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.
See some of the other freezer paper stencils I’ve made in the past!
- I used it in this freezer paper stencil Cricut tutorial if you don’t want to cut by hand, and my kids finger painted over it.
- I’ve used this technique to stencil another custom shirt
- I’ve also used it to stencil shirts for my son
- I’ve also used it to reverse applique, in a fun refashion tutorial
Pin this freezer paper stencil tutorial for later, using this link or image:
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.
- X-Acto or craft knife
- Fabric paint – I really like Tulip soft matte but Plaid’s fabric creations works great too. If you already have paint you like, use fabric paint medium to mix in instead.
- Freezer paper (the regular roll is cheaper at your grocery store BUT Amazon has these fancy printable sheets, too OR my brilliant friend Amy remarked in the comments that she cuts the roll to printer size and uses them!)
- Foam brush
- Thin cardboard
- Ruler (optional)
1 – Draw or print out the design you’ll be cutting and then layer the freezer paper over top, shiny side down. Trace.
2 – Use your craft knife and cut out the outline, carefully preserving the corners.
3 -Lay all your pieces shiny side down on the shirt – iron with a high heat setting, making sure to catch all the edges.
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.
5 -Gently tease up one edge and pull all the freezer paper away!
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!