A freezer paper stencil and fabric paint turned this basic plain colored shirt into something a little more fun!
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My kids have been asking to do a lemonade stand the last couple of summers, but we (meaning, I) had never gotten around to it. This year we finally did it and combined with a neighbor for a fun lemonade stand and bake sale. Funny enough, both my girls have a lemonade shirt, but my son was feeling a little left out that he didn’t have anything that fit the occasion.
That morning, we ran to Walmart and picked up a plain yellow t-shirt and some white fabric paint. (I had everything else that I needed at home.) Unfortunately, we didn’t get the shirt made in time for the lemonade stand, but we did end up with a super cute and easy lemon shirt that looks like it came from the store!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own freezer paper stencil lemon (or anything!) shirt:
- Plain colored shirt
- Fabric paint
- Freezer paper
- Ironing board
- Foam brush
- Silhouette Cameo (or other cutting machine)
- Piece of cardboard (to put inside shirt)
Let’s get started…
First, turn on your iron to the cotton setting. When it’s warm, quickly iron out any wrinkles you see on the shirt. (No water needs to be used.) This will help make sure you have a flat surface to work on.
Next, find the image you want to use for the stencil. I just Googled ‘lemon outline’ and searched through until I found what I liked. When you have your image, open it up in your Silhouette Studio (or whatever program you use for your cutting machine) and resize it to fit the shirt. To figure out the size you want, grab a ruler or tape measure and hold it up to the shirt to give you an idea of the overall size. I wanted the image to be fairly large to cover most of the front of the shirt so mine was about 5.25″ x 7″.
After that, tear off a piece of freezer paper large enough to fit your image and place it shiny side down on the cutting mat. Load it into your machine and cut it out.
*NOTE* There is no setting for ‘freezer paper’ in the Silhouette Studio, however, there is one for ‘stencil material’ which is Blade Depth: 3, Cut Speed: 2, Force: 33. This is what I used and then did a test cut to see how it looked. You may need to adjust your settings depending on the sharpness of your blade.
Once your image is cut, weed out the extra freezer paper.
Turn on the iron (if you didn’t leave it on) and lay your shirt out on the ironing board. Carefully place the stencil on the shirt where you want it and then use the iron to press it in place. You don’t need to use a lot of pressure or hold the iron in one place for very long to get the stencil to adhere. Pay attention to small pieces or corners to make sure you get it all ironed down. This will ensure crisp, clean lines. If you’re not sure the freezer paper is on well enough, use your nail to gently lift up on the edge. You’ll know it’s good to go if it doesn’t come up.
Next, grab a piece of cardboard that will fit inside the shirt. (You don’t want the paint to leak through to the back!)
Pour some paint onto a paper plate or bowl. Use a foam brush to apply the fabric paint. I liked using the round foam brush because it allowed me to press the paint onto the shirt more evenly. Plus, I was working with a rounded shape (a lemon) and it was easier to achieve the look I wanted with that brush.
As far as the number of coats, the instructions on the bottle suggest 1-2 coats, making sure to let it dry between coats. I only did one coat and it was plenty. (I wanted a slightly faded, uneven look.)
Let it dry for 4 hours, as per the instructions, before peeling off the freezer paper.
I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the way this shirt turned out! It was a totally different look from the heat transfer vinyl I usually use when making shirts and I was really happy with it. I’ve gotten a few comments from people asking where I bought it and surprised looks when I tell them I made it. My husband even said it looked pretty great and wondered if I could make him a shirt. Umm…yes!
Before making my starry night glow in the dark shirt a few months ago, I had never used freezer paper to make a stencil. Now I’m wondering why it took me so long! It’s easy, inexpensive and so versatile!
This post is part of the Inspire My Creativity link party that I host and this month’s theme is STENCILS. I love seeing what the other co-hosts come up with and really am inspired by how creative they are. You can check them out below. Then take a look at the projects they’ve shared and feel free to add your own stencil project to the link up.
Next month our theme is STARS.
What project do you want to try a freezer paper stencil on?