Monday, April 19, 2010

Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

Here it is folks, my Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

What you need:

  • Freezer paper (you can buy this at the grocery store, it's like Waxed paper that's waxy only on one side)
  • T-shirt or onesie (I buy t-shirts at Walmart because I can usually find them for $2-3. Onesies you can find anywhere)
  • Exact-o knife
  • Fabric paint
  • Sponge brush
  • Something to cut on, I usually use a magazine.
  • A design (you can find people's templates online, but I generally play around with the fonts on my computer. I get free fonts at I also like to use clip-art animal sillhouettes.) For this onesie, I printed out an "S" for Beth's soon-to-arrive baby Susan.)

Step 1: Cut a piece of freezer paper and tape it on top of your image. Place it so that the tape won't be on your image ( I think ironing tape will make a sticky mess on your iron, so place the tape so you can cut or tear it off and not ruin your stencil later).

Step 2: Begin cutting with your exact-o knife. The black parts are going to be the painted areas. So cut away the black. Keep all of the pieces that are white. When cutting the stencil, I start by cutting away the pieces inside and work my way out. Throw away the black pieces that you won't need. Hang onto the white parts that you will need as parts for your stencil later. Like this:

Step 3: Once you are done cutting your stencil, prepare to iron your stencil to your shirt. The waxy (it looks shiny) side of the paper needs to face the shirt when you begin ironing, keep that in mind when you are cutting your stencil!) First I place the outline part of the stencil on the shirt (Look at a copy of your design to help you figure out how it all needs to look).

Step 4: Iron the inside parts of the stencil in place, so that the design looks the same as the one you started with (remember the parts that are black on your picture are the parts that will be painted).

Step 5: Slide a piece of cardboard into the shirt to keep the paint from going through the front of the shirt onto the back. Then use your sponge brush to paint the shirt with fabric paint. Make sure you paint it pretty thick to cover the stencil well. Let the paint dry for 10-15 minutes. 

Step 6: You could let the paint dry for longer, but I'm too impatient. After 10-15 minutes, I peel off the stencil. If the paint is still wet, just use caution so you don't smudge or smear your paint. First, grab a corner of the freezer paper and pull it, the outline stencil just peels right off the shirt. But what about the stencil pieces in the middle of the shirt that have paint on them?  I grab a pair of tweezers and pinch a piece of the inside stencil with them and pull. Works like a charm.

Step 7: Take pictures of how dang cute your shirt turned out and imagine how adorable your favorite baby will look wearing it! Ta Da!

P.S. My friend Elicia is a genius, and she started cutting out Freezer paper stencils with her Cricut machine. I tried it, and that's how I make the star one. So fun!

P.P.S. If you do make a shirt, let me know! I'd love to see how it turns out!


EmmaP said...

you make it sound soooo easy. Ok - I think I will get brave one day and try. Thanks for xplainin this to me lucy ;)

jwise said...

Awesome tutorial. I'm going to have to try this. It's so adorable. Would be cute at family reunions or whatever, too. I have a friend who likes to buy all the same shirts when they go to places like Disneyland so her kids are easier to spot. This would be so cute. AND I have a Cricut, and that is a GREAT idea!

Geegrafix said...

This makes me want to get crafty...right now!

K said...

An excellent tutorial. Really well done. Every Friday, my friend Linda asks for friends to post their tutorials on her site.

She is a consummate mother and a swell girl with a serious mom/crafter following. I wish you'd put this up there.

Holli and Billy said...

Thanks to when you did those luchadore shirts for the boys, I was so inspired, I did some myself! I love doing these shirts! Billy is the master mind behind the designs and I get to cut and paint... maybe I am getting the raw end of the deal. Oh well, I still love doing them! Thanks for the inspiration!

brittney said...

awesome! thanks. I've always loved seeing the ones you've made and have wanted to try it sometime. Maybe now, I will.

Sharlyn said...

I'm going to have to try that!

Amy said...

Okay, that really is a cool project. I hadn't heard of that technique before your blog!

Angela said...

I love it! ...but have to admit I would love buying it from you more than love making one. That's a lot of steps! At least I know talented, crafty people, even if I'm not one!

SherRon, Shoes To Lose said...

I love them! So unique! Can you please tell me what font you used to make the "S"?

Thank you!


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