Painting Fabric – with home made ‘Freezer Paper’ Stencils

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I have seen so many great projects for ‘Freezer Paper’ stencils!  But we don’t have freezer paper in NZ.  Well that’s not quite true you can order it online by the meter for a small fortune.  But I like to be able to do things pretty much straight away, without having to wait for orders, not to mention pay for them!  I learned how to laminate tissue paper to cardboard to make a card at a Farmlands Ladies Night, I thought why not to fabric!


I was pretty excited to stumble into these at the local ‘The Warehouse’ (a big NZ discount chain).  The fact they have tulips only makes me like them more!

Hannah has a school production they do every year and it’s called Fancy Dress.  This years theme for her year is Fluoro (Neon) Dance Party.  So what a time to find these!

To make your own freezer paper you will need,

  • Paper (I used A4 – 100gsm) a little thicker than regular paper but I’m sure that would still work too.
  • Glad wrap a.k.a cling film
  • Baking Paper ( I believe it’s called parchment paper???)  It’s the non-stick paper you use for baking!

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Step 1 – Print your design onto your paper

I used Microsoft Publisher to make a basic design, using the ‘shapes’ and word art available.

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Step 2 – Cut your pieces to size

You will need two pieces of baking paper larger than than your design.


And one piece of glad wrap, that covers the whole design but does not have to go right to the edge of the page.  I trimmed mine down using a craft knife.



Step 3 – Iron

Lay one piece of the baking paper on your ironing board, than your glad wrap, your design and finally your second sheet of baking paper.  Iron on high heat thoroughly, pressing quite hard.  If your ironing board is too soft use a harder surface (e.g. the table – but watch out if it’s not heat safe!!!).


The back of the paper should now be somewhat glossy and all well stuck!


Step 4 – Cut out your design

Cut out your design using a craft knife, or paper cutting blade.


Make sure you keep the loose pieces you need, like the inside of the A.  You can place them when you iron the stencil onto the fabric.

Step 5 – Iron onto the fabric

Place your fabric on your ironing board with one of your sheets of baking paper from earlier underneath it.


Place you stencil on to your fabric, and position where you want it.


Cover with the second sheet of baking paper from earlier, and iron.  You will need to start gently and press harder as you go.  Check that it is all stuck down, if not iron some more!


After the main part was completely stuck I added the pieces for A’s and pressed them on (Sorry forgot a photo for that one!).

Step 6 – Paint

Now you are ready to paint!  Use your favourite brush, or what ever method you like.  I find sliding across with a card works well for basic designs in one colour but is a little to tricky for using more than one colour in close proximity to each other!  So for this one I decided on an artist’s paint brush.


Hmm I think it might take a few more coats!  Should probably have used a lighter fabric…but I’ll do a few more coats and see how it turns out.

After the Second coat…


After the Third coat…I added glitter!  Luckily Hannah got these for her birthday…I’m sure she won’t mind me ‘borrowing’ a little!

Freezer Paper Stencils (25)Once dry I used the dust buster (small vacuum cleaner) to suck up the excess glitter.  You can just shake it off, but I was too lazy to take the top off the ironing board!

Just for good measure (and to seal in all the pesky glitter) I did a fourth coat…

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Made all the difference! 

*Update: It has been pointed out to me that I skipped a step!  Where did the paper go?  I just waited for the paint to dry and peeled it off.  It was nice and easy to peel off and not too stuck.

I am pretty stoked with how it turned out!  I would however use a lighter fabric next time, for brighter colours.  Hannah is happy with it so I’ll have some ‘Fancy Dress’ photos for you soon.  I also added a few little sets of dots…because I can!  Here you can see the super close up.

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I would love to see what you do with Freezer Paper Stencils!  Find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

6 thoughts on “Painting Fabric – with home made ‘Freezer Paper’ Stencils

  1. What a genius idea! I'd have been worried if just end up with a big melted cling film mess on my fabric but I'm tempted to give it a try! Thanks for the idea and making such easy to follow instructions!

  2. I've been wanting to do stencilled shirts for ages but no go on the freezer paper in Australia, either! This is great, but can I ask: why is the cling wrap necessary?

  3. It's the cling wrap that sticks the stencil down. The heat of the iron melts the cling wrap a little making it stick to your fabric. The stencil needs to be stuck down or the paint will bleed underneath it. I hope that explains it! Thanks for your comment 🙂

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