Here's a way I have found to make it work:
Aleene's fabric stiffener.
Fabric - I've only used cotton.
1. Pour some stiffener in a bowl.
2. Thin it down a bit with water - but not too much.
3. Place fabric in bowl and switch around.
4. Squeeze out excess.
5. Place flat on wax paper to dry.
It should be dry in a few hours, but wait a bit longer to use.
Start with a bigger piece of fabric then you'll want for your project. You will be cutting out your shape or background after you have stiffened it. This keeps the fabric from fraying.
I have cut it with scissors & punched it with punches, including corner and hearts. My gallery should have some examples. But contact me if you can't figure it out.