Hello my name is Jeni, and I am a Freezer Paper Junkie.

Warning:  If you read this post and try it, you might turn into a Freezer Paper Junkie too!

This is a project that I have been wanting to try for a looooonnnng time (4 years), but never got around to it.  Now I am sorry I waited so long.

I have been recently re-inspired by Sarah K. who is doing some freezer paper stenciling for her etsy shop, ObberGobber, and for herself.  Technically she should probably be the one doing this tutorial, but she has graciously allowed me to go ahead.

So without further ado...Freezer Paper Stenciling.

First you need to gather a few supplies:
  • Freezer Paper - Can be found at most grocery stores and Walmart (I couldn't find it at Target).
  • Fabric Paint - Tulip Soft Fabric Paint - This can be found at Michaels and online (I couldn't find it at Hobby Lobby).
  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting mat or cutting board
  • Stencil - You can find these online or in stores.  Sarah has a wonderful designer friend making hers. (pssst. m.s. I am not using your name so that people won't call you, and ask that you make them some stencils to.)  And if all else fails and you can't find anything you want online, don't know a graphic designer and don't want to pay for a stencil, you can just draw one.
  • Paint Brush - I used an artist brush, but Sarah has had success with a foam brush as well.
  • T-Shirt - or anything else you might want stenciled (I'd like to do some retroesque tea towels for my kitchen).  I got my t-shirts for $.99 at Checkers, so if you are needing shirts and live in the area, these were a great deal.  They are "seconds", but the flaws were so minor you can barely see them.

Now, with supplies all gathered it's time to start!

Step 1:  I went with drawing directly onto my freezer paper, but if you are going from a pattern it's pretty easy to trace.  Just slide a picture under your freezer paper and outline.

Step 2:  Carefully cut out your stencil with an Exacto and cutting board.  I don't have a picture of this because I was taking all the pictures myself and didn't want to lose a finger.

Step 3: Iron the freezer paper, shiny side down, onto your t-shirt.  I used the cotton setting - dry.  (I pretty much use everything on the highest setting...hmmm...I burn a lot of things too, but not this time.) Also iron a square large enough to cover your stencil onto the inside of your shirt to prevent bleed through.

Step 4:  Break out the fabric Paint and start filling in your design.  Sarah gave me a great tip, and that was to start painting from the paper in.  This seemed to work great.  I didn't have any bleeding.

Step 5:  Clean your bathroom, or whatever it is you like to do when you have 30 minutes to spare.  I don't actually like to clean my bathroom, but that is what needed to be done.

Step 6:  Test your fabric paint to see if it is dry and peel off the freezer paper.  Mine was still a smidge wet, but I peeled off the paper anyway.  (Apparently I have patience issues - cooking things on high, peeling off paper too soon.) I did leave the inside paper on for a bit longer.
Step 7:  Iron your design to set in the color.  I didn't iron directly onto the shirt, but onto a piece of paper, so it wouldn't stick to the paint.

Step 8:  Grab a t-shirt model and snap a few pictures. (I made his shorts too, using this tutorial.  Ha ha I just realized that I made almost the same outfit, completely unintentional - I made the shorts a long time ago, and Micaiah asked for a robot shirt.)

There you have it.  I know that this may seem like a lengthy process, because I used a lot of words, but it really isn't.  Start to finish it probably took me a little over an hour.  I never actually have an entire hour to do anything, so I split it up in 10 minute increments over a couple days.   So have fun, but beware it really is addicting!


  1. Thanks for encouraging me to get the onesies in my ObberGobber store! I read this post and thought...oh no, I don't have any for sale yet! Not that everyone who reads the blog will rush over to buy one...and that's assuming that people actually read the blog!

  2. Uh oh. I might become a freezer paper person! Okay, well, maybe. But, I REALLY want to try this sometime since I have read this! Maybe it will make some cute baby gifts for all the babies coming up ... hmmmm ... oh yes, and loved the bathroom picture thrown in there! Ha!

  3. I read this blog! :)

  4. Sarah - No problem!

    Elisa - We will have to call each other before making baby gifts for people, so the person doesn't get freezer paper onesies from all of us. Ha ha.

    Katie - Yeah, someone reads this blog!

  5. The shirt is darling! I just might have to make one - my son has grown out of the one I purchased on Etsy! Love the shorts too!


  6. You guys are freaks.


    p.s. Eeeeeeeee!! :)

    p.p.s. Ditto on the bathroom photo. HEARTS!