Introduction: Stencil Shirts With Freezer Paper

Freezer paper can be ironed onto t-shirts. This is good for stencils.

Step 1: 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

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.

Step 3: Knives and Hot Irons

Slice out the black parts of the stencil. Save any islands you have with great care, seperate from the scrap pieces and such, and in a way that you'll be able to place them back into the stencil. Save some scraps for touching up later, if that's needed.

Heat up your iron, and lay out your shirt. While you're at it, you might as well iron the shirt so it's super smooth. Position the stencil on the shirt, waxy side down, placing any islands in their respective positions. Now press the iron flat down on each section of the shirt for a good 10-15 seconds. Poke the paper to make sure it's firmly on, you may have to go back over it, but the better that stuff sticks, the crisper the lines will turn out.

Step 4: Pretty Paints

Now apply your paint. I would advise using as little paint as necessary to get whatever effect you're after(whether it be brush strokes, solid color, etc.) Heavy coats of paint on shirts tends to be uncomfortable. Take care while painting so as not to pull up the paper, I use little brushes so I don't really have to worry.

As far as drying goes, you can stick it in the sun or under a lamp or just leave it overnight. When the paint is dry to the touch you can pull off the paper. I usually give my shirts a day or so to dry completely, then I turn them inside out and toss them in the dryer for about 15-20 minutes to cure the paint. I'm not entirely sure that's necessary, but I'd definitely wash these shirts inside out.

Step 5: Finis

And there you have it. This technique is great for covering up unwanted logos on shirts, as you can see below.

And I might as well tell you to listen to sheena. I'm not sure what they are, electronic andogynous post punk or something. If you like the faint, !!!, or dfa1979 give them a listen: