Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to Stencil with Parchment Paper

 This method is, without a doubt, my favorite way of stenciling. With a little bit of work (very little!) you can create a reusable stencil without all the chemicals and time that it takes to make a screen stencil. Which means I can make 20 a day when the mood strikes!! Just wait – once you see how simple and fun it is, you will do it too. 

Alrighty! First things first, gather your supplies. We shall be using:

Some kind of paper to draw on (spare lined paper from a notebook works!)
Freezer paper – VERY important to not use Wax paper. Most Walmarts I have visited carry it and you can get it shipped to the store.
Some kind of weights
Either scissors or a craft knife
Fabric Medium – my favorite is sold at Joanns Fabric for pretty cheap!
Whatever you are about to make fabulous!

Or if you are super excited to drive right in get up and find each item as needed ; )

First, create your design! I am using a cool pair of wings since one of my weekly words is "free" but you can create anything. Try to keep the shapes fairly simple for this method. The more detail you add, the longer it takes to cut out!

Time for the freezer paper! Look for this box – once again, NO wax paper. It will burn to your iron latter! (don’t worry, it comes off! Of course this isn’t personal knowledge or anything. . . ) Cut or tear a piece that is just a bit bigger than your pattern.

Weigh down your freezer paper on top of your pattern. I am using some great smelling candles!

Trace your shape with whatever medium you choose and remove the freezer paper. Then it is time to cut your shape out. . . . very. . . . very. . . . slowly. I highly recommend using a self healing mat for this but you can always use scissors.

One episode of World’s Dumbest later and it is all cut out!! Make sure all your lines are smooth and this stencil is done!

But of course we can’t leave it there!
For our first run, grab some scrap fabric and iron an uncut piece of freezer paper to the back. Shiny side down with medium-high heat and NO steam! (we want to dive right into the painting of course!)
Now flip’er over and iron down you new stencil!

Now before you drive into painting your masterpiece, we must examine our options! There are some great fabric paints out there but I really prefer the versatility of using basic acrylic paints. They come in a ton of colors and I somewhat obsessively collect them. . . but alas, they crack when dry. Unless you use Fabric Medium that is! Joann’s sells my favorite (in the pic!) Just add 1 part medium to 2 parts paint and away you go! Whatever method you choose, make sure it is not very watery or it will seep under you design.

Now without further ado: paint!!

After you are happy with the look, step away! Hide it in a closet if you have to but leave it alone! I know how badly you want to look under the stencil but you must resist. Go eat a biscuit to distract yourself.

Did you wait? At least 24 hours?? Okay then we can continue.

Pull off both pieces of paper and admire your work!! Carefully heat set your design with your iron at medium heat and viola! A beautiful new piece of stenciled scrap fabric! You can use this scrap for something interesting or just toss it and try out your stencil on your “real”project.

~ Dani


  1. Thank you for these instructions. I'm going to attempt to make a template to use on lollipops. Hope I'm successful and it comes out as great as yours! :)


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