How To Make Freezer Paper Stencil Shirts

The Easiest T-Shirt You’ll Ever Make

Making t-shirts with freezer paper is my new favorite thing. I did a few Starkid totebags using this method for my friend Heather and I when we went to see Space Tour last year, but I hadn’t introduced the kids to the technique yet. And it’s too bad, too, because it’s SO EASY. First…you just need a stencil. Here is the Doctor Who one we used this weekend. I made it in Photoshop. You layer your freezer paper over the stencil and cut out the pieces where you want the paint to be on the shirt. I use a crafting blade with a longer handle, but some like actually using razor blades held in their fingers because it gives them more control. YOUR CALL.

Obviously…the easier the design the better. I wish I could show you a picture of a shirt a friend made with this super-complicated Gryffin on it, I still don’t see how she did it and kept her sanity. And don’t forget to save pieces like the center of the “D” because you need that piece to make sure the “D” gets painted correctly.

Once your stencil is made, you just iron it on the shirt, shiny side down. It doesn’t take but a minute or two of ironing to get it stuck to the shirt properly. You’ll see, if you try to peel it back off it doesn’t want to come.

Now? Just paint! You can buy regular fabric paint that is NOT the puff-paint you use to simply draw on shirts. I definitely recommend the regular non-puff paint. However, the pink hearts on Nikki’s shirt was done just using the puff paint on a brush. It took a few more coats of that than the regular paint though. And be generous with the paint! As long as you don’t paint towards the edge of the freezer paper (something the kids weren’t super careful about) it will stay sealed fine, you can put tons of paint on there!

We then dried ours with the hair dryer and once the paint was all dry? We removed the stencil and Ta-Da! Awesome shirts!

Now you're ready for Doctor Who!

Of course…my outfit was purchased…not made. I got my skirt from Go Chase Rabbits (Back BEFORE Felicia Day mentioned her on a Vlog. Since then I think she’s been a little swamped with orders!) and my shirt from Evie Tees. I get ALL of my awesome Potter/Who shirts from her.

Have fun! They really do look professional, even if you let the kids help!

9 Comments

  • Han

    I saw your shirts on instagram – I love them! We didn’t get to see Doctor Who until Sunday evening. Souffle Girl is the new assistant – not quite sure how that’s going to work unless the Doctor goes and rescues her in the past but that will change time (yep trying to be un-spoiler as possible!) and so mess up the time space continuum and all that.

    Did BBC America show the mini series PondLife before the series started?

    • zoot

      We watched them on YouTube! The weird thing about Souffle Girl is her companion name is Clara. Makes it ever twistier!

      • Heather

        I was a little bummed about the premiere. The idea of making the Daleks scary again is great … for one show? Where did all the crayola Daleks go (and will they stay gone because I don’t like my enemies looking like a rainbow of spray plastic)? … Was disappointingly “meh” about it.

        • zoot

          I loved it all! I’m a bit confused about how Oswin will become Clara later as the new companion, but other than that I really loved it!

          • Heather

            oh, and I would be remiss to not make sure that you are following the Nerdist channel on YouTube because many lovely geeky things there that seem pretty much right up your ally.

    • zoot

      I can only speak on the effectiveness of the seal with the freeze paper and the fabric. I’m not sure the tape/paper would seal as well and the paint would bleed under the stencil.