture that is made completely out of felt (except for the black and green border and
the "~ Storytime Fun ~" caption at the bottom.)

This is my banner for the next Storytime Prop Swap. This Swap will be based on the Summer Reading Program that many libraries will be using this summer. The theme is "Dig into Reading" and I used a character from one of the books that I will be sharing this summer. 

It is Mole from Jane and Will Hillenbrand's book, What a Treasure! It is a cute book that I will be flannelize-ing. Now,  I already have two characters ready to go ~ Mole and Bird! Aren't they cute?

I am working on creating a "surprise" element that I hope will be ready to share in an upcoming FF Round-Up soon.

Speaking of FF Round-Ups, there is a special one coming up that is also based on the "Dig into Reading" theme. It will be hosted by Lisa next Friday so get ready for the Dig Into Summer Reading Extravaganza!

While preparing your item to share in this special Round-Up, why not make an extra set so you can participate in the Swap? Then you will have your item and another item from your Swap partner to use for SRP and you didn't have to make both the items yourself!

I will be posting the details for the Swap this week so be sure to check back! In the meantime, you can check out our last Swap here.

If you don't participate in Summer Reading Programs, don't worry ~ you can still join in on the Swap. The theme lends itself to all kinds of fun ideas! Some topics that would work would be gardening, dinosaurs, animals who live underground like moles and worms, pirates digging for treasure, and so many more.

I really hope that you will consider participating in the Swap because our first one was so much more fun and rewarding than I ever imagined! Plus I made some wonderful new friends who love felt and storytimes as much as I do!

I say,"Do it!"

And, as always, 


This week's Round-Up starts here.


  1. K,
    Your little digging mole is stunning. The tie-dye felt is wonderful and fun. I am still working on my Dig into Summer Reading pieces. This is inspirational. Thanks ~ jane

    1. Thank you for the sweet comments, Jane! I have had so much fun with the tie-dye felt. :o) I am also using it for Snail's shell in this set. I have my fingers crossed that I will get my "surprise" element done for next week's Round-Up.

      Are you interested in doing the "Share a Treasure! Swap"? The last one was great! I received some wonderful storytime props and I had a ton of fun choosing items to send to my partners. Just a really FUN way to get something new for future programs!

      Hope you can join in!
      ~ K ~

  2. My first visit to your blog. Thrilled to find you!!!! I agree with Jane above. Inspirational! Your tips are beyond useful!! Never seen these tricks before. Very doable. Thank you!!! I'll be exploring more of your posts now. Glad to find you!!! Melissa

    1. Hi, Melissa! I am happy that you stopped by. I hope you enjoy exploring past posts!

      Thank you for your kind words about the tips. Sometimes I post things thinking that everyone must already know this idea so it is nice to hear that the tips are helpful to you. :o)

      Have a lovely Sunday!
      ~ K ~

  3. Scissors are tough for me as a lefty. I have 2 pairs in my house that I love. Sadly everyone else does too and they are always stealing my scissors. I have made it quite clear that if my scissors are not in their spot when I need them heads will roll because I can't just use any old pair of scissors. Story of my life too, this has been happening to me since I was in Kindergarten.

    1. My Mom used to get really upset if we used her sewing scissors for anything other than fabric. When I was little, I didn't understand all the fuss. Now, I totally understand! LOL

      Do you have any tips for cutting as a lefty? I would love to hear them!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hope you are enjoying your weekend with your family!
      ~ K ~

  4. What great tutorials!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!