Making Freezer Paper Stencils With My Portrait

As you know, I really love making stencils with my Silhouette Portrait. If you just joined my blog, you can find my post about stencil making here.

I’ve been making them with Dura-Lar .005 clear film. That material works pretty good, especially for playing on paper. As long as the design is not real intricate, they work fine on fabric. However, for The Printed Fabric Bee challenge this month I need to make a more detailed and intricate stencil since Lesley wanted a mosaic.

I tried a variety of materials, from paper to Silhouette vinyl to card stock, but nothing would keep the fabric paint from seeping under the stencil, messing up the fabric. I was getting frustrated until freezer paper came to mind. Well, I know about it and how it’s widely used for making stencils, but I didn’t want to dust off my exacto. Then I ran into this blog post by Lauren on the The Thinking Closet where she used her Silhouette to cut the freezer paper. Thank you Lauren! You made my day!

Armed with this knowledge, I added flowers to  a Lizzie Mayne stencil design I had purchased several months ago from the Silhouette store. When I was happy with the design, I loaded the freezer paper onto a mat and cut. Here are a couple things to help you if you plan to cut freezer paper with your Silhouette:

  • You MUST use a sticky mat. If you don’t, the freezer paper will fly all over your machine. (Been there, done that!)
  • You can load it either side down, but it will come off the mat MUCH easier if you put the shiny side down. Also, if you load it paper side down, the image will be flipped when you iron it onto your fabric. That may or may not make a difference for your design.
  • Here are the settings for cutting thanks to Lauren’t blog post: Blade 3, Speed 3, and Thickness 10.

Once the design is removed from the machine, remove all of the loose pieces or what they call “weed.” It probably works better with a tool, but my makeshift weeding tool is AWOL. I think it left when I cleaned up my studio for the photo shoot!

Removing cut pieces

Once the stencil is all cleaned up, gently remove from the cutting mat and place on fabric, shiny side down.

Then if you are happy with the placement of your new stencil on the fabric, iron it down.

Ironing the stencil to the fabricThen, let’s get to painting. I am using fabric paint: Jacquard Lumier, Pebeo Setacolor Opaque and Jacquard Textile. I used both a stencil brush and a small brush to fill in all of the spaces.

fabric paints for mosaic

I need to mention a word about brushes. I use a lot of products, but I’ve found lately that I really like both stencil and regular brushes from Martha Stewart.  I will try some of my other brushes, but then I always go back to MS. You will notice one of the stencil brushes is not a MS. I went to several stores and they were all out of the small stencil brushes so I had to do with what I had.

Anyway, to prevent the paint from running under the stencil I made sure the brush was pretty dry and kept it vertical when pouncing on the fabric.

Painting with the stencil

And with these freezer stencils there might be a little migration of paint under the stencil, but not much. I was really happy with my results.

Uncovering the fabric

I’ll show you the finished piece in a post this weekend which will include the monthly Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway. Hope to see you back here then.

I’ll be making more of these stencils for sure.