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How to use freezer paper to make fabric stencils

Reynolds Freezer Paper is one of the crafting world's best kept secrets... especially over here in the UK! 

I grew up with a roll of this freezer paper in our kitchen drawer alongside the tin foil and cling film. It's basically baking parchment but with a plastic coating on one side of the paper, which I guess is what keeps the food from freezer burn but it also works brilliantly to create iron-on stencils for fabric! 🤯🙌

What you'll need:

In this tutorial, I'm going to be making up some little drawstring party bags, but you can use this same technique on t-shirts, tea towels, table cloths, blank fabric to be made into something else like a quilt, anything cotton basically!

Step 1: Draw out your template on the paper

Use a pencil to draw out a simple shape, the simpler the better. In this example, I sketched out a simple heart pattern.

Cut it out either with scissors or a craft scalpel.

Step 2: Iron it onto your fabric

Turn off the steam, and iron the template onto your t-shirt or tote bag with medium heat. Press firmly around the edges of the stencil so they are pressed down firmly.

 

Step 3: Paint the "blank space"

Make sure you put a piece of paper inside the bag or inside the t-shirt so that the paint doesn't bleed through to the other side. Scrap paper or cardboard works well for this!

Use fabric paints to paint inside the template. Try to brush from the stencil out, so no paint sneaks underneath the template by accident. Mix and match colours...

 

Step 4: Let dry

Or use a hairdryer to speed this process up a bit. 

Step 5: Peel off the stencil

That's it! So easy, so fun! Get creative making shapes, using negative space, layering different ideas.

Here's a few more ideas... 🌈

For the butterfly tee, we ironed on another stencil once the wings were dry for the body and the antennae.

For this one, we first painted the black volcano, with an extra section blocked out for the lava flowing down. Then we used the bit of the template that we cut away and ironed that on top of the volcano to block it off. The result is rather... EPIC! Don't you think?