Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: Freezer Paper Stencils

monkeys on the bed!

Not crafty? Neither am I! But, I LOVE trying to make things for friends, especially friends that just had babies. This tutorial is so easy because it is really just like coloring in the blanks. Well, you do have to know how to use scissors, tape, and an iron but no worries, i'll walk you through it ;-o

First up, let's gather the supplies:


  • Article of clothing (in my case, i chose a onesie)--PLEASE make sure it has been washed and dried (and, if necessary, pressed) so that it won't cause the stencil to shrink
  • Freezer Paper (you can find this near the wax paper and foil paper--it can only be waxy on ONE side--this is key)
  • Design to make into a stencil
  • Tape
  • Scissors or an X-Acto knife thing
  • Iron
  • Heavy paper to place between fabric layers
  • Fabric Paint
  • Paintbrush
1) Find your stencil. As you know by now, i love Picnik. Under the "Create" tab, there is a sub-tab (on the left, under the main tabs) labeled "Stickers". I found the diapered baby under the "Common Symbols" category. You can do anything--a silhouette of your child's face, a letter (or letters) for an initial or monogram, your favorite team's logo--you name it, it can be done!

2) Now, you can, of course print your chosen stencil onto the freezer paper itself (on the dull side) but why waste ink? Actually, I'm out of ink which is why I put my freezer paper onto my computer screen, with the waxy/shiny side against the screen, and taped it tight. Either way works!


3) Completely trace the part of the stencil that you want to cut out--i chose a very straightforward example to illustrate but sometimes it is easy to forget which part of the design you want to keep and which you want to cut out--i suggest finding very simple, solid colored, silhouette clip art images like the ones i found on Picnik.

4) Cut out the design, being careful to trim any spare edges--since it is a stencil, you will clearly see stray snip marks. I usually use my razor/X-Acto knife thing but couldn't find it until later last night :(



5) Now that the stencil is completely cut out, trim those extra edges we were talking about. I also made my freezer paper smaller by cropping around the outside edges. If you used tape, make sure you remove that--it can ruin your iron!

6) Turn on your iron to a setting between silk and wool--I guess the setting would be a middle/high heat but we have a crazy iron that doesn't really tell you.



7) While the iron is heating, align your stencil pattern exactly where you want it--make sure it is straight (unless, of course, you want it slanted!) and that the waxy side is FACING DOWN

8) Press the stencil onto the fabric--i use a lot of pressure, especially on the edges and corners



9) Examine your stencil to make sure that you ironed everything

10) Insert something to serve as a paint blotter--i used an edge of a cardboard box but anything like a magazine to a newspaper works! Insert that directly under where you will be painting



11) Start painting. Feel free to go crazy and paint all over the freezer paper (just don't get it on the non-stenciled part of the fabric!)

12) Make sure that every single space in the stencil is covered completely. Do extra swipes if you want to ensure it is coated well.


13) WAIT. Yes, you must wait until it is COMPLETELY dry. Do what I did--make it at night so that you aren't tempted to check on it during the day--I painted this onesie right before I went to bed so that it would be ready when i woke up in the morning.

14) Carefully peel off the stencil, especially if there are tricky corners or edges. If some of the wax paper sticks, you can use a needle or tweezers to get it off the fabric. Just be careful you don't damage the paint!



YAY! you did it! Go ahead and get crazy! you can do freezer paper stencils for Baseball Hats, a Swimsuit Cover Up, Canvas Tote Bag (or maybe even Canvas Sneakers), you name it, it can probably be done! If you make a stencil, I'd love to see it! Feel free to email me or link it in the comments section!

Special note: When washing a piece of clothing with a fabric-painted stencil, make sure you turn the article inside out so that the paint does not start to peel.

Want the tutorial button for your website? Here it is:

PS Mister Linky is still out of wack but I'd LOVE to see your tutorial...please leave a comment with your tutorial link!

12 people think...:

Shan said...

Oh wow..that looks super easy! I might have to try that some day!

Misty Smith said...

this is awesome! I was thinking about buying stencils but this looks so much easier and custom! thanks for posting it!

Kelly said...

Fun idea! Just bought some fabric paints, so that will be a great way to get some use from them =]

Here is my tutorial this week: http://ourlincolnlog.blogspot.com/2009/06/tutorial-tuesday-deodorant.html

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Julia said...

I love the tie you made Asher :) I'm actually sad that he's too big for it now!

RootsAndWingsCo said...

That is too funny that we both had freezer paper stencils this week! Aren't they the greatest? I love how your onesie turned out! And tracing off the computer...is one of my favorites! I did this once for stencils for a duck themed bathroom (like 10 years ago, I think)! You are such a doll and always so positive! Love you!
Rebecca
RootsAndWingsCo.blogspot.com

Shari@aPsychMommy said...

For someone who has no clue how to use a needle and sew, this looks definitely doable for the craft-challenged such as myself!

princesstomato said...

looks like fun!

Miti said...

Very cute!! I've seen this before but I've never tried it. Love that little onsie!!

Sam said...

That looks super easy, can't wait to try it. Thanks. Here is my Tutorial Tuesday: Chickens 101 @ http://sailingthehudson.blogspot.com/

MommaD said...

found the other blog now...i used that image from the stencil on a scrapbook page i did of my second learning to change my fourths diaper!

Melissa said...

That's a great idea!

I was reading this blog (http://sahmissionary.blogspot.com/) this morning and she is wanting to make a blog button. So of course i thought of you and i gave her your blog address. I hope you don't mind!

Redesign Diva said...

Hey I found you from another blog, glad you mentioned your tutorial, i like it!

Thanks