February 14, 2011

Freezer Paper Stenciled Valentine's Shirts

If you haven't heard about using freezer paper to create stencils for fabric, you have to check this out!  It's a really easy, inexpensive way to add words or simple images to t-shirts, pillowcases, tote bags and more.  You can usually find freezer paper near the waxed paper or aluminum foil at larger grocery stores, warehouse stores or your Target or Walmart.

My two "LOVE"ly   girls!


* freezer paper
* fabric paint or acrylic paint
* t-shirt (or whatever you want to paint on)
* copy of letters or image that you want to print on your fabric
* small pair of sharp scissors or exacto knife
*  iron
* piece of cardboard or small stack of newspaper to put inside your t-shirt when painting
* smock or old shirt


1.  Cut off a piece of freezer paper a little bit larger than the image you'll be stenciling.  Lay the freezer paper shiny side down on top of the image and trace the design onto the paper-y side.  If you have one of those handy Cricuts or similar machines, you have even more options for cutting out designs.

2.  Using the scissors or exacto knife, cut out your stencil.  If you're doing letters like A, O, B, R, etc. make sure you also cut out and save that inside shape.  You'll need it to make your letter complete.

3.  Put your iron on a medium heat setting (no steam).  Place the freezer paper stencil shiny side down on your fabric and iron it down where you want your design to be.  (You can pull it up and iron it down again to reposition it if necessary) You'll see that with just a few quick passes with the iron, the stencil will adhere to the shirt.  Take special care to make sure all the edges of the stencil are firmly adhered to the fabric so you'll get a nice crisp line.  When the stencil is ready, slip a piece of cardboard or small stack of newspaper inside the shirt so the paint won't bleed through.

4.  Next, begin painting!  I've had the best results using those inexpensive foam brushes.  I like to start my painting strokes on the freezer paper and then brush onto the fabric.  (If you start on the fabric and go out onto the paper, some paint may seep under the edge.)  Once I've done all the edges of the design, then dab the brush straight down onto the fabric until the stencil is filled in.  It's definitely better to do a couple light coats of paint, rather than glop on tons at one time.

You can do more than one color, just let the first one dry before doing the 2nd.

 5.  Allow the paint to dry, then gently peel off your stencil.  (If you're like me and not terribly patient, you can pull the stencil off before the paint is all the way dry, just be careful that the wet stencil doesn't fall back onto the shirt.)

My love bug and her "heartbreaker" buddy!


  1. This is great! Can't wait to try it this week. Thanks for all the details and pictures too! I'm such a visual girl-and that helps so much!

  2. Just stopping by to let you know that I've featured your craft on Family Fun Crafts! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, I'd love it if you would submit them. :) If you would like to display a
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