Saturday, July 23, 2011

Freezer Paper Stenciling

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel and pretend that this is something new and great. Freezer paper stenciling has been around for quite some time now, and thankfully there are already a few really awesome and detailed tutorials already out there:
As you know from one of my earlier posts, I made a few burp cloths for my friend's baby showers and wanted to make them a little less boring.  Here is how I did that:

My Freezer Paper Adventure:

I used a front that I downloaded from called Cheri.  
It already comes in a stenciled version, which makes the next step much easier.

After printing it out, you can lay the Freezer Paper (NOT wax paper - freezer paper has a layer of plastic on one side, while wax paper has wax on both sides) over it, shiny side down and trace over it with an exacto  knife (or utility knife in my case) to cut it out. OR, you can trace the lines on the dull side of the Freezer Paper before you cut it out in case the lines are really thin.  

(Not shown - sorry) Next you want to place the stencil, shiny side down (this is the side that the plastic is on) on the fabric, arranging it exactly how you want it.  You don't have to do this, but I taped the sides down in order to prevent it from shifting on the trip from my sewing room to my ironing board.  

After making it to your iron board, place your iron on the lowest setting, make sure the steam setting is off and and press your stencil on.  Make sure you press it on and not iron it on, in other words, make sure you place the iron on the stencil, press down slightly, holding it for 15-20 seconds and then repeat on the next area of the stencil.  If you slide it back and forth as if you were ironing, then it might shift!  Ironing the plastic onto your fabric creates a temporary (aka not strong) bond between the stencil and the fabric.  When you gently lift up the stencil, the fabric should stay stuck to it.  If you pull on it any harder and it will come off → =(

Once it's attached securely, then it's time to break out the paint!  After dealing with the stinking exacto knife, it's about time for something a little more fun!  I used a small foam brush (something like this) and some Tulip Permanent Fabric Paint in Matte colors .  Just squirt it directly on the brush and gently pat it onto the stencil.  After patting it on the entire stencil, gently slide the brush over the whole thing in order to even out the paint.

After you get the paint on there nice and evenly, you have to let it dry for at least an hour.  It says 4 hours on the bottle, but mine were dry enough after an hour to apply the next coat.

Here is a close-up of the paint I used (the link is to the larger 4 oz size; I bought the 1 oz bottles which are less expensive and contained plenty enough for this project):

I used white on the left stencil and yellow on the right stencil:


Once you're satisfied with the thickness of the paint (I applied 3-4 layers to the white butterfly and and 4-5 layers to the "spit happens" stencil), it's time for the fun part!  

Slowly and carefully peel your stencils off and...VOILA!
Step back and admire you new stenciled creation on your burp cloth (or whatever you decide to stencil on)!

*After finishing the butterfly/dragonfly stencil, I decided to personalize it further by adding an "E":

Here are my finished burp cloths:

Here are some more examples:

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