A simple tutorial to walk you through the steps to make a freezer paper stencil.
You don’t need a fancy machine, like a Cricut, to make your stencil. Plus, you do not need a fancy type of paper to make a stencil. You can use a paper found in the kitchen, freezer paper. Use this tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil for your next project.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links or referral links for your convenience. It is a way for this site to earn advertising commissions by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services, click here to read my full disclosure policy.
What is freezer paper?
First, let’s talk about what freezer paper is because you might not know.
Freezer paper is generally used to wrap and protect food that will be frozen. It is a paper with a waxy finish on one side.
But because of the waxy side of the paper, people figured out that patterns or stencils could be cut out of the paper then lightly ironed onto fabric.
You can find this paper in the grocery paper goods section, generally by the foil, saran wrap, and wax paper.
How do you use freezer paper?
If you place the waxy side of the paper down, then heat it with an iron (no steam) it will stick to the surface you placed it on.
So be careful not to iron with the waxy side up, or it will stick to your iron, causing a mess.
After you have used it as a stencil or pattern, all you do is peel it up.
Plus, it doesn’t leave any residue on the fabric.
SIDE NOTE: The freezer paper can be used with a Cricut or Silhouette machine. I do not have one of these machines, so see how to use freezer paper with a Cricut from Polkadot Chair tutorial. Or this tutorial using a Silhouette to create a freezer paper stencil by Silhouette School.
Now that you know how to use freezer paper on your project let’s talk about the supplies and step-by-step instructions.
Create a freezer paper stencil
- freezer paper
- outdoor paint (waterproof)
- foam paintbrush
You can print the material list and instructions below.
Are you looking for a video on how to create a freezer paper stencil? I have one for you!
STEP 1: Create your design on the freezer paper
To be able to use the freezer paper with a printer, it needs to be cut down to the size of regular printer paper. This way, you can use your printer, or you can also freehand the design directly onto the paper.
It’s easiest to use a cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter to cut the freezer paper down to 8.5″ x 11″. Cut as many papers as you need to print your design.
Plus, cut an extra piece to cover the area of your design. This paper will be placed under the fabric so that the paint does not seep through onto other fabric.
Then insert the paper into your printer so that it will print on the paper side, not the waxy side. Print the design onto the paper.
If your design used multiple papers, secure those papers together at the edges using the iron. Your printer most likely left a margin where nothing was printed. These are the edges.
And remember, make sure the waxy side of the paper is always on the backside, so the iron does not touch it. Also, it doesn’t take a lot to make the papers stick together.
STEP 2: Cut out the stencil
Now that your design is on the freezer paper, its time to cut out the stencil.
Using the x-acto knife, cut out the printed part of the design on a cutting mat.
TIP: This knife is sharp, you will need very little pressure.
Mark the stencil pieces, so you know where to place pieces, inside pieces.
STEP 3: Iron the stencil onto the fabric
Before painting a stencil onto fabric, you need to prewash the fabric to make sure it will not shrink if you rewash it.
Place the extra piece of freezer paper (size of design) under the fabric you will be painting the stencil. The waxy side of the paper will be down.
Again, this is to prevent the paint from seeping to another fabric.
Using the iron, iron the stencil onto the fabric. Remember to place all the pieces that may have been cut out and labeled.
It doesn’t take much to iron the stencil in place, but make sure all edges are secured to the fabric.
STEP 4: Paint your stencil
Now you’re ready to paint your stencil onto the fabric.
Take your waterproof paint and dab the paint onto the fabric.
Then let the paint dry according to the instructions.
Once the paint has dried cheek the coverage of the color, does it need a second coat? If it does, dab paint onto the stencil again.
When you have the coverage, remove the stencil from the fabric. Don’t worry, it’s easy to do. Just start at one corner and pull up.
And that’s how you can make your stencil using freezer paper. Now go finally make those stencil you have always wanted.
SIDE NOTE: See the tutorial on how to make the “Let it snow” pillow cover on this post, includes the printable!
Interested in other DIY projects? Here a list of ours you will enjoy:
- DIY Easy Clipboard Frame
- Create Decorative Pillow Cover (you can use your freezer paper stencil!)
- Create a welcome pineapple doormat
And don’t forget you can see before and afters in our full house tour by clicking HERE.