Introduction: How to Stencil a T-shirt With Freezer Paper

Picture of How to Stencil a T-shirt With Freezer Paper

Learn how to stencil your own designs onto a t-shirt (or any other garment for that matter) using freezer paper

(note: this is my first Instructable, please comment!)

Step 1: Gather Materiels

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freezer paper
fabric paint
paint brush
x-acto knife
cutting board

Step 2: Find a Design

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Find a design on the web and print it out. Or better yet, make your own.

Step 3: Trace It

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First, tape the design to the back (waxy side) of a sheet of freezer paper, so it wont slip.

Next, trace the design onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper. It helps to have a light box, but I'm cheap so I go without one.

Step 4: Cut It Out

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After removing the original image from the back of the freezer paper, use an x-acto knife or razor blade to cut out the colored areas of the stencil.

Step 5: Iron It On

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After you cut out the colored parts of the stencil, you'll need to iron the freezer paper onto the shirt.
When you apply heat to the paper it causes the wax to melt and stick to the shirt, giving you a perfect stencil.

(note: make sure the paper is waxy side down when you iron it on, or else it'll mess up your iron)

Step 6: Paint

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When the wax has dried (about 30 seconds) you can begin to paint your shirt.
I prefer to use a larger round brush, but you can also use a rectangular brush.
It is better to put on 2 or 3 lighter coats than 1 heavy one.

Step 7: Tada!

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Remove the stencil and let the shirt dry overnight.
Tada! You now have your very own custom stenciled t-shirt!


DanielleE10 (author)2016-04-07

Can you reuse the stencil?

jbrew212 (author)2015-12-01

This was a great intructable. Thank you because this really helped me out.

DavidRobertson (author)2008-07-21

Aperture Science.

We do what we must because we can.

for the good of all of us, except the ones that are dead.

now theres no sense crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

And the science gets done, And you make a neat gun

For the people who are still alive

baneat (author)DavidRobertson2008-08-24

Doesn't work so well when you're the only person doing it.

ChibiCho (author)baneat2009-08-31


Maybe you'll find someone else to help you.

Maybe Black Mesa. That was a joke, ha ha, fat chance.

Anyway this cake is great. It's so delicious and moist.

Look at me still talking when there's science to do. When I look out there, it makes me GLaD I'm not you.

flio191 (author)squirrelywraith2009-04-15

I've experiments to run. There is research to be done. On the people who are still alive.

Sir Crapton (author)flio1912009-05-14

And when you're dying I'll be still alive.

Sxkyilu (author)2009-08-13

I just google the picture, since i have a Lcd Flatscreen monitor, I place paper on the monitor and trace the picture.

angelfire (author)2009-06-15

Don't confuse wax paper with freezer paper. Freezer paper only has wax on one side. Wax paper will not work correctly for this project.

TK409 (author)2008-07-21

Great instructable! Does the wax paper work on a leather jacket?

flio191 (author)TK4092009-04-15

eh, applying an iron would ruin the leather though. its tough working with leather. no pun intended

FreshPineSent (author)TK4092008-07-21

I probably wouldn't try it, but I don't know. You could find a similar piece of leather and iron on some freezer paper to test it out.

quendij (author)2008-05-04

Hey! Very good instructions. I only have one long does this stencil last on a t-shirt, and if a spray paint would do to? Thanks

FreshPineSent (author)quendij2008-05-16

I've had mine for about 6 months and it's just fine. Although, to preserve it, you should hang it up to dry instead of using a clothes dryer. As for the spray paint, I have tried it and it won't set into the fabric. I believe that someone makes an aresol fabric paint, but I'm not 100% sure.

hcold (author)FreshPineSent2008-07-08

What's the possibility of adapting a normal oil based paint with alcohol, and using that to spray, and then I assume the alcohol with evaporate, leaving the paint?

proletariat (author)hcold2009-04-04

there are aerosol fabric paints on the market, dont overthink this thing

Rishnai (author)FreshPineSent2008-07-08

Really, it wouldn't set into the fabric? I've had some spraypaint stains last longer than the actual factory designs on some of my clothes. But maybe I'm jsut inept with a washer...

FreshPineSent (author)Rishnai2008-07-08


Rishnai (author)FreshPineSent2008-07-08

lol, I can get things clean just fine. Except for spraypaint. Are you sure we're using the same kind of spraypaint?

FreshPineSent (author)Rishnai2008-07-09

Why are you up at midnight commenting on Instructables? Why am I up at midnight responding to comments on Instructables?

Rishnai (author)FreshPineSent2008-07-09

I blame it on global warming.

scrybbler (author)2009-03-08

Nice one, FPS! Does the wax from the wax paper leave any kind of mark? Do you crumble it out of the fabric after, or just let it come out in the wash? What kind of freezer paper do you use?

spookarican (author)2009-01-09

yo....your torturial help me out alot thx

PKTraceur (author)2008-12-07

Wait... dude, you just melted wax on your shirt... when do you, better yet, HOW do you get it off?

conjoinery (author)2008-09-02

Help! The wax paper isn't sticking to the t shirt when I iron it on. I'm using double sided-wax paper: is this the same thing as freezer paper?

cry_wolf (author)conjoinery2008-09-28

Double sided wax paper is bad. The wax will melt onto your iron.

noxvox (author)2008-09-02

Oh! Inspiration from your shirt design. I at first thought it was supposed to be Iron Man's arc reactor showing through the shirt (like it was faintly glowing). I'm sure you can find glow in the dark fabric paint and make an arc reactor tee with glowing paint. But I soon realized it was the Portal logo. Still, nice job!

Tobita (author)2008-08-14

funny, i was thinking of doing something like this, but with the umbrella corp insignia on my bed covers and pillow cases xD oh and RESIDENT EVIL 1-3 + code:veronica X FTW!!!!!

de-evolution (author)2007-12-08

portal is one of the best puzzle games ive every played PS: nice instructable

Nice twist at the end though.

Daykun (author)de-evolution2007-12-09

Try out Quake3: DeFRaG - it's way harder, faster and not funny, but extremely adictive once you learned how to move correctly...

P.S.: yeah, great stuff here. Still didn't have the time to do a shirt on my own, but one day... one day I'll make the coolest shirt ever

TK409 (author)2008-07-21

The iron and wax paper = genius! I'm going to do this.

Radioactive_Legos (author)2008-05-23

Nice, I should do this! P.S. I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now. Even though you broke my heart and killed me :(

And tore me to peices, and threw every piece into a fire. And as it burned, it hurt because i was so happy for you. :)

Aperture Science, we do what we must because we can. For the good of all of us, except the ones who are dead.

Now there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying til you run out of cake.

MaximusD (author)FreshPineSent2008-07-13

You guys are freaking... strange? i was going to say insane, but i just think you need less energy drinks. i'm all out of powdered toast! And the science gets done. And you make a neat gun. For the people who are still alive (i had to keep it going).

ilovetea (author)2008-06-20

Can you use fabric spray paint?

FreshPineSent (author)ilovetea2008-06-20


Draconix12 (author)2008-02-08

Can anyone recommend some good fabric paint? I tried making my own design once but it just washed off the first time through the laundry.

FreshPineSent (author)Draconix122008-05-16

Did you let it dry overnight? What are you currently using?

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