Monday, April 25, 2011

Freezer Stenciling

2 words: 

I know, it makes no sense but let me explain. I saw this idea originally from and well, I fell in love. To summarize, use freezer paper to create a stencil that you will iron on to a shirt/onesie/whatever then using fabric paint, paint over the stencil and dry. Then voila, magic!

After I saw this project, I knew I had to make this for my friend, Alicia's baby, Ethan. I bought the materials thinking I had plenty of time but little Ethan Alexander came 4 weeks early so I had to stop procrastinating!

Here are some more in depth details:

Onesie (or shirt/pants/bag/whatever your heart desires)
Fabric paint (I used the matte Tulip brand paint from Walmart. It costs under a $1.)
Reynolds freezer paper (Reynolds Wrap usually has coupons out in circulars. I printed a coupon off
a paint brush
Image that you want to make in a stencil (This is optional if you want to go freehand. I printed my image from my computer.)
Exacto knife (I bought this for $5 at Walmart in the wedding aisle... weird, I know... I didn't need an exacto knife for my wedding day but that's me.)

1. To start, figure out what you want to go onto your fabric. For baby Ethan, I wanted his onesie to have a jersey feel. So I printed off a big "5" since he was born on April 5th and I printed off his initials, "E.A.J." to above the number.
2. Lay your image on a flat surface with plenty of light. Cut out some freezer paper to cover your image. Put the shiny side of the freezer paper down on the image and you might want to tape it to the image so that it doesn't shift when you cut it.
3. Using your knife, cut out your image from the freezer paper. I haven't used an exacto knife since I was in oh say, 7th grade so I was little bit rusty. You might want to practice first if you haven't used one in awhile or ever. Carefully trace out your image. I did mine slowly. Be sure to be very exact. Anything that is cut out will show up when you paint over the stencil.
4. After you have traced out your beautiful image, cut a piece of freezer paper and put it in the shirt/bag/onesie/whatever. This is so the paint doesn't seep through the fabric. Heat up your iron.
5. Place your image carefully on your fabric. Make sure it's precisely where you want it because once the paint is on, there is no going back! Iron the stencil on to the fabric. Run your fingers over the stencil to make sure every part (especially around the edges of the stencil) is ironed to the fabric. If it isn't completely ironed, the paint can get through.
6. Paint evenly over the fabric. Let it dry for a few hours. I waited a full 24 hours because I was nervous. ha! Then pull the stencil off and you should have your beautiful masterpiece!
7. The final step is key. Grab some fabric, any fabric is fine, and place it over your painted image and iron again. This seals the deal! Most fabric paints say not to wash until 72 hours so just be aware of those fine print details.

After you create your artwork, show off and brag all you want. You created something beautiful- go show it off!


  1. Special thanks to Seth and Alicia Johnson for procreating. Your little bundle of joy inspired Wifey to develop this wonderful skill. Also, shoutout to Ethan, the little bundle o' joy himself. Two week old children can read, right?

  2. Seriously have I ever told you that you are SO talented! super proud of you!