This is a fun freezer paper stencil Cricut project that involved materials that are already in your kitchen.
Everyone loves to do HTV iron projects but once in a while, I think it’s nice to break out of the routine and work with other materials.
In this particular project, it involves using stuff most people already have in their kitchen.
There are times when fabric paint and a stencil might be a better approach like this case here where we want to make some tea towels that will likely need to be washed a lot.
Why some vinyl does last through a hot water wash, I find fabric paint tends to work a little bit better.
As for the freezer paper, just save the wrapper next time you order something from the butcher counter.
Freezer paper vs wax paper vs parchment, what’s the difference?
Freezer paper has a waterproof coating that is probably the thickest out of the three. In fact, there’s enough coating so when you heat it up, it acts as a temporary adhesive.
Wax paper is coated with wax and parchment is coated with silicone. Neither of these two will have enough coating to stick when ironed.
Stick to the freezer paper for this stenciling project.
Optimal Freezer Paper Stencil Designs
I’m not going to lie, this isn’t as easy as other stenciling projects.
I find minimizing the number of free-floating pieces in your design and having thick lines really helps.
It helps for a number of reasons, mostly so you have fewer little scraps to rearrange. But also, after you’re done stenciling the paint, sometimes you want to refill in the lines or paint over stray marks. Having a thicker and simpler design makes this part a little bit easier.
I created 3 designs for my tea towel set. They are a free and available in my resource library.
*this article contains affiliate links for your convenience, see full disclosures here
Materials for Freezer Paper Stencils Projects
Freezer paper – if you don’t have any around, you can also find it at most grocery stores or online. It is sometimes called butcher paper.
Something to cut…
Iron or heat press – I found my iron was totally sufficient.
Teflon sheet – It’s not absolutely necessary but it really helps to not burn the paper.
Sponge – I sometimes use a makeup sponge.
Fabric Paint – Any fabric paint works.
Printing Stencil on Freezer Paper
If you are cutting out your stencil manually, be sure to print on the right side of the freezer paper.
Which side is the right side? It is the matte non-glossy non-slippery side. Depending on your print, send it in so the printout is on the matte side.
Freezer Paper – Cricut Maker and Explorer Tips
I made mine with my Cricut. There are two primary challenges with using the Cricut for this project.
First, freezer paper snags a lot with the blade. If you have a Maker, I suggest trying this out with the rotary blade.
After you peel off the stencil, it tends to roll up.
I actually just used the fine point blade and managed to get it to cut with only one minor snag. Here’s what I would recommend:
First, make sure your design isn’t too complicated. (see above)
Second, you need a relatively sharp (new) blade. Don’t sweat it if you don’t have one, just make sure it is clean.
Third, and probably the one that makes the most difference is using a green standard grip mat.
Place the paper with the shiny side down on the mat.
There is no need to mirror the design.
When peeling the design off, flip it upside down on a smooth surface and peel the mat away from the paper (not paper from the mat). This will minimize the rolling of the paper later.
Tips for using freezer paper stencil on canvas or fabric
Some of you at this point might be wondering why not just use a vinyl stencil?
Well, I find it really hard to use vinyl without transfer tape because it gets all tangled up. The great thing about freezer paper is it doesn’t stick until heated so you can arrange and rearrange all you want.
It is nearly impossible to use transfer tape with vinyl for this project on canvas or fabric because it doesn’t stick enough to the surface.
Instead, I try to save that plastic liner from a used HTV project. It usually has a little bit of stickiness left so I just smooth out the cutout on this sheet.
I then manually arranged the floating pieces on this film.
After adjusting your design on the film, place the tea towel or whatever base material over this and then flip it over.
I like to use a Teflon sheet if I am using the plastic film. Do not iron directly on the plastic sheet. It will melt.
If you are not using the plastic film, just place the design with the shiny side down and then cover it with another sheet/towel/T-shirt while applying the iron.
I just pressed the iron set on cotton for about 10 seconds.
I found a sponge worked best and a stamping motion. It is imperative that you do not goop up the sponge with a glob of paint. This will cause it to bleed underneath the stencil.
If you are really paranoid about stencil bleeding, you can use some fabric Mod Podge and just coat the cutouts in this because stamping on the paint.
(a quick side note: depending on your material, you may want to place a sheet of paper underneath/in between the layers so the paint doesn’t soak through)
Wait until the paint is dry before peeling off the stencil. It takes about a couple of hours.
I like to go over some of the letters with a brush and paint. I also like to paint back in (using white paint) some of the floating cutout shapes that didn’t quite make it. This part is optional.