Whether you're new to felt flower making, or your home is already a year-round florist's dream, having the right tools can make all the difference to your finished bunch of blooms.
I often get asked which scissors or glue gun I use for felt flower making, so I thought it was time to share my toolkit tips! Here I've rounded up my favourite tools that I use on a weekly, if not daily, basis when I'm making felt flowers - some are more essential than others but all are useful for achieving the perfect finish.
There are no prizes for guessing that scissors are the number one used tool in my studio! Each and every shape in my patterns is cut by hand (yes, really!) so a sharp and comfortable pair of scissors is essential in my toolkit. My favourite scissors to use are my Stainless Steel Pro Craft Scissors by Xcut (bottom right in photo above). I have tried so many scissors in the last seven or so years of felt flower making, but these are my firm favourites. They have micro serrated blades, really comfy large handles and they are a dream to cut felt with.
My top scissor tip is to always use separate scissors for cutting felt to the ones you use for paper crafts or general cutting. This will avoid unnecessary blunting and prolong the life of your felt scissors. I always have on hand a simple pair of paper scissors (top right) that I use for cutting out paper templates from my patterns.
Generally, my Xcut scissors are all I need for cutting felt, but I occasionally turn to my Fiskars Micro-Tip Scissors (middle left) for more intricate cutting. I don't find these quite as comfortable to use as the Xcut scissors but the sharp tip makes them useful when small snips and cuts are called for.
2. Glue gun
It turns out that there is no pretty way to photograph glue guns, but they are another vital part of any felt flower making toolkit. Hot melt or cool melt, mini or professional, cordless or mains connected... there are a few choices to make when purchasing a glue gun.
If you're only using it occasionally and just starting out with flower making, you probably want to start with a mini glue gun, which you can buy cheaply in most craft shops (and online). Try to find one with a stand if you can, as it can get pretty frustrating when your glue gun keeps falling on its side and results in a hot sticky mess! On that note, I also find a heatproof/drip mat indispensable for catching any glue leaks and drips. Always check you’re using the right type of glue for your gun and keep your glue gun upright to avoid internal damage from molten glue.
If you're a regular crafter and don't mind paying a bit more, you may want to invest in a more robust crafting glue gun. I use a Tec-305 glue gun which has a sturdy stand, on/off button and a narrow nozzle which makes glue application a lot more precise. I've also found it regulates the temperature well so is less likely to sit dripping with glue between use!
As for whether you choose a hot melt or cool melt variety, either is generally fine for use with wool blend felt, but if you also craft with other materials or types of felt it's worth doing a bit of research first to check suitability. Hot melt glue guns can burn very easily (I know this only too well!), but note that cool melt varieties still get very hot. The glue will dry more quickly and tends to be a bit slower and thicker with cool melt but you should still find it more than adequate for felt flower making. Just be warned that you may find a few more cobwebby glue ‘strings' wafting around your finished project with cool melt - but a quick blast with a warm hairdryer will melt these away.
3. Craft pliers and wire cutters
I've grouped together the final tools in my basic felt flower making toolkit as you'll often find these sold as a set if you search for craft or jewellery pliers online. The difference between craft/jewellery pliers and their usual household counterparts is their size - the craft/jewellery type are much smaller and therefore perfect to use with felt flowers. Compared to scissors and a glue gun, these are certainly more of a 'nice to have' than a 'need to have' but once you give them a go you'll probably find you reach for them regularly when assembling your felt flowers.
Pictured from front to back above are:
- Flat nose pliers: these are really useful for gripping small parts of flowers as you glue them, particularly strips that need to be rolled - simply grip the bottom edge of the strip to save your fingers from glue gun burns. Also useful for bending and shaping wire stems and adding bee eyes!
- Wire cutters: do just as their name suggests! I use these most when I'm wreath making, to cut the flower stems before going on the wreath or to trim any protruding ends afterwards. They also come in handy for trimming stems on a finished bouquet as you arrange them in a vase - just be careful to trim small pieces at a time as there's no going back once you've made the cut!
- Round nose pliers: I find these pretty much interchangeable with flat nose pliers, but with the added bonus of forming neat round coils on wire stems (as below) when you need to create a 'platform' for a flower or felt ball.
So that's it! I hope you've found these tips useful and perhaps you've even found a new tool to add to your felt flower toolkit.
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and are freely given. I am in no way associated with the brands mentioned in this article and do not receive any incentives or commission. This article does not constitute advice and I recommend doing your own research before deciding whether a particular tool is right for your crafting needs.