Whether you’re just getting started in learning how to make felt flowers, or you’ve been enjoying crafting beautiful handmade florals for a while, you need the right tools for the job! Choosing the right tools, including scissors and a glue gun, makes creating felt flowers easy, fun and stress-free, and will lead to professional looking results, including cleaner edges and less glue drips.
In the first of my new Felt Flower Masterclass blog series, I’m sharing the essential tools I use on a weekly – if not daily – basis when I’m making felt flowers.
There are no prizes for guessing that scissors are the number one used tool in my craft studio! Each and every template in my felt flower patterns is cut by hand so a sharp and comfortable pair of scissors is essential in my toolkit. My favourite scissors for cutting felt are my Stainless Steel Pro Craft Scissors by Xcut (bottom right in photo above). I have tried so many scissors in the last 10 years of felt flower making, but these are my favourite. 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 crafting/cutting. This will avoid unnecessary blunting and prolong the life of your felt scissors, keeping them sharp. I always have on hand a simple pair of paper scissors (top right) that I use for cutting out paper templates from my tutorials.
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 and precise tip makes them useful when small snips and cuts are called for.
My top scissor tips:
- To keep your scissors sharp, don’t use your felt cutting scissors for general crafting or paper cutting.
- A sharp tip can help with more intricate cuts and snips, such as adding texture and detail to your felt flower petals.
- If the cut edge of your felt appears fluffy or ragged, it’s probably a sign that your scissors aren’t sharp enough.
2. Glue gun
I am so often asked what the best glue gun is to use for making felt flowers: 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 getting started with felt 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 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 easily (although cool melt varieties still get very hot!) but I much prefer the results. If you opt for a cool melt glue gun, you’ll probably find that the glue dries more quickly and tends to be a bit slower and thicker, which means you may find a few more cobwebby glue ‘strings' wafting around your finished project. A quick blast with a warm hairdryer can help to melt these away.
The final choice is whether to go cordless or use a plug-in glue gun. This is an entirely personal choice and will depend on the space you have available for crafting. My glue gun is on A LOT so I prefer a corded version, but if you like to craft ‘on the go’ or have a limited workspace for crafting, you may prefer to go with a cordless glue gun.
My top glue gun tips:
- If you’re making felt flowers regularly, it’s worth investing in a robust craft glue gun, although a cheaper mini variety might be best if you’re just starting out and giving flower making a go.
- Hot melt varieties can burn more easily but you’ll probably get better results and less wispy glue strings.
- Choose a glue gun with a stand if you can, and always use a heatproof mat to protect your work surface and to catch any drips.
3. Craft pliers
I’ve included pliers in my list of essential felt flower making tools, as I now use mine almost every time I’m creating handmade flowers. You'll often find craft/jewellery pliers sold for a reasonable price as a set of three if you search for craft or jewellery pliers online, comprising flat nosed, round nosed and cutting pliers. 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. 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 inner strips that need to be rolled - simply grip the bottom edge of the strip to save your fingers from glue gun burns. Flat nose pliers are also useful for bending and shaping wire stems and adding bee eyes!
- Wire cutting pliers: 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. Make sure you hold on to the end of the wire as you cut it, to prevent it flying across the room!
- 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.
My top craft plier tips:
- Look for pliers sold as ‘craft’ or ‘jewellery’ – these are smaller than household pliers and the perfect size for felt flower making.
- Go for a set of three (with round nose, flat nose and wire cutting pliers) – they’ll all come in handy as you learn how to make felt flowers.
- Hold on to the end of your wires when trimming them with cutting pliers, to avoid pieces of wire flying loose or getting lost in your carpet.
Whether you’re making one of my felt flower craft kits or using one of my PDF tutorials, these essential tools will help you to achieve beautiful, long-lasting handmade florals.
If you’ve found this blog post useful and you’re ready to get started on making felt flowers, why not join my Happy Flower Makers club? As a member you’ll get access to exclusive projects, discounts and behind the scenes content. Find out more and choose your membership level. And don’t forget that my monthly Makealong is the perfect way to learn this beautiful art – sign up today.
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.