Friday, March 20, 2009

The Many Uses of Freezer Paper

We are always on Spring Break for St. Patrick's Day and every year we dress up and go out. You can always find cute shirts at Target, Aeropostole, and the Gap, but this year I came across this shirt to make at Skip To My Lou (a great crafts blog) and knew I just had to make it. In the process, I have discovered the greatest secret to making t-shirts...Freezer Paper. Who knew that freezer paper could be used as a stencil, ironed on to a shirt, and then peeled off. It can and it works beautifully!

Trace your shape onto the dull side of the freezer paper. Make sure to use a permanent marker. There is a template for a shamrock (as well as step by step directions) that Cindy (Skip To My Lou) posted at Alpha Mom.
Cut out the middle of the shape so it is a stencil. Make sure to leave room around the stencil especially if little kids are painting the shirt. Iron the stencils shiny side down onto the shirt using an iron on medium heat--I turned it up a little higher. Make sure that all of the edges of the stencil are ironed down. This will prevent paint from going outside of the shape while you are painting.
Paint the stencil with fabric paint. Paint around the stencil first and then fill in the middle. We used foam brushes and painted from the outside of the stencil into the opening of the stencil. It is important to not go back and forth with the brushes on the outside of the stencil because you can accidentally lift up an edge.
We also added glitter specifically designed for t-shirts. We just shook the glitter over the stencils and let the shirts dry for awhile. The glitter was very pretty but I am not sure that I would use it again. It rubs off of the shirt onto everything that comes in contact with the shirt. When I washed the shirt, a lot of the glitter came off in the wash.
Peel the freezer paper stencils off when the stencils are dry and here you go... I am already thinking of the ways I can use the freezer paper stencils again. At the twins' school they always make t-shirts at the end of the school year and all of the kids sign them. How cute would it be to make a stencil of the school mascot (my kids' mascot is a racoon) and have the kids paint them in different colors and then sign the mascots once they are dry. You could also use the stencils to make a director's chair for a teacher's gift. The possibillities are endless!

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