freezer paper DIY

A friend of ours asked if I would mind sikscreening a custom onesie for a baby shower she was attending. Since silkscreening isn't the best option for making a single onesie, I though it would be a great opportunity to try using freezer paper as a stencil. With silkscreening, the set up can be quite involved as you need to apply emulsion to a screen, burn the image into the emulsion/screen, wash the screen, etc {overall about 5 rather involved steps and a few days worth of drying time} and THEN you are ready to silkscreen the image onto your onesie. For a single, one time use image it just doesn't make sense....it's really more for an image you are going to use multiple times.

So freezer paper seemed  great alternative for a fairly simple image. You basically use the freezer paper to make a stencil, iron it onto your fabric, paint and then peel it off.

I've always wanted to give it a try, but just hadn't gotten around to it. So when this opportunity came up I thought it would be perfect!

Here's how I did it...

- Freezer Paper 
{Can be hard to find, but I picked this up at Wal-Mart in the same aise as wax paper and aluminum foil. NOTE - DO NOT USE WAX PAPER FOR THIS PROJECT}
- An image printed on plain white paper
- Xacto knife
- Piece of cardboard or a craft mat
- Tape
- Iron 
- Fabric paint
- Paint brush

If you're wondering why freezer paper and not wax paper, the freezer paper only has a waxy surface on one side and is a regular, flat white paper on the other side. Whereas wax paper is waxy on both sides. 

I tried to take a good picture to show you in the photo above and you can sort of tell if you look very closely. This is so when you iron onto the paper, the wax side will stick to the fabric and the non-wax side will not stick to your iron. 

Tape your piece of freezer paper with the wax side DOWN over the paper with your image printed on it. This is so when you are cutting out the outlines of your image the paper will not move around. 

Place your image and freezer paper over a piece of cardboard or a craft mat so you do not cut into the table or surface beneath your image.

Use your Xacto knife and begin cutting out your image

Keep cutting so you leave an outline of the image. If there are interior portions of your image then you will need to save the pieces of freezer paper you cut out to re-form the inside of your image before you iron it onto your fabric. As you can see, I wanted an outline of the bell image, so I had to carefully cut the freezer paper and save the inside area of the image. Basically, the black area of the original image is what will be painted on your fabric.

If that sounds confusing it should make more sense in the next few photos....

When you are finished cutting, separate the original image printed on plain white paper from the freezer paper. You no longer need the plain white paper with the original image.

Place the freezer paper with your cut out image  {in my case I started with the outline of the image and added the interior pieces after} WAX SIDE DOWN on your fabric

Iron over the paper with your iron set on a dry setting {no water/steam} until it is secured to the fabric. It should only take a few sweeps of the iron to secure the paper to the fabric.

If you have interior pieces of the image, apply those one by one to the fabric WAX SIDE DOWN and carefully iron them onto your fabric. Once the pieces are ironed on you can not move them, so make sure you have them exactly where you want them.

Get out your fabric paint and a brush and mix a color if necessary. You don't need too much - unless you have a particularly large image - so I just mixed some of my blue paint with a bit of white in the cap. I used Jacquard Textile paint in sapphire blue, with a bit of white.

Paint a thin layer onto your fabric.
I only used one coat because this fabric paint has great coverage, but depending on how you want your final design to look or what paint you are using, you might want to use more coats. The key is to use thin coats of paint or else it will look globby and may crack.

I let the paint dry for about 15 min until it was only still slightly wet and then carefully peeled the outer layer off the fabric. 

If you let the paint dry all the way, it might cause the paper to stick to the fabric and will destroy the edges of the painted image. I found it easiest to let it dry enough so it didn't bleed, but wasn't too dry to cause the paper to stick.

If you have interior pieces, carefully peel them off. I used a set of tweezers to help pick up the edges of the freezer paper

Let the paint dry for a few hours and then iron the reverse side of the fabric to help set the paint and then you're DONE!

Overall, a pretty easy project for a custom image...

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