Picture of Stencil Shirts with Freezer Paper
Freezer paper can be ironed onto t-shirts. This is good for stencils.
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Step 1: Materials Needed:

Picture of Materials Needed:
Paint(I use acrylic, whatever works on fabric should work for you)
Freezer Paper
Hobby Knife
Some sort of brushy thing
Something to stencil

Step 2: Stencil

Picture of Stencil
Ready For Cutting
First: Find yourself a stencil. You can draw directly on the freezer paper (sticky side down of course), or use a stencil someone else made, or you can put an image into any photoshopish program and adjust the brightness/contast until you have something simple enough to cut out. You could do multiple layers with this, but I've never really gotten into that. In any case, the black parts are what you want to cut out. For this shirt I'm going to take a drawing from my sketchbook, blow it up on my computer, print it out on freezer paper, and then add some lettering and thicken up the lines before I cut.

One of the great things about freezer paper is that you don't have to worry about islands. Since you're ironing on the design, you can just place any white bits that aren't connected to the main part of the stencil. This is a good thing, as my stencil is sloppy and has a lot of islands. You can also iron on corrections if you mess up somewhere while cutting it. The downside to this is that most freezer paper stencils can only be used once, but if you're careful and don't use islands you may be able to peel it off intact, though it probably won't stick again.

Hokay, so: now, you either have your fancy smancy stencil drawn, or ready to print onto freezer paper. You can probably buy freezer paper at a market or maybe an art store or some place like that. I'll bet the Reynolds company makes it, I don't know what it's actually used for, there's a roll in my house and I stencil with it. Anyways, whatever you do, make sure your stencil is on the plain side of the paper, with the waxy side down. WAXY SIDE DOWN.

I like this instructable, but I are beez confuzed. you draw then scan then adjust, do you then slice a piece of freezer paper and print it on the paper side? then slice and dice it, reassemble it on the item and iron it on a shirt?  After a good drying you can peel off the paper (pulling off the plastic backed stencil) ?

This is a really nice instructable.

You can get same effect with masking tape on a piece of silicone paper (for small simple designs on a shirt pocket, or plastic contact paper if you have some that is due to be tossed out, it is too tooo expensive for this.

I stenciled numbers and simple stuff on on my kids Pinewood Derby cars with the blue masking tape method, came out nice.  The mask stencils allowed HIM , not me to do it and some came out a tad imperfect, but who cares! 

(Freezer paper has a plastic coating on one side to act as a vapor barrier and quick release, while frozen)

I made the blue spaceman stencil on the back of this using this method. Worked pretty good.
front back.JPG
erm. which part must be cut ? the shades or the white one ?
Thanks for this, this is how I'll make my 'gwai and Do Make Say Think shirts I have planned!
Potaterchip6 years ago
great idea.
Potaterchip6 years ago
Wow! very impressive. I have been trying to find a good way to stencil on shirts and this is the very first i have read that uses only household items,
coldesire36 years ago
I just wanted to say, the 65daysofstatic shirt is awesome. Nice instructable, as well.
grrrachel6 years ago
You can actually print your design directly onto freezer paper if you have an inkjet printer. There are several precautionary measures to be taken into consideration - EG: make sure the paper is flat and not curled, back the sticky side with plain printer paper to prevent the wax from harming your paper feeding mechanism. Common sense stuff. Covering the front (dry side) of your printed freezer paper with clear contact paper before cutting it out also makes the stencil a little more rigid and ready to be used multiple times. It's a little harder to cut out that way, but you do end up with a piece that can be used over and over- thus saving time redoing the cutting process.
Deadpunk7 years ago
i've noticed a couple asked "have you ever done this with spray paint?" well i did just that yesterday and today and these are the results and I have to say i'm quite pleased with them. I made the raven shirt yesterday and the one of the back of the guys head exploding today.
Did you just use regular spraypaint? Mine tended to bleed when I tried it. Yours look awesome though...
ya they bleed a tiny bit and an i use regular spray paint but that raven shirt the style i did it the bleeding isn't an issue but if you look at the N in RAVEN the there's a brown shadow where the paint bleed around the sencil but as long as you put down like to light coats before a heavy coat or two the bleeding is very little
Awesome instructable. I made mine with acrylic paint with several layers... a Killola ripoff from someone else's instructable, and the hand from the first System of a down album.
Deadpunk7 years ago
just one more thing if you cut your freezer paper to the size of regular printer paper you can just print your image onto it and cut it out just make sure when you put the freezer paper in your printer you put it plastic side up so it prints on the paper side.
Nice idea, never knew freezer paper had plastic on one side :P. But, then again, I never use the stuff either ..lol. I'll try this out some time, thanks for the idea :D.
kodalith8 years ago
I wouldn't use art already being used by a band when making DIY shirts. That's just my opinion though.
bignothing (author)  kodalith7 years ago
Huh? I designed this stencil, I didn't copy Sheena art. Unless you mean stealing the london calling aesthetic...
That was in reference to the Isis shirt.
I have been using a light spray adhesive. Yo dont need freezer paper.
Kaiven7 years ago
could you use waxpaper?
bignothing (author)  Kaiven7 years ago
nope. you need the plastic from the freezer paper to adhere to the shirt.
i figured that out...the hard way
modestmoose8 years ago
I do something similar to this with spray paint and cardboard. check out www.myspace.com/khazmkhazm to see what i'm talkin about.
worriedman8 years ago
ever used spray paint with this? looks cool. :-)
Creamaster8 years ago
Freezer Paper is plastic on one side and paper on the other. Not for baking - for freezing. But the plastic side melts nicely into the shirt when ironed - for making stencils. It then peels off very easily.
RRRuff8 years ago
Freezer paper can usually be picked up at your local supermarket. It's just brown paper that has wax on one side. Hunters use it to wrap their meat and freeze it.
hethlee8 years ago
wow I really like this idea.. i'm a little confused how it works -don't get me wrong great instructable... i'm just a person that learns by doing... SO i will have to try it out:) thanks for letting me know about it!
dingaling8 years ago
Sorry to sound like a complete dumbass but what is freezer paper and where can i buy some?
bignothing (author)  dingaling8 years ago
It's paper for...umm...baking I guess? Anyways it's just like plain white paper on one side, and the other is some sort of waxy stuff that sticks to shirts when you iron it. I just have an anonymous roll of it, but I'll bet the Reynolds corporation makes it. Look in a market wherever the aluminum foil/wax paper type things are...probably in some sort of baking supply section.
dutton128 years ago
you can also buy a textile meduim and mix it with your paint for better results and the pint will withstand more washes.
how many washes can this last???
bignothing (author)  TheCheese99218 years ago
Nice. Is freezer paper the same as wax paper? That's what we use in my house (wax paper) to do this.
bignothing (author)  FrenchCrawler8 years ago
I don't think so, though I might try a wax paper shirt today.
foobear8 years ago
what kind of paint did you use?
bignothing (author)  foobear8 years ago
Err...some random acrylic that was around the house. I just bought some liquitek acrylic for today. Anything that sticks to fabric should work.
0.775volts8 years ago
SO, how tightly does this seal? does the wax soak into the fabric, so you could use this like a faster Batik method? I like batik, but the burns and wax spills make it more trouble than it's worth.
bignothing (author)  0.775volts8 years ago
Batik? It seals pretty well, or well enough that you can paint over it. The wax doesn't soak in, and it should peel off cleanly
radiorental8 years ago
very cool, on a larger scale I use rice paper and spray tack to create the equivalent of freezer paper