How to Make Freezer Paper Stencils

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Crafters everywhere know that stenciling is a creative way to add a special touch to an everyday item like an apron or t-shirt. Sometimes, though, the perfect stencil isn't available. Solve that problem by making unique and inexpensive freezer paper stencils by following these directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Freezer paper
  • Fabric paint
  • X-Acto blade or scissors
  • Buy freezer paper. Most grocery stores carry it. Then select a stencil design. They can be found free online by searching for stencil images or can be traced out of books.

  • Wash any item that is going to be stenciled. This will allow for any sizing to be removed from the fabric as well as do any shrinking the garment may undergo before the stencil is applied.

  • Change the stencil size if necessary. If doing baby clothes, the stencil needs to be small. Adjust the image size on the computer or use a photocopier.

  • Trace the desired pattern onto the freezer paper. Make sure the paper is placed wax side down before tracing.

  • Cut out the stencil design with scissors or an X-Acto knife. Cut out any part of the design that will be colored. If there are smaller parts that may need to be added in later, like an eye, be sure to save that cut out piece to use on the final design.

  • Tear off another piece of freezer paper about the same size as the stencil. Place this on the inside of the fabric to be stenciled wax side up. Place the cut-out stencil wax side down in its desired position. Set the iron on the correct setting for the fabric and press the iron on for about 30 seconds to a minute, enough time to allow the stencil to adhere to the fabric.

  • Paint the stencil design onto the fabric with fabric paint or screen print paint, either by using a sponge or a paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry. Peel off the freezer paper and admire your handiwork.

Tips & Warnings

  • Freezer paper stencils can be used only once, so if making multiple designs, multiple stencils will need to be cut.
  • Use caution when cutting with an X-Acto knife.

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