Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stencil a St. Patrick's day shirt (using freezer paper)

Can I admit something to you?

I'm not Irish.  *Gasp*  I know!  How surprising!

I've never felt the need to celebrate St. Patrick's day.  But, strangely... now that I'm a mom I feel the need to celebrate this and every holiday with Chuck.  President's day? St. Patrick's day?  Passover?  Bring them all on.  I relish the thought of dressing him up in holiday themed gear.

And since St. Paddy's day is just around the corner, what better way to celebrate than dress him in green. So last night I donned my crafting hat and made this "lucky charm" shirt for Chuck to wear.

Freezer Paper Stenciled St. Patrick's Day Shirt

Not too shabby, right?  It was my first time trying out the freezer paper stenciling technique.  Isn't it surprising how nice and crisp the lines turned out?  Wow.  This is definitely a technique that I'll use in the future.

If you want to see how I did it, read on!

- old shirt 
- fabric paint
- sponge brush
- cardboard
- paper
- pencil
- iron
- craft knife
- freezer paper
- kitchen towel


1.  Prepare your shirt according to the fabric paint's directions.

2.  Sketch out your design on a piece of paper.  Make sure it's the right size and fits on your shirt.

3.  Place a piece of freezer paper (non-waxy side up) on top of your design.  Trace your design onto the freezer paper (onto the non-waxy side.)  Then, use your exacto knife to cut out the letters.  Make sure to save your floating bits.  In my case, I made sure to save the inside bits of the "A" and "R."

4.  Once you've created a freezer paper stencil, iron the stencil and floating bits onto your shirt.  (Make sure the waxy side is the side that's touching the shirt).  Do this carefully.  All the nooks and crannies have to be stuck on tight so you'll get nice crisp lines.

5.  Place a piece of cardboard inside of your shirt to prevent your fabric paint from leaking to the other side.  Take a sponge brush and paint on your fabric paint.  If you think the color is too pale or translucent, you can paint over your letters with several layers of paint.  

6.  Wait till your paint dries.   (This was the toughest part for me because I really wanted to see if it would work.)  Then, carefully peel off your freezer paper stencil.  

7.  Set your paint with heat.  Place a clean kitchen towel over your shirt and iron the towel to heat set the letters.  (This should help the paint to stay on and not fade after several washes.)