Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

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Can’t afford screenprinting supplies but want designs on your fabric? This tutorial might help you out.

This method has been around for a while but I saw it in a Sorry Girls pillow DIY video. It’s super easy and cheap to do. It’s not as fast as screenprinting but will work in a pinch.

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You’ll need:

  • freezer paper (found mine in Walmart, in the aluminum foil aisle)
  • fabric paint (Michaels, A.C. Moore or Amazon)
  • fabric or whatever you want the design on
  • iron
  • writing utensil (preferably a pencil)
  • foam brush
  • scissors
  • exacto blade (with a self healing cutting mat or non-scratch surface)

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Freezer paper has two different sides. One will be matte and the other will be shiny. All of your drawings should be on the matte side. IMG_2307

After you’ve drawn on the matte side of the paper, cut a square around your design. Be sure to leave a good amount of space surrounding the drawing.

Cut out your design with an exacto knife. Try to make your lines as clean as possible!

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Place the shiny side of the paper down on your fabric and iron it on! Make sure your fabric can handle being ironed. I used cotton and had the iron on medium/cotton setting. Your stencil should stick to the fabric nicely. Pay special attention to edges and curved parts of the stencil.

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Once your design is affixed to the fabric, squeeze out some fabric paint. Place your fabric on a box or stick some cardboard in between the shirt. The paint will bleed through so protect your workspace!

Grab your foam brush and start stippling the paint. You want to move in an “up and down” poking motion rather than making brush strokes.

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You will most likely have to paint in layers. Keep them thin and wait for them to dry before you apply the next layer. The stippling action should keep the paint texture consistent. If you drag the brush, you risk getting some paint under the stencil.

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You can see that my design isn’t perfect because some of the paint bleeds out. This is because the stencil wasn’t ironed down fully in those areas. Be careful about tiny curves or sharp corners, those are the places that need special attention. If you do it right, the edges will be clean as hell.

After that, I wait about 24 hours for it to fully dry/set before washing it. Some fabric paints recommend washing the item in hot water to seal it. Every brand is different, so read the back of your paint bottle.

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Hope this helped! This is a super inexpensive way to make your own patterned fabric or add detail to costumes. Comment if you have any questions. Other stuff I made with this technique can be seen below:

 

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