Friday, December 2, 2011

Freezer Paper Tutorial

I know there are plenty of tutorials out there for this, but SOMEONE nagged me, and I was making more anyway - so here it is.

I've made a bunch of tee-shirts for the kids with freezer paper stencils. I like doing this mostly because I get sick of the sicky sweet saying and pictures that are on most toddlers clothes (Mommy's Little Angel! 2 CUTE! blah blah blah). Also, I like to be able to get some shirts in more unusual colors - surprisingly, my kids aren't obsessed with pink and blue. Maggie loves purple and Cam is always telling me 'Orange. Dat is my FAVORITE color.'

First, I find cheap, plain tee-shirts. I get mine here. Then, figure out what designs you want to do. You want a VERY basic shapes. I would recommend one color (at least at first). I found this fun firetruck - so that is what I used. I've also done fairies, scull and cross-bones, trucks, airplanes. Just whatever your kid is into.

Remember that you need to cut out the area where the paint will go. In the above picture, I need to block out all the red areas.

The first step is to get the design onto freezer paper and cut it out with an exacto knife on a cutting mat. You can either tape the picture to the freezer paper and cut through two layers (which is what I did for this one) or do the extra step and trace the design onto the freezer paper. This is easier for cutting, but when you don't have a light box for tracing, I find it easier to just cut through the two pieces.

See all those little pieces? Keep track of those. Also notice that on the top of the firetruck, there are a couple places where I ripped the freezer paper. No worries. First, take the freezer paper and center it on your fabric, shiny side facing the fabric. Then, take an iron on the cotton setting, no steam, and first get the big piece stuck on. Try to stick any torn pieces close together. If that doesn't work, you can also use masking tape. And then add the tiny little pieces bit by bit.

If you look closely at the above picture, you can see that I lost the little headlight circles and needed to use a small amount of masking tape to fix the top of the firetruck.

Then, put another piece of freezer paper in the middle of the shirt (to be sure the paint doesn't bleed through to the back). I use this cheap paint from Joanne's and it held up to a whole summer of washes. I also use the cheapest foam brushes I can find.
Put a thin layer of paint on. I dab it on rather than brush - so I don't accidentally lift up the freezer paper.

I let it sit for about 30 minutes and then do another thin layer. DO NOT go crazy and do super thick layers - it cracks and looks bad. Trust me.

Wait at least a hour (if it's a shirt I really care about, I'll wait overnight) and peel off the freezer paper:

Super fun, right?

And - to show you what a freak I am - I made Cam a new firetruck shirt for his birthday:

And decided his doll needed one that matched.

Help. Me.


HereWeGoAJen said...

Thanks! I am definitely going to have to do this. And I appreciate the tutorial very much!

emily said...

Love them! And your directions have me a little inspired to do some here, it sounds and looks really easy! (However, I have 101 excuses not to, like it's Christmas time, and I have a million things to do and the house is a mess, and blah blah blah.)
Which reminds me, I totally get you on the stupid shirts available to buy... really irritating!

kate said...

love the tutorial!! thank you!!!