Skip to Content

Freezer paper stencil tutorial

Sharing is caring!

Freezer paper stencil tutorial

I love freezer paper stencils. Freezer paper is dirt cheap and practically magic, a super easy way to make custom tshirts, totes, etc.! My apologies to non-American readers, I have heard it is impossible/difficult to find outside the states (please let me know if you have other tips for non-USA sourcing!). You can iron the paper down on fabric and it adheres quite nicely, and then peels away without leaving a trace. I also use this to cut out tiny felt pieces sometimes, but today I’m sharing a tutorial for how to stencil with freezer paper.

freezer paper stencils

See some of the other freezer paper stencils I’ve made in the past!

Pin this freezer paper stencil tutorial for later, using this link or image:

how to stencil with freezer paper

Freezer paper stencil

Do you want to make your own “Staying home is the new going out” shirt or use the Milk carton design shown below? Sign up for my newsletter and get the free download once you confirm your subscription! If you’re already a subscriber, you can access the pattern with the password in each newsletter, in the resource library.



step 1

1 – Draw or print out the design you’ll be cutting and then layer the freezer paper over top, shiny side down. Trace.

step 2

2 – Use your craft knife and cut out the outline, carefully preserving the corners.

step 3

3 -Lay all your pieces shiny side down on the shirt – iron with a  high heat setting, making sure to catch all the edges.

step 4

4 -Apply a light coat of fabric with your foam brush, painting with the grain of the fabric and watching out for bumps or lumps. Let dry, apply a second coat if necessary.

step 5

5 -Gently tease up one edge and pull all the freezer paper away!

step 6

6. After the paint is dry, use an iron to ‘heat set’ the paint. Mine wasn’t 100% dry so I used a pressing cloth in between them, but this is optional.


Done! It took longer to photograph and write this tutorial than to actually do it – freezer paper stenciling is so satisfying. Have you ever tried it?

If you have never gone thrift shopping for t-shirts to upcycle, check out this post with tips on picking the best stuff! Then, freezer paper stencil it!

Looking to update a plain shirt? Upcycling and need to cover a stain? Fabric paint stenciling is easy with freezer paper! Check out this tutorial on how to use freezer paint, it is cheap and fast.



Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Doreen Nelson

Friday 28th of April 2017

In Australia we call freezer paper , "wax paper" and it is available in our supermarkets where we get plastic wrap and aluminium foil too...

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 14th of May 2017

Oh neat, thanks for the tip Doreen!

Pam @Threading My Way

Friday 21st of April 2017

If only we could buy freezer paper by the roll at supermarkets! I've showcased your easy to follow tutorial, Stephanie...

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 11th of May 2017

Thank you Pam!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 25th of April 2017

Thanks so much Pam!

Sharon Martin

Tuesday 21st of June 2016

Great instructions. One of best I have seen on this. thank you. Will definitely try using your instructions. I already have the freezer paper with intent to try.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 28th of June 2016

Sharon, that is the kindest thing to say! I'd love to hear how it works out for you, please email me and let me know :)


Sunday 19th of June 2016

Oh I'm pinning this. I will totally use it as I don't have one of those fancy silhouettes or cricuit machines. Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 20th of June 2016

Thanks for pinning! It's a handy trick, I've used it for my own, adult, shirt designs too, not just kids!


Saturday 18th of June 2016

I love freezer paper too. We can only get it in craft stores here in Australia. Love this technique. It's a great option if you don't have one of those expensive cutting machines.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 20th of June 2016

When I worked with One Thimble, an AUS e-mag, the editor said it wasn't common there! I would miss it terribly!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!