Friday, September 16, 2011
Freezer Paper Stencil T-Shirt Design
I love making t-shirts. I like tie-dying them, coloring on them with markers, but most of all, I like making stencils and painting them. It is so fun to think that someone is walking around wearing your art. I saved this image a few months ago because it was perfect for a hungry monster such as myself. When I found a 2 dollar tee at Target this week, I knew this t-shirt creation would come to life.
Freezer paper is used for the stencil because it has a shiny side that you can iron down onto fabric and it holds the stencil in place while you paint it, then can be easily peeled off. Very scientific.
I have probably made a gazillion shirts (that's just a rough estimate) using the freezer paper stencil method. Here's a few that I have made:
You should make one, too! It's super easy.
They would be great to make for yourself or for a gift. If you have a softball team or some other event, making your own t-shirts would be so fun and crafty!
Here's what you need:
*Freezer paper (I bought this roll years ago and I still have a bunch left)
*Image (I swear by google image searches)
*Surface for cutting (I have a self healing cutting mat, but have used cardboard)
*Marker/pen for tracing image (not pictured)
*Cardboard to put in the middle of your shirt
*Scissors (not pictured)
Ok, step one is tracing your image onto the freezer paper. If it is hard to see your image, press it up against a window to trace. Trace on the smooth, not shiny side.
Next, you will need to draw bridges. Bridges are for when you have an image with a detail in it that you need to hold on the shirt. For instance, if I am wanting to put the letter "O" on my shirt, if I cut out the outside of the "O", I don't want the tiny hole in the middle to fall out. Then I'd just have a circle. Um, I hope that is not confusing. See the image for a better explanation.
See-that little bridge will hold the dinosaur's eyeball there (so no paint will go there) until I can press it down with the iron.
The next step is to cut out your image with your x-acto knife. Here's an image to further illustrate the awesomeness and practicality of the bridge concept:
Now you can lightly iron your design--don't press too hard, because you will need to remove your bridges before painting. Remember to iron it shiny side down.
Clip those bridges (but don't burn bridges) with your scissors and iron it all down a little harder.
Time to paint!
Don't forget to put cardboard or something in the middle of your shirt, otherwise your shirt will get glued together with paint and you'll never be able to wear it.
Let your shirt dry for a few hours, then peel off the freezer paper. When you peel up small pieces like the eye or the middle of the "A", tweezers would be helpful, but I usually just use my fingernails.
Let the shirt dry overnight before wearing it or wrapping it as a gift.