Friday, June 13, 2008

A Little Off Topic...Freezer Paper Stencils, Anyone?

Cancer has consumed us lately, but I don't want to allow it to rule us any longer.
It wants to take a stronghold on patient, caregivers and loved ones alike. And while we acknowledge its presence, it is a most unwelcome guest that we won't be rolling out the red carpet for. In fact we are doing our best to rather rudely escort it right out the door with a "good riddance" send off.
So, on that note, a reprieve. Actually this is a deja vu moment, as we crafted these a few weeks back, but hopefully this gentle reminder of life pre-cancer will get us back on track with just slight modifications, being ever more loving, positive, hopeful and appreciative of every moment of every day.
And now, back to normalcy (or some semblance thereof)-
An eternal classic, freezer paper stencils.
I used to love to make these in high school & college. This craft is a great economical tool to be able to constantly churn out new, one of a kind clothing & accessories on a dime. Actually Mom got me into stenciling originally, so thank you Mom. It's funny how a very "Mom-ish" craft can be so eternally cool. And with this one, the sky's the limit. This is truly one of those crafts where skill level does not come into play. Everyone is an instant expert, so you are only limited by your creativity. And even if you aren't feeling terribly creative, you can scour the internet to turn up images that are free to use, print them out and make them into a stencil.
A Quick Tutorial---

What You Need:
A t-shirt (or any other item you wish to stencil)
Reynold's Freezer Paper
An exacto knife or cuticle scissors
Fabric Paint (or any permanent paint that will withstand washing)
An image you wish to stencil
A stiff bristled medium sized paint brush (any brush will do, this is simply my personal preference)
An Iron
A piece of cardboard

1)Print, or draw your image onto a piece of paper.
2)Tape your computer paper to your freezer paper with the paper side up and the shiny/waxy side down.
3)Cut out the actual image (if printed on computer, you will be cutting away all the black printed area), leaving the outline of the image intact on your paper.
4)Remove the tape and computer paper.
5)Place your stencil onto your t-shirt and iron it on, using a dry setting, with the shiny side down, facing the shirt.
6)Place the cardboard between the front and back of your t-shirt, sliding it into the shirt under where you will be painting to prevent any bleeding of the paint through to the back of your shirt.
7)Brush your paint on liberally, taking care to evenly coat the paint and making sure to reach all the tiny corners, details of your stencil.
8)I like to use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process and evaluate whether or not I think my shirt needs another coat of paint.
9)Once the paint is as dark as I'd like and dry, I carefully peel back the freezer paper to reveal a beautiful stencil. I like to heat set it again at this point with a blow dryer.
10) Don your creation, twirl around, admire oneself in mirror and be proud!

Here's a shirt I made for Amelia recently. The t-shirt was not my top pick, but it was what I had on hand, so I used it. I always try to use what I have on hand first before buying anything else. And when I have to buy, I try to buy from thrifts & second hand shops first! Consume less. Recycle more! :-)

Happy Creating!