Monday, 6 February 2012

TUTORIAL - Freezer Paper Stencils

I know I know I know - there's approximately one hundred billion freezer paper stencil tutorials out there in the blogosphere. But what better way to celebrate this entirely made up fact than to create my own? (you can never have enough tutorials. Fact)

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to create a simple stencil using freezer paper and then transfer it to fabric. Now, first of all - I couldn't find freezer paper ANYWHERE in the UK so ended up buying mine from amazon for a reasonable price. UK folk, greaseproof paper is NOT the same thing - unfortunately. If you manage to find any please let me know!

This is a great project to do with kids, just keep small fingers away from sharp and hot things! Adults do the hot and choppy bits, small people do the messy bits. Perfect. 

First things first, clear your area and gather your supplies. For this project I used the following:
  • Freezer Paper
  • Mechanical Pencil
  • Scalpel
  • Cutting Mat
  • Scissors
  • Fabric or item to stencil on to
  • Iron
  • Ironing Board
  • Fabric Paint
  • cardboard
  • Stiff paint brush of sponge
  • Optional:reference books for pretty pictures

Start by deciding how big you want your stencil to be and cut your freezer paper to size. You can stencil right onto a ready made item if you like, but I'm stencilling straight onto my fabric and will make a tote later! Mark out your stencil on the matt side of your freezer paper. I used butterfly books for reference and drew a basic cluster of flutterbies in different sizes.

Next, carefully cut out all the bits. If you can keep the cut bits whole, you could create a negative stencil too, like I did (see further down)!

Iron your fabric so it's relatively kink-free, set your iron to hot, lay your stencil in place shiny side down and carefully iron it onto your fabric making sure to get to all the nooks and crannies. Thin slivers will need double checking on the ironing front to make sure they are down and secure so your paint won't creep underneath and ruin your design. 

Lay your fabric on some card or similar to protect the surface underneath and start applying that fabric paint! I used a stiff paint brush (a sponge is handy here too) and applied the fabric paint in a stabbing motion, pointing my brush towards the inside of each shape so I didn't slip the brush underneath the stencil. Once you're done, check your paint bottle for drying times & leave to dry! (Mine has no instructions.. so I just left it overnight.)

Once your paint has dried, carefully peel away the freezer paper, revealing your (hopefully) perfect stencil!

Lay a piece of scrap fabric or a tea towel over your design and iron on a hot setting for a few minutes to set your paint. (double check your paint bottle for instructions.. again, mine has no instructions so I'm playing guessing games here). And finally, you have yourself a beautiful stencil!

If you managed to keep your cut outs rip-free, you could try creating a negative. I might use mine for an internal pocket of my tote ♥

Have fun - I'd love to see what you make! ♥


  1. This is a fab lttle tut. Thanks for posting it If you search for quilters paper then its the same thing

  2. I found freezer paper in Hobbycraft in the UK. Not on their website but inside the shop!

  3. Thank you ladies ♥

    Shalotte, I did search for quilters paper but it worked out so much more expensive :)

    Jenny, hobbycraft eh? I'll check it out next time I'm over that way. Do you remember how much it was?


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