Thursday, October 6, 2011

Freezer paper stenciling

Wow.  So I just bought my first roll of freezer paper the other night to play with.  I decided to do some online sleuthing to check out the craft possibilities and holy cow.  There are a lot of blog posts out there on how to do freezer paper crafts!  Pattern making, printing on fabric, appliques, and my item of choice for a first timer, stenciling.  A lot of projects I post are not that easy - I admit that.  But this really is.  I promise.

A little background: My baby shower is Saturday, and I needed 2 great hostess gifts for my two friends throwing it.  I am tired of giving tired gifts.  Every woman has about a billion little bottles of hand lotion in a myriad of scents that disgust her.  I wanted something useful (a key ingredient in gift giving for me), something pretty, something unique, and something personal.  Is that SO much to ask?  So after hours of crawling boards and blogs and, I finally found a suggestion that struck a chord - aprons!  Its easy to personalize and unique, and since one of my hostesses is my gardening partner and the other has a food blog, I thought it fitting.  But, since its a coed shower and the guys are helping out too, I decided to do items for the whole family.  The menfolk are getting large pocket aprons for grilling, the mommies are getting sleek black aprons, the older child is getting a kid sized apron, and the two younger kids are getting a tee and a onesie respectively.  All personalized with fabric paint.  All using freezer paper stencils. YAY!  Off to Michaels...

This was not the most economical project I ever started, but it wasn't too bad when you consider how many things I made and how much I would traditionally spend on gifts.  Initially I had hoped to make the aprons myself, cutting out a significant portion of the cost.  But I was really short on time and have a billion other things to do, so I took the pricey shortcut and bought them.  For paint, I tried the little bottles of the martha stewart all purpose paints - they can be used on pretty much any medium including glass and fabric, so I was stoked about that, and they are the same price as other specialty paints, like glass paint.  I tried the pearlized colors cuz they looked pretty :-)  I got purple for girls, red for men, and blue for boys.

For the freezer paper stencils... Pretty basic.  There are tons of great in-depth tutorials out there, so I'll just briefly go over the basics.  Pick your pattern. I picked a font I liked on the computer since I was doing all words.  Either print it directly on the freezer paper or print it on regular paper and trace it onto the freezer paper.  There are two sides to the freezer paper - a waxy side and a papery side.  Make sure the printing or tracing goes on the papery side.  I opted to trace since my printer has trouble feeding oddly textured papers.  Then, cut out the pattern with an exacto knife.  Make sure you save the "floaters" - the pieces like the inside of an "o" that aren't attached to the sides.  You can iron them in place once you get the large stencil on.  Take a hot, dry iron (no steam) and press the paper, waxy side down, onto the fabric.  It only takes a few seconds to adhere and you want to make sure to press, not slide the iron.  Also, be careful not to scorch your fabric.

To paint, take a sponge brush and a little of your paint and, well, sponge it on there.  I used two coats (separated by about 20-40 minutes of dry time) to make sure the coverage and color was good.  I cut out the next stencil between coats to maximize my time.  If you are using thin material, put cardboard behind the fabric to prevent it from bleeding.  The aprons were fine, but the onesie and tee I needed a barrier.  When the paint has dried to the touch, peel off the stencil.  Take your exacto knife, pin, or other sharp edge and peel up the floaters, if any.  BOOM!  You are done!

It can be a little time consuming cutting out all those stencils, and blank aprons and shirts are kind of expensive. If you are looking for perfection, this is not the medium for you - lines can end up a little smudgy and blurred up close.  But it is cheap, throw away (read: quick clean up) and really REALLY easy.

Bottom Line:
4 adult aprons @ $6 each = $24
1 Child apron = $5
3 paints @ $2 each: $6
1 toddler tee = $6
Freezer paper = $2.50/150 ft. roll
1 onesie = $3
3 sponge brushes @ .39 each = $1.20

Total cost < $48
Total number of items made = 7
Total cost per item < $7
Total time = about 6 hours for everything

More than I usually try to spend on craft projects, but not bad for gifts.  Besides, I will use all that paint and freezer paper on future projects.  Maybe next time I will stencil something I made!  You can also add embellishments to your existing wardrobe to spice things up.  Tees at Walmart are cheap.  Go nuts!

No comments:

Post a Comment