How To Use Freezer Paper To Make Fabric Stencils

Using freezer paper as a fabric stencil is nothing new, and I certainly don’t claim that this my original idea. In fact my fellow Silhouette guest blogger last month (Jessica from Mom 4 Real) included a freezer paper how-to as part of her project there. But after my heat transfer wall art post a few weeks ago, so many of you had questions about the technique that I thought I’d share exactly how I do it.

Just to refresh your memory, in the wall art project, I mentioned that my background fabric started off as a plain white napkin. I then painted it, using freezer paper as my stencil, to create the quatrefoil design.

I used my Silhouette cutting system, but you can certainly cut your designs with scissors or a craft knife. Once the stencil is cut, the rest of the how-to is exactly the same.

Let’s get started!


Nikki, In Stitches

1. Cut your stencil from your freezer paper. Freezer paper has a shiny side and more of a “paper” side. You want to have the paper side up when working, shiny side down. If you’re going to make your stencil by hand, you can draw your design on the paper side, then cut it out with either scissors or a craft knife. If you’re using a cutting system, put the freezer paper on a cutting mat, again shiny side down, and send it through your machine! After your stencil is cut, remove the negative space!

2. Place your stencil on your fabric where ever you’d like it, shiny side down, and press it in place. A straight up and down motion with your iron is best. If you slide your iron over the top you risk moving your stencil. You only need to press it for a few seconds, and it should stay put. If by chance it moves on you, or you decide it’s not centered or needs to be moved, you can peel it up, and then press it down again. The freezer paper will adhere to your fabric as many times as you need it to.

3. Paint your fabric just as you would any stencil. A sponge brush is best, and again, an up and down motion will reduce the chance of any paint bleeding through your stencil. (Note: You may want to paint on an old cardboard box or put newspaper down first. The paint does tend to go through your fabric, and you don’t want to damage your work table underneath!)

4. Peel off your freezer paper stencil! I compromise here from what a lot of people recommend. Some say let it dry completely. (I worry about the paint peeling up off the fabric, especially if you’ve got spots where it was applied on the thick side.) Some say peel it up when the paint is still wet. (I worry about my paint smearing!) So I say, wait until your paint is tacky to the touch, then peel up your stencil! Let it dry the rest of the way before you work with it more!

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2 Responses to How To Use Freezer Paper To Make Fabric Stencils

  1. Sarah says:

    hi, that’s relly cool, what kind of cutter do you use?

    • Nikki says:

      Hi Sarah!
      I have a Silhouette CAMEO cutting system.
      The nice thing about the freezer paper though is that you can absolutely cut it by hand. It’s also transparent enough that you can just trace your design right on it with a pencil, so it makes the whole process really easy!

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