Friday, May 21, 2010

Freezer Stencil Tutorial

I would like to consider myself a crafty person. I can come up with creative ideas at the drop of a hat, and often have laundry lists I keep in my purse of future projects. My execution tends to be a little less smooth, often completing in hours of seem ripping, cursing and the eventual defeated cry. I blame much of this on my lack of patience, and even more of this event on my lack of time. If I could just spend hours a day on crafting, creating, and sharing I would be able to breathe a bit more and complete a successful project. Until that time comes however, I've resigned to find fun, fast and simple projects to keep my creative juices flowing. When I saw this tutorial over at Dana's website, I couldn't resist printing it out and storing it in my future craft folder. What a very simple project! With my sister and niece's arrival back in town for a few weeks, I couldn't help but to make as many adorable little items as I could and used this is a great place to start. Dana's tutorial is much more detailed than mine, but I wanted to leave you with some information to hopefully get your creative juices flowing as well.

Necessary Supplies:
Freezer Paper ( Reynold's works fantastic)
Fabric Paint in your choice color
Item you wish to decorate ( I used tote bags and onsies)
Paint Brush ( Foam worked really well for me and cost just $0.25!)
An old Towel or tablecloth just in case of any spills
While wandering through my local Walmart a few weeks ago, I saw that they had put all of their crafty items on clearance. I scooped up a few pink tote bags perfect for decorating. They also had various other items like aprons and bigger bags. I have also seen these items at most craft stores. I also found the Freezer Paper at Walmart, but you can locate it at any grocery store. The side of the box even reads, " Perfect for Crafts" so I knew I had the write kind. Make sure you use the actual Freezer Paper and not any other versions. At home I have a small closet full of craft supplies so fabric paints and brushes were easy to pull out, but can also be found at any craft store. The choice of paint you use is up to you, but I've always had good luck with the Tulip Fabric Paint Brand.
I started by coming up with a few different ideas. See, one the freezer paper is applied to fabric, it sticks creating a stencil. I decided to utilize my clip-art abilities and started by printing a few different images that appealed to me. I used a google image of Barney for the T-Shirt above, and found this great skull that I knew would be perfect for my sister. I traced the image onto the dull side (very important) of the freezer paper and cut it out. Be sure and keep any necessary inner parts. The paint will go wherever the freezer paper is not located, so if you cut out a circle and want to add eyes, you'll need to cut little eyes to place inside the circle before you paint.

Once you have the image cut out, simply iron over the freezer paper. Because the sticky side of the paper will be face down, once it becomes hot it will adhere to your fabric. I ironed on the outside of the skull image before adding the eyes, nose and mouth which I also ironed into place. I couldn't resist making a little something for myself so I cut out some hangers and placed those on a second bag.

Using your fabric paint, begin to paint on the freezer paper. Be sure and paint in the lines of the image so you don't get any accidental paint off your paper. I just eyeballed this part making sure the paint wasn't too thick in certain areas.

Leave the paint to dry. I would recommend at least an hour, and even more for more detailed images, or images that require more paint. Check the back of your paint bottle as well for some tips. After the paint has dried ( you can usually see that it becomes less wet) carefully peel off the freezer paper. My paint recommended that I lay a piece of fabric over the image and iron on that to help seal the paint in. I loved the hanger bag just as is, and decided to cut a little leopard print bow for my sisters bag.

That's it! The project total took me about an hour and a half to complete for both bags, and that includes my break for chips and dip. Using this tutorial I went a little crazy and made a t-shirt complete with a pink glitter roller skate for my niece, the Barney you see above, some goldfish on pants legs... I was pretty much freezer stencil crazy, and I still am! This is a great way to be crafty without having to be too artsy. It's as simple as printing your image from the computer, tracing, cutting, and ironing!
Enjoy your creative items!!

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