stenciling made E-Z!

When my friend Sammer came up to me and asked if I could put numbers on the backs of 15 t-shirts for our Bible study’s softball team, my response was, “Heck, yeah!”  I know there’s lots of ways you can probably do this, but I wanted to try freezer paper stenciling, which I discovered on the craft blogosphere a few months ago.

The execution is pretty simple, though I didn’t think ahead how long 15 shirts would take.  At 20 minutes per shirt, well, you can do the math and guess how many movies I watched on TBS…

First, get yo’self some freezer paper!  It’s like waxed paper except there’s only wax on one side.  I found it the first place I looked – King Soopers, next to the aluminum foil.

Next, trace your design onto the paper with the papery side up and slick side down.  I printed out numbers from Word using something like 750 as the font size.

Now cut out your design with an X-acto or razor or something sharp.  (Yes, I’m an architecture major, but I couldn’t find my X-acto.  A box knife worked just fine.)

Something that worked for me for cutting out curves: stick the X-acto through the paper into the mat, keep it in one place, then with your other hand feed the paper around like you’re feeding it through a sewing machine.

And remember if you’re cutting out some pieces in the middle to keep them attached.  You could just hand-place them later, but I wanted to make sure they were straight so our team wouldn’t be teased for having wonky shirts.

Now, iron it onto your shirt – gently.  I used no steam and pressed straight up and down so I wouldn’t risk the stencil getting wrinkled or torn.

If you’ve got any floating center pieces – like my zeros, nines, fours – gently score with your knife to remove the bridge pieces.

The stencils attach themselves pretty well, so now you’re ready to paint!  Make sure to put a piece of cardboard between the layers of fabric in case you get overly generous with your paint.

Yeah, I realize I didn’t cover it all that well.  But I was worried about running out of paint.  Instead, these look a bit worn, like they’ve been through the wash a few times.  But that look’s in, so I wasn’t too worried.

Let it dry, and peel up your stencil!  The paper leaves no residue behind.

Wait a WHOLE WEEK to blog because a rain cancellation prevents you from seeing your shirts– I mean, friends in action.  Then arrive at the game to realize you forgot your camera and have to take a picture with your phone.  Spend 30 minutes trying to get your phone to e-mail the picture while writing your blog, get ready to give up and post anyway when phone finally decides to cooperate.  :o)  
We nearly won – nine to eight.  Maybe next Sunday! 
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One Response to stenciling made E-Z!

  1. Amy Hadley says:

    Yay for a TBS marathon! And for phone's coming through for you in the final moments.
    You know, after you mentioned it on my blog, I remembered my sis-in-law used this method for a baby shower just last month! But I free-handed my onsie w/ a paintbrush, so guess it didn't sink in.
    And can I just say, I'm so glad you explained what freezer paper is, WITH a picture? People keep mentioning it, and I really had no idea what it was.
    Those shirts, I mean the players, are looking pretty good!

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