Monday, September 5, 2011

My First Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

I was finally able to sit down with my Silhouette and start to figure it out. I decided that an easy starter project would be a t-shirt made with a freezer paper stencil. I saw this great onsie on Pinterest and knew I would want to make this for friends who love all things Potter.

To get started, I downloaded a Harry Potter font on, which is one of my favorite sites for free fonts. 

I then measured my shirt to determine how big I should make my stencil.

I opened up Silhouette Studio and created a new project. Since the shirt measured about 10 inches across,  I decided the stencil should be 7 inches wide.

I then cut my freezer paper just a bit larger then my stencil using a paper trimmer and placed the paper, shiny side down on the cutting mat. I tried to use the sticky mat and had horrible results when trying to peel the stencil off, so I switched to the less sticky mat.
I used the settings for vellum, and told my Silhouette to cut.

When it finishes, just peel the stencil off the mat. You'll have something that looks like this left on your mat
You will need to peel out the center of the remaining letters and use those to fill in the stencil on your shirt.

Before applying your stencil to your shirt, make sure that you have pre-washed and dried it in case it decides to shrink a bit. You should also iron your shirt before applying your stencil.

To apply your stencil, simply place it on your shirt and iron it in place using medium-high heat, until you are sure it is nice and secure. Then add the centers of your letters and iron in place. Make sure you are not using a steam setting on your iron, as this will mess up your stencil.

You are now ready to paint! I used Tulip permanent fabric paint, which can be found in a wide variety of colors and finishes at any craft store. I got mine during a sale a JoAnn's for around $1 for a small container. I then used a foam brush to evenly apply the paint.

To get the look I wanted, I applied 2 coats of paint and waited a couple hours for each coat to dry completely before applying the next. I also placed a piece of cardboard inside the shirt in case the pain decided to bleed through the fabric.

Once both coats were dry, I simply peeled off the freezer paper to reveal the finished product.

The instructions on the paint suggested that you heat-set the paint, so I took a dish towel that I folded in half, and placed that on top of the shirt and ironed it using high heat for about 30 seconds.

All in all, this was an easy project, and I'm sure I'll be making plenty more of these in the future.

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