Today I thought I would share a tutorial that is going to bring a tear to every British crafters eye. Unfortunately, for those of us living outside of America, we can’t buy freezer paper… and therefore have to either pay a fortune to buy it online or inevitably miss out in the awesomeness that is creating fabric templates out of the stuff. How can I make you happy? Show you how to make an amazing alternative!
For those of us unsure of what ‘Freezer Paper’ is, it’s a lot like our greaseproof paper; it’s really waxy on one side (more than the greaseproof paper) and smooth on the other. It gets used for wrapping food… and putting it in the freezer. The project works as you can iron the freezer paper onto fabric as the waxy side melts and peel it off when you’re done – hence it’s amazing for using as a stencil.
So, how can we make it without leaving home? Easy!
For making a ‘freezer paper’ fabric stencil and custom t shirt, you will need:
sharp knife (scalpel)
‘scrap’ fabric (any fabric is fine, it shouldn’t get damaged)
To make the stencil template, start by drawing or printing out your design onto a plain piece of paper. Do it the ‘right way round’ – we will not be flipping the design, so don’t worry about letters or anything. Next, you’ll need to get yourself a plastic carrier bag. Use one of the more sturdier kinds, like from H&M; don’t use the really thin ones from the supermarket (or the ‘bags for life’ ones!) Cut it to fit the size of the paper but no larger.
Get your ironing board out and put your stenciled paper down so the back of the paper facing you. Put your plastic bag over the top and smooth it out. If the bag has anything printed on it, lay it down it so the back is facing you too. Then, put your extra piece of fabric down on the top. Iron all the pieces together for a few minutes on a hot setting. This will melt the plastic onto the paper and onto the fabric. You must make sure that all your surfaces are covered with either paper or scrap fabric whilst melting the materials together, otherwise you’ll have a sticky mess everywhere!
Once it’s cooled, you’ll be able to peel the fabric off and you’ll be left with some waxy paper and your design!
Next, cut your design out using the scalpel and cutting matt for protection. Take your time here as you want it to look great! You can cut out around the whole template too, just make sure you don’t get too close to any of the edges.
Place the template on top of the t-shirt so the ‘waxy’ side is facing the fabric and work out where you want it to be positioned. When you’re happy with it, place your scrap fabric over the top and iron for a few minutes on a hot setting. Again, the scrap fabric will protect your iron from any rogue pieces of plastic.
Let it cool and remove the scrap fabric… your stencil is now attached to your t shirt and you’re ready to paint it! Using a reasonably small brush start filling in the gaps. You can paint on the top of your stencil; it wont effect your design as it can’t seep through 🙂
Let it dry (or if you’re too keen, like me hair-dry it), and iron to seal the colour. Check the bottle of your fabric paint to see if it needs another layer and repete. When you’re happy and good to go, peel off the stencil…