Using freezer paper to make stencils for t-shirts is something I've wanted to try for a long time and I finally remembered to buy freezer paper last week, so today we tried it out. And it. IS. AWESOME. I was really ambitious and went with really complicated designs, but honestly anyone could do this. I've even seen people who simply load the freezer paper into their printers and print the designs they want that way.
First I drew my design onto the freezer paper (on the NON-shiny side). Parker wanted Totoro, so I hand drew that. Fin wanted a dinosaur (after my attempts to draw an acceptable Hot Wheels hotrod were unsatisfactory) and I traced a skull from one of his books.
Then came the hardest part of the whole process: cutting the stencil out. Seriously took all my brain power to decide where to make cuts so that the stencil would make sense. In fact I was so mentally exhausted that by the time I got to his feet, I just kinda gave up (note the loss of his claws). You just have to keep in mind that the "negative space" (what you're cutting out) will be what you paint. And then keep all the little inside pieces together! Oh, and for sure an exacto knife is needed for a design like this!
Then you just iron your stencil on to the shirt, shiny side to the fabric, dull side on top. I did the large outer pieces first and then the small details. It definitely works better if you just set the iron on top of the paper (don't move the iron around once its touching the shirt).
Paint with fabric paint (this is the part I let the kids help me with)
Let it dry (only took a couple minutes outside today, though the fabric paint bottle says 4 hours) peel off the stencil and VOILA! A totally awesome t-shirt! There are SO many different things you could do with this, I'm just itching to get my hands on some more plain shirts. What a great way to cover up stains, make a shirt with a design you can't find in stores, and let your kids make their own clothes.
And I honestly did not tell them to pose like this. They are just that awesome.