...because we all have our motley moments!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tutorial Tuesday, Today! Freezer Paper Stencils

Upon request, I have finally completed the tutorial for Freezer Paper Stencils. This is something that everyone can do and all the members of your family can help with (including the kids).

I picked up a few canvas totes at a discount store (I think they were 3 for $4). I thought they would make great gifts, since more people are using totes to carry their groceries in. Right? But I don't want to give a plain old tote. That's not special or interesting. Or especially interesting.

Here is our cast of characters. The canvas totes in cream, khaki, and walnut. (I'm going to use the walnut colored one for this project.) Freezer paper (you can find it at the grocery store), acrylic paint, sponge brush, sharp exacto knife, and cutting surface (a regular old cutting board will work). You'll also want pull out your iron and some thick paper to put inside whatever you paint, to keep the paint from bleeding through.

The first thing you are going to do is to draw what you want to stencil on the matte side of the freezer paper (it has a shiny plastic side and a matte paper side). I looked at a picture and kind of free-handed the drawing below. But, often I trace pictures.

This is an intricate design and I recommend starting off with a simple design like this. Then, as you get some technique going, go for something harder.

Next, start cutting. Remember to cut out the reverse, of your picture so that you create a stencil. (I often do this in the early morning hours, before my kids rise, so that we are ready do work on an art project and I don't have sharp tools around.) I like to cut on a glass cutting board, it makes nice smooth curves.

I find the cutting to be the most tedious part. However, when you are done, it's so totally worth it! It goes quickly from here, I promise!

So, here is the completed stencil on freezer paper, cut and ready to go. I try to cut 4 or 5 at a time so we can paint several things at once. Put some heavy paper, in this case old pieces of manila folders, inside what your working on to keep the paint from bleeding through.

You are going to need your iron now. I like to iron (on high heat) before I put the stencil down so that I have a nice smooth place for the design. Place your design on the fabric shiny plastic side down and move it around where you want it. Then iron it in place. I recommend doing about 1/3 at a time. That way you can move your stencil if necessary. You can peel it up and re-iron if necessary.

Now that your design is ironed in place, you are ready to paint. This is the part I let THE Princess do. We use a sponge brush with regular acrylic paint. Make make sure you tap the brush (instead of wiping paint back and forth). This will insure that the paint does not soak underneath the stencil.

Cover everything with a thick coat of paint. I went behind THE Princess and added some yellow for contrast.

The great part is, that you don't have to wait to see your design. Start to peel off the freezer paper. I use tweezers to get any small areas that stick.

There it is! Just let it dry and iron over the dried acrylic paint to set it. It will wash well after that.

I added another stencil to this one and now I have a nice little gift tote! Awesome, I love the freezer paper stencil!

To see other projects with Freezer Paper stencils, look here. I have lots of ideas for this fun project!


Teresa said...

I love, love, love that bag! I cannot wait to try this out! Thanks Brystal!

Teresa said...

I love, love, love that bag! I cannot wait to try this out! Thanks Brystal!

Donna said...

That turned out really nice! How cool to have personalized "green" bags!

Karly said...

What an awesome idea! Even my husband can't wait to try it out! Thanks!

Carole Davids said...

Found your blog on Treasures for tots. Love your freezer paper stencil post. Following, and will
have to try this!