Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Freezer Paper Stencil Fun

Someone help me, I've added a new craft to my arsenal. It's a kind of sickness.

I did a freezer paper stencil! It was pretty easy and the finished product is very satisfying - the possibilities are endless too.... I'm already itching to do another!

There's a good tutorial here on craftster or a detailed one on Unwined. (I'll be showing most of the steps below but I recommend reading over some of the other tutorials which are more in depth.)

I did an easy stencil graphic to start - no need to make things difficult right at the getgo like I usually do. I used the Blue Sun logo from Joss Whedon's Firefly.

First I printed out the logo and taped it to the paper side of some freezer paper. Then I set to work cutting out the black bits with my xacto knife. I highly recommend sharp xacto knife blades - I did the first half of my stencil with a dull blade and it sucked. (In the end I just took some pliers and snapped the dull tip off the blade and got access to a sharper bit of the blade. Stores were closed, I was in a pinch. Beware flying blade tips if you should try a similiarly risky trick.) Interestingly - the freezer paper box actually lists stencils as a use of their product - how awesome is that, they're totally plugged into the craft world.

It's important to have a lot of help during this stage:

The trickiest bit about cutting out the stencil is what to do about the white bits that would go floating away if you cut out all the black areas. From what I've read some people let them get cut loose, remember where they go and stick them back on during the ironing stage. I opted for the "bridging" technique where you leave little connecting strips of black to anchor the bits down - once it was all ironed on, I carefully removed them.

All cut out and ready to iron - if you look carefully you'll see tiny black strips here and there holding bits in place (like the letter U) which would otherwise be loose:

My first time ever ironing a t-shirt fixes the stencil in place securely:

Time to get dirty. I put some cardboard inside the shirt to catch any excess paint that might go through the t-shirt (good thing, some did). I sponged on the fabric paint - some people use brushes, whatever floats your boat.

And voila! Easy peasy. I did two light layers of paint and let it dry overnight before fixing with an iron. The only flaw is some mottled colour in the area under the word 'sun' - but it's handmade, that just gives it 'character'. ;) The recipient of the gift was surprised to hear it was handmade, so I think that's a thumbs up for the finished product.

Now the question is... what else around here do I have that I can stencil???


Robyn said...

Ooh that looks fun! (and Dr Horrible is 15 mins- it just stops for me too)

Tasha Early said...

My friends and I used to do this--but with stencil plastic and spray adhesive.

This new way seem much more efficient. :) Great job!

Lisa said...

Hmm, stencil plastic and spray adhesive has potential too - then maybe you could reuse the stencil (which you can't really with the freezer paper technique)... I may have to look into that!

Kiba said...

Looks great! I linked it at my new blog: http://jossisahottie.com/whedoncraft/2008/07/29/blue-sun-freezer-paper-stencil/

Lisa said...

Awesome Kiba - so cool to see all the Whedoncraft in one place!

fuzzbuzz said...

very cool shirt, you're getting my t shirt bug fired up ;-)