Sunday, May 25, 2008

How-to make freezer paper stenciled t-shirts

I made a fast tutorial on how to make t-shirts using freezer paper stencils!

1- Gather together all the supplies you'll need: Freezer Paper, Self-Healing Mat, X-acto knife, stencil image, fabric paint, disposable cup and the t-shirt. I have a sharpie that I fattened the lines of the guitar stencil with. You can also make your own stencil out of pretty much any image.

2- Tape the freezer paper, shiny side down for the same version, or shiny side up for the reverse image on top of the image you want. The guitar on the left is taped to a self-healing mat to protect the cutting surface (a.k.a. my table).
2a. (Not Shown)- Cut out the stencil onto the freezer paper by cutting out the image underneath with an x-acto knife. Just like when carving a pumpkin, cut out the smallest pieces or more complicated pieces first. When done, keep the image for reference. Your freezer paper stencil is now ready to use!

3- Using a super hot iron without steam, iron the stencil on, shiny side down. Be sure to also use a piece of freezer paper on the inside of the shirt, shiny side facing up to the front piece of the shirt. This will ensure that the paint does not bleed through to the back.

4- I use an up and down motion like a sewing needle to stencil. Repeat process if you see anywhere you did not cover properly.

5- After waiting about 4 hours, gently peel away the stencil. Be absolutely sure that the paint is dry before doing this so that the paint does not peel away with the freezer paper. Wait longer if necessary.

6- Take a fresh sheet of freezer paper that is the size of your newly stenciled shirt. With the shiny side of the paper facing the shirt, use an iron on the cotton setting, but without steam, to set in the painted stencil. Gently glide the iron over the stencil for about 10 seconds to help all the painted edges seal. Wait another 10 seconds to cool and slowly peel the paper off. The paint is already set into the fabric of the shirt, so it will not transfer onto the paper.

7- The finished shirt! Do the happy dance, you're done!

8- Care instructions. I include these instructions for the gift recipient. If you can't read the teeny photo, it says: Turn shirt inside out to wash. Use warm or cool water. Tumble dry low. SIDENOTE: I have bleached these shirts before and the color will fade faster over time than if you don't bleach them.

Please feel free to submit a comment with any questions!