Sunday, July 24, 2011

Freezer Paper Stencil: A Semi-Pictorial Tutorial

So first off, congrats on completing the slipcover! It looks great. (And Ollie's pretty darn cute, too!) I love the contrasting piping. You're so brave for attempting cording (in a different color, no less) on your first slipcover. Wouldn't it be fun to paint the legs a bright color? I would probably paint them gold but only because I'm painting everything gold these days. I walked into the shed yesterday and saw that we have no fewer than 5 different cans of gold spray paint. Seriously.

Here comes my only successful project of the week.

Freezer Paper Stenciling

Assemble your supplies: freezer paper, fabric paint, pencil, x-acto knife, design for tracing, and item to stencil onto. Not pictured is the iron. It's actually just out of the frame to the right of the onesie. What can I say, maybe the iron was having a bad hair day and didn't want her picture taken?

Freezer paper should be at your local grocery store with the plastic wrap and aluminum foil. It's basically a roll of butcher paper with a plastic coating on one side. Would you believe I've owned that roll of freezer paper for probably 5 years? That should give you a clue as to how quickly I am generally able to complete projects. My original intention for that roll of paper was to use it for stenciling and here I am finally getting around to it. This is why I'm so amazed that you have sewn a slipcover, painted your foyer and are now on to painting your hallway, all in one week.

You can see that I skipped a step or two or ten with the photo taking. Basically what you need to do is take a piece of your freezer paper and lay it on top of your design with the plastic side down. Then use your pencil to trace around the design as neatly as possible. The thicker the lines and darker the design the easier the tracing will be. Next I used my x-acto knife to cut out my image. Turn your iron to high and position your stencil where you would like it. Be sure you have it in just the right place because once you start ironing there isn't much opportunity for shifting. I also ironed a solid piece of freezer paper to the inside of the onesie to protect the paint from bleeding through but that was probably unnecessary and I probably could have gotten away with just sliding a piece of cardboard up there. But it's your call. For the letters with an opening (a, r, o, d, p) I left them whole until after I ironed my stencil on and then went back and cut out the small center piece and ironed them onto my onesie one by one.

Once I was sure all my edges were well sealed from the heat of the iron I used a soft brush to dab the paint on. Like most painting projects, multiple thin coats are always better than one gloppy thick one. Here is where I would recommend doing it differently than I did it. I couldn't locate my stiff bristled brush so I resorted to a Q-tip for my second coat. I could have continued with the brush and probably gotten a distressed look but I wanted the color to be as solid as I could get it and the Q-tip was all I could find. I would recommend a foam brush or a stenciling brush if you want to be extra thorough.

The letters got a little distorted from peeling the stencil off but here is the final product. I should have done one more coat but I thought Sam was going to wear it Friday night and there just wasn't time. I'm most proud of the boy/cow on the top right corner. Getting that show stick in there was no small feat. (The logo is for the Alabama Junior Cattlemen's Association annual summer event which is called Round Up.)

 I tried to get my model to lay still so I could get a picture of his awesome new onesie but you can see from the blurriness of the first two that I was unsuccessful. I finally got one down at the bottom.

So what do you think? You could use this method to make a stencil for the back of your slipcover. I've got a few ideas up my sleeve that I'd like to try. Hopefully it won't take me another 5 years to get around to it...

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