2. Find an image you like online or from your photo stash and print it off on a piece of paper. In this instance, Makenna loves goldfish crackers, so we’re making Goldfish Pants:
3. Purchase Freezer Paper from your local grocery store. It must be actual Freezer Paper, not wax paper:
4. Either trace or print your image to the Freezer Paper (on the DULL side of the paper).
If you choose to trace: place your picture/image under the freezer paper (with the shiny side of the freezer paper down) and trace. If it’s hard to see your image through the freezer paper, try outlining the image with a sharpie first.
5. Tape the freezer paper down on a cutting mat and cut your image. Using an exacto knife, cut the image out being careful not to cut anything beside just the image. You are creating a stencil. Any cracks or extra cuts in the paper will allow paint to seep through.
Note: If your image has additional images inside (such as a window to a car, or the inside of the letter “O”, etc) you’ll need to cut and save those pieces. They’ll be added to the stencil when you iron it on to your clothing. You have to envision everything as a negative image. Anything that’s covered in Freezer paper will stay the color of the fabric. Anything cut out will become the paint color:
6. Iron the stencil onto your fabric, shiny side of the freezer paper down. Make sure you iron around all edges of the stencil so that a seal is created for your stenciled image:
7. Purchase PERMANENT fabric paint (from craft stores, such as Michael’s). Prices range from $1.50 to $5/bottle. Some paints are thicker than others. You don’t want it too watery but if it’s too thick, add a pinch of water. Make sure the paint is Permanent so it doesn’t wash off over time. I like the brand Tulip best (make sure you get the Matte finish. You can find these at JoAnns, Michaels, and other craft stores):
This brand is good too (but I like Tulip better):
8. Mix your paints for desired color. I mixed the three Jacquard colors above for mr. goldfish:
9. Using a paintbrush, paint directly over the stencil, making sure the paint is spread evenly. Be careful with your strokes that you don’t accidentally brush too far and paint onto the outside fabric. I’ve made that mistake in the past. You may need to apply additional coats. This stencil required THREE coats. I waited 2 hours between each applied coat. You may speed up the process by drying it with a blow-dryer. Lucy’s “I heart Milk” pants, however, only required 1 coat (hey, it looks like California):
10. Let the paint dry. This can take anywhere from one hour to a few hours (depending on how many layers are on there). If you’re antsy, you can speed up the process by drying it with a blow-dryer.
11. Carefully peel off the freezer paper. This is the fun part!
12. Admire your work and rejoice that it turned out as you envisioned!
13. FINAL STEP (and an important one you can’t forget). Iron over the paint to seal the finish. I missed this step once and the paint faded the first time I washed it. Don’t iron directly on the paint. I place a cloth over the top:
Iron for about 30 seconds or so. Read the instructions on your paint bottle for more details.
You’re DONE! Freezer Paper Stenciling is fun and easy! Hooray for home-made remedies.
Here’s the final birthday gift. Makenna Loves Goldfish pants and matching headband:
I made the pants too long first time around so I cut off the hem and decided it made a good headband. I love salvaging the scraps:
They fit great and looked super comfy:
For more info on creating detailed stencils and making your own posterized images, continue on to THIS tutorial: