Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Freezer Paper Stencilling...

I have been wanting to try this technique out for e-va, and have finally mustered enough mojo to give it a go.

Freezer paper stencilling has been all over the US craft blogs for a couple of years, beacuse it's something you can get at the supermarket in the States - by the roll, for separating stuff in the freezer (ya think!). We have to get it from craft shops, by the metre. I got mine from Twilight Crafts, last Esk weekend.

So here's a little run down of the process if you haven't seen it before...

Firstly, gather all your supplies. You will need freezer paper (obviously), a Sharpie or other fine marker, a nice bold design to trace, a cutting mat, a craft knife/blade and sharp scissors, an iron, a newspaper and some cardboard, the fabric you want to print on, craft/fabric paint and a firm stencil brush.

Print out or draw (or tear out of one of your kids colouring books) your design. Lay the freezer paper over the design, shiny side down.

Trace your design onto the freezer paper with the marker, shading or crosshatching the parts you will cut out. I taped mine to the bench to stop it moving around while tracing. (If you have a light box, this is the perfect time to use it!)

The beauty of this stuff is that you dont have to have the whole stencil joined together like traditional stencilling. You can have 'floating' sections, as they will be ironed on later. This really opens up your design options.

Once the whole design is traced out, the tedious part begins. (Especially if you are like me and chose a design with lots of detail. I was wishing halfway that I had chosen something simpler. *sigh*) You need to use the combined powers of a sharp blade and equally sharp scissors to remove all the shaded areas.

Don't forget to keep your 'floating' bits aside so they don't get thrown out by accident. (Not that I would do that, of course.)

Now for the fun part! You will need a firm surface for the ironing - an ironing board is not recommended. (I used the dining table.)  Put a newspaper down, with a layer of stiff cardboard on top, then your fabric. (I used the front of a T-shirt, so the paper and cardboard went inside the shirt to stop the paint bleeding through to the back.)

Line up your stencil in the correct position. With your iron on the the maximum dry setting, iron the stencil onto the fabric. The shiny side of the freezer paper will melt and stick the stencil to the fabric! (Don't panic - it comes off easily later.)

Iron each section for about 30 seconds to make sure it's firmly attached. Then go back and add in any 'floating' parts of the design to their places. Test with your fingers to make sure they are firmly stuck down. Let the fabric cool.

Get your paint and stencil brush ready. (I used a cheap black craft acrylic, mixed 2 parts to 1  with fabric medium.)

Using a firm up-and-down dabbing motion, fill in the voids in the stencil with paint. try not to drag the brush side-to-side, as this can force the paint under the stencil.

Once the whole design is painted, leave to dry. 24 hours is suggested (bah!) but I was not that patient. I think I left mine about 2 hours, but it will depend on what type of paint you use.

Obviously mine is a simple black and white pattern, but you can use more than one colour if you want to be adventurous.

Once the drying time is up, you can do the big reveal. (Kids love to watch this part.) Using your fingers, or tweezers for the really thin bits, gently pull the freezer paper away from the fabric, holding the fabric down with the other hand.

Once all the paper is off, you will see your original design on the fabric. Voila! Now it just needs a press to set the paint and you're good to go. Ta Daa...

N.B. For those of you who recognise the design, do not think this choice demonstrates an alliegence. I am TE all the way. I just think it's a cool tattoo......
......especially on that arm...........
......is it hot in here?.....................

Where was I??

Oh, that's right. All done for the tutorial.  Let me know if you have a go - I'd love to see some other experiments in stencilling.

P.S. A kid's riddle for you-
Q: What is the best way to talk to a vampire? 
A: Long distance.


Clara in Paradise said...

Wow, that's a complicated graphic, and it came out very well. What kind of paint did you use. I have silk-screening paint that I am dying to use.

PS@AlbanyCreek said...

Thanks Clara! The paint is Semco craft acrylic in Jet Black, mixed 2 parts to one with DecorArt fabric medium. It's fairly thick, so be careful with your silk-screening paint as I know it's a lot runnier. Make sure you don't overload the brush and stick to up-and-down movements. Would love to see how yours turns out!

Candy Perfume Girl said...

This looks great!


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