Freezer Paper — Who Knew!?
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May 2010 Update: Check out the Craftster Quickies Video Tutorial for all the info you need to make freezer paper stencils!
I keep reading bits and pieces here and there about cool things you can do with freezer paper so I decided to do some searching on Craftster to see what the heck everyone is talking about.
So first off, freezer paper has been around for a long time but I don’t think it’s used much any more. It’s this nice heavy paper that’s plain on one side and then waxy or plasticy on the other side. If you’re having trouble finding it at your local grocery store, have no fear because lots of places on the internet sell it. Just do a google search for it.
Be sure you use “freezer paper” and not “wax paper” because wax paper is waxy on both sides and you only want it to be waxy on one side.
OK. So from what I can tell here are the two things that a lot of people are using freezer paper for on Craftster:
Craftster member t0xicity was kind enough to write up a great tutorial for how stencil with it. I’ve heard lots of people say that this method is much easier than using contact paper.
The basic idea is that you have an image to begin with perhaps printed out from your computer on regular paper. Then you lay it on the freezer paper (waxy side down!) and onto a cutting mat and use and X-Acto to cut out your design (cutting it out of both the paper and the freezer paper). Toss the regular paper as it’s job is now done. Then take the freezer paper and iron it onto your t-shirt or fabric and then paint over it with washable fabric paint which is very easy to find in lots of colors. Then you just peel of the freezer paper and you’re done!
Read the tutorial for lots more details:
Print Right Onto Fabric with your Ink Jet
Lots of people also seem to be using freezer paper to help them print right onto fabric. It’s pretty amazing that you can do this and it looks really good. But I will say that I’d make sure to try this on a printer that’s perhaps on it’s last legs rather than a new expensive printer. Thrift stores often have mountains of old ink jet printers so it may be a good idea to buy a cheap one just to craft with. Oh and don’t use a laser printer for this.
So what you do is cut a piece of freezer paper to 8.5″ x 11″. Then cut a piece of nice quality cotton fabric to the same size. I’ve heard lots of people use 200 count muslin with good results. Iron the freezer paper to the fabric. This adds a stiffness to the fabric which allows you to send it through the printer.
Now your probably thinking “will the ink smear if the fabric gets wet or will it fade in the sun?” and the answer seems to be “yes.” So here are a couple products you can use to make sure this doesn’t happen:
You can buy waterproof ink jet ink cartridges like these:
Or there is this product that you use to treat the fabric beforehand called Bubble Jet Set and then in theory you can use regular inkjet ink:
Here’s a project Limegreenchicken posted where she used this method to print a picture of Madonna onto fabric and then used that fabric to make a purse:
Now go forth and be crafty!