Stenciled t-shirt
How to...

make freezer paper stencils

Freezer paper has another use besides, well, storing foods in the freezer! It allows you to make stencils for T-shirts, tote bags, etc. Learn how to create your own freezer paper stencil and how to use it on fabrics. It’s time to let the crafty side of you take the wheel and create designs for your perfect garment and gift.


  • Freezer paper (found in local grocery stores)
  • Desired design (printed or drawn on paper)
  • Sharpie
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Piece of cardboard/poster board
  • X-Acto knife
  • Fabric paint and brush
  • T-shirt (or any garment/fabric object)

Step 1:

Place the freezer paper, plastic side down, on top of your printed or drawn design.

Trace the design neatly using the Sharpie. The Sharpie allows the lines to be thick and easier to cut out and paint. Remove the original design from underneath the freezer paper when done.

Step 2:

Place the freezer paper, still keeping the plastic side down, on top of the piece of cardboard or poster board. This will protect the surface you are using while cutting and painting.

With the X-Acto knife, cut out the design. If your design involves text, cut out any of the “inner” shapes first. For example, the “o” part in a “p” would need to be cut out first. Save the inner-shape cut-outs.

Trim down the excess freezer paper surrounding the design. You have just made your own freezer paper stencil!

Step 3:

Now it’s time to use your stencil on your selected fabric. Place the design on the desired garment.

Turn the iron on medium heat and iron the design onto the garment. If you can’t lift up the edges of the paper with your fingernail, then you have successfully ironed on the design. If your design involves text,  take those inner-shapes from earlier and place them back into the letter they were cut from. Iron them onto the garment.

Step 4:

If the garment has layers, such as a T-shirt, put the piece of cardboard between the layers so the fabric paint will not bleed through. Begin to paint the design, still keeping the freezer paper on, using a stiff fabric brush. It may take a few coats for complete coverage with lighter colors.

Peel off the freezer paper stencil while the paint is still wet. Allow the paint to dry according to the directions on the bottle.

You are now ready to show off your creation!

More DIY stencil creations

DIY animal stenciled dishes
DIY stencil mugs
DIY gifts with printable templates



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