Freezer paper stencilled t-shirt

Welcome to my first ever craft post! I see so many craft tutorials online that I want to have a go at but I so rarely actually get round to doing them. Do you find that?

I first saw freezer paper stencilling on I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar‘s blog. It’s one of my favourite blogs, full of crafty tutorials, decor ideas and insights into life in one American family. I particularly love Wake Up Wednesdays when Cheri (who writes the blog) challenges us to do good things!

So what is freezer paper stencilling? Well, I don’t actually know what freezer paper is supposed to be used for, but it has one shiny side which can temporarily adhered to fabric by ironing on. So you can cut a stencil out of the paper, iron it to a piece of clothing and paint through it to create whatever designs you like.

Anyway, I bought the kit required for this ages ago but finally decided to decorate a t-shirt for Tom’s stocking for Christmas. This is what you need:

  • Freezer paper (I bought this from Amazon as it comes in sheets rather than the usual, this means you can print directly onto the freezer paper)
  • Fabric paint (I used Dylon Soft fabric paint, purchased from Hobbycraft)
  • Paint brush
  • Craft knife
  • Printer
  • Iron
  • Card
  • T-shirt (I purchased a plain Fruit of the Loom t-shirt from Amazon)

First, choose the design you want to print onto your t-shirt. I would recommend a simple shape, with few cut-outs. (try putting “freezer paper stencil” into Google Images for inspiration) This is the picture I chose, which I now think was a little on the complex side!

Headphones silouette

Print directly onto the freezer paper, making sure that you print onto the matt side NOT the shiny side.

Using the craft knife, cut out the black shapes to leave only the white on the paper. Be careful when cutting corners not to cut into the stencil side as paint will get into any nicks that you make. Remember to cut out and keep any white cut-outs!

Freezer paper stencil cutting

Now, iron the freezer paper onto the t-shirt using a medium heat. I ironed for quite a long time to make sure all the edges were well sealed to the fabric. Remember to place your cut-outs in the right place and iron them on too!

Place the sheet of card inside the t-shirt. This is to stop the fabric paint leaking through to the back of the t-shirt. Now, carefully paint over the holes in your stencil using the fabric paint and paintbrush. Try to direct the paintbrush from the paper onto the fabric to avoid pushing paint under the freezer paper. I would suggest that applying a thin coat of paint will help to prevent this, and will make your painting more even. I could see brush marks in my first coat of paint but these were not visible in the finished product, so don’t worry if you find that you can see brush strokes.

Freezer paper stencil painting

Depending on the colour of the fabric paint and t-shirt, you may need more than one coat. I wanted to get a bright white finish on a dark colour so I did 3 coats. In between each coat I let the paint dry completely (I left it for 24 hours) and then ironed over the paint on a high heat. I realised afterwards that I should have covered the paint with fabric when ironing, but it doesn’t seem to have done any harm!

When you are happy with the finish, and the paint has dried and been sealed with an iron, carefully remove the freezer paper by peeling it off. I found that in the small corners the freezer paper ripped or the glue layer stayed stuck to the t-shirt but these were very easy to pull off by hand.

Freezer paper stencil removed

As you can see below, there was some bleeding where I painted the layers on too thickly but overall I’m really happy with it.

Freezer paper stencil bleeding

Here is the finished product! And it’s subtle enough that my husband will actually wear it!

Freezer paper stencil t-shirt

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!



4 thoughts on “Freezer paper stencilled t-shirt

    • To be honest I’ve never looked! You could try looking in the bigger supermarkets, they might have it in the sections with cling film and baking paper. Or maybe one of the bigger stationery/craft shops like Cheung Nam stationery? Good luck!

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