Friday, December 24, 2010

Freezer Paper Stencils

I've come to the conclusion over the last few years that A) Nobody actually likes wrapping themselves in toilet paper to pretend to be a bride at a bridal shower and B) Nobody wants to play a relay game of drinking soda from a baby bottle the quickest, or "who can change the diaper with one arm" the quickest at a baby shower. Really -- they don't. At least I don't. So when my sister-in-law got pregnant, and we started planning her baby shower, I made sure to ask her how interested she was in "the games." Turns out, she wasn't very interested. And being a crafty person myself, I figured maybe others would enjoy being craft, too!

As I stalked different craft blogs, I came across "freezer paper stencils" several different times. So I thought a cute idea would be to pre-make some of these stencils for baby onesies and have the ladies at the baby shower paint them. I tried really hard to make the process "fool proof" and I think it worked out really well. I was nervous to see if anybody else would be nearly as excited as I was, and turns out they were! Everybody said they were grateful to have a fun activity, that wasn't one of "those games." So when one of my mother-in-law's friends (the mom of sweet Alyssa of the happy pear. Alyssa told me she'd be blogging about the baby shower soon, so check back for more!) asked me to help create some onesies for her daughter's baby shower, I was happy to oblige.

And so...I'll walk you through the process and show you my before and after's from this baby shower.

First things first, here's what you need: exacto knife, pencil and eraser, masking tape, cardboard, fabric to paint on -- in this case, baby onesies, an additional thin piece of fabric (a spare t-shirt will do), an iron, AND...

Reynolds Freezer Paper. You can find it next to the saran wrap and foil at the grocery store.

Tulip fabric paint. Of course, you can use any fabric paint. Notice it says "Velveteen" and "Matte" in the corners. After heat is applied to the paint they turn out with different textures. Velveteen is a little raised. Matte just looks normal. Hopefully you'll be able to see in the "finished" photos later.

Before you begin your project, make sure you have washed and dried your fabric!

Step 1: Collect ideas for designs, images, etc. I drew my images free hand, but I did look for inspiration on the internet. You can either free hand or just trace something. Either way works. Draw (or trace) images onto the matte side of the Freezer Paper (there is a shiny and matte side).

Step 2: Use exacto knife to cut image out. (Be sure to place a piece of cardboard underneath paper to keep from cutting any other surface.) Because this is a stencil it will take a bit of abstract thinking. Remember where the paper is, is where the fabric will show through in the end. Only cut the paper out where you want paint to be seen.

Step 3: Iron stencil on to fabric. Place the shiny side of the stencil on the fabric. The matte side should be facing you, and what you iron on top of.

Step 4: Tape the sides of the stencil with masking tape. The tape acts as a visual aid for whoever is painting so they don't paint past the stencil and on to the fabric.

Step 5: Add cardboard in between the two layers of fabric of the onesie to prevent paint from leaking on to the backside.

This is a simple stencil -- just one big piece of paper. It's also ready to be painted!
This one is a little more complicated. You iron on the biggest piece of paper first, and all other pieces one at a time.
Step 6: Paint one thin layer and let dry.
     Painting tips:
      -Be careful as you paint. Paint from the paper in towards the fabric.
      -If you are washing your brush in between colors, make sure your brushes are as dry as can be, it helps the paint from bleeding underneath the stencil.
      -If you paint thin layers, it will look more professional in the end. The key is layers of thin paint, not one thick gloppy layer of paint.

Step 7: Let dry. If you're really impatient, you can take a hair dryer to it!

Step 8: Peel off paper and masking tape from fabric. If you pull in an upwards or downwards direction, instead of side to side, the fabric stretches less.

Step 9: Place fabric over dried, painted design and iron. I also flipped mine over and ironed the back side as well. Ironing the design is supposed to help the paint stay vibrant even after washing and drying.

Step 10: Enjoy!

 As you can see...some were more successful than others. Let me know if you have any questions! :)



The DeLeons said...

um I love this! when I have a baby... I want this at my shower! so COOL!

Hannah said...

Well, hello...just let me know when you have a bun in the oven! I'll hook you up!

Kathleen said...

haha, my favorite baby shower game is the one where you melt a mini candy bar in a diaper and everyone has to guess what kind it is by smelling it. Gross.
These are the cutest things ever!! I am totally stealing this idea!

Hannah said...

Haha! So nasty...why must these traditions be so strange?!

This is SUPER easy, btw! AND, freezer paper is super cheap for the amount you get. I've rolled it out on the kitchen floor for kids I've babysat so we could color giant masterpieces. I bet Portia would like that!

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