Friday, July 6, 2012

Re-Post from 7.09 - Freezer Paper Stencils Tutorial

I while ago on the old blog I wrote a tutorial for making freezer paper stencils on your die-cut machine.  I thought now would be a great time to bring it back out and show it to you again.

This is one of my all time favorite projects.  We did a Girls Camp craft that year using freezer paper stencils to put the girls names on their camp t-shirts.  I've used them quite a few times and every time I just love it!

This is a great project for kids to help out with.  You'll need to do the preparation and the ironing.  They can do the painting and even the removing of the stencil.  I imagine you'll need to do the cleaning up, too, if your kids are anything like mine.

Cutting and Using 

Freezer Paper Stencils

Freezer paper stencils are so fun and easy to use 
you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner! 

1. Create your design.

Method A: If you want your letters to be the part that is painted, create a border around the letters of some kind. In this example, the word Samantha will be painted and anything outside the scalloped border. The white parts will be the paper stencil. For this method, you may want to choose either a stencil font or create bridges to connect the centers of your letters to the outside. Otherwise, you’ll have to save the centers of your letters and iron them on in place.

Method B: If you want the letters to be unpainted with a field of color, create a decorative border around the letters and a second border around the decorative one. In this example, the letters will not be painted, but the scalloped rectangle around it will. Optionally, anything outside the plain rectangle can also be painted. The white parts will be the freezer paper stencil.

2. Place your freezer paper shiny side up on your cutting mat. Cutter shown is the KNK Maxx, but any cutter will cut this material. It’s important that the shiny side is up because the shiny side won’t stick to your cutting mat very well and may shift during cutting.

3. Open your design in your software and “mirror” it so that it is backwards on your screen. This is so that when you cut it out it will be forwards when you iron the shiny side down on your material.

4. Cut your design.

5. Remove the paper from the cutting mats, saving the parts you plan to iron down to your material.

Method A: If you didn’t use a stencil font, be sure you save the centers of your letters so you can iron them down in place.

Method B: Be sure to save the dots of for each “i” or “j” and any punctuation so you can iron them down in place.

6. Iron all the relevant parts for your stencil down to your material. Grown-ups should do this part! Be sure you have the shiny side of the stencil down or you’ll iron it to your iron! Use an iron set to medium-high and press down for a few seconds without moving or rubbing.
7. Paint all the areas you want painted with fabric or other appropriate paint.

8. Kids will want to decorate the rest of their project, too!

9. Allow the paint to dry completely. If you try to remove the stencil before the paint is dry, you may blur your edges and they won’t be clean and crisp.
10. Carefully peel the freezer paper off your material. A pin or tweezers will help get any little bits left behind.
11. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on both your garment and the paint for laundering.

12. Enjoy your new wearable art project!!!

Try combining these two methods in one project like the shirts below!

Here is an compact and easily downloadable version of this tutorial. Just click on the image to open it larger to read and/or save it. It's slightly abbreviated but the essentials are there.  You can pin this, too, for later!

We loved these shirts so much that the girls wore them all the time.  We recently passed them down to some friends with little girls about the same distance apart in age.  They wore them to Disneyland and got so many comments on how cute their shirts were!  I'm thinking I need to make a new batch!

Time to get crafty, people!
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