Freezer Paper Cooks!

I’ve been thinking forever and a day that I wanted to try to do some freezer paper rescue for all those coffee stained t-shirts I have laying around the house. I’m too lazy to remove the stains and I’m too cheap to ditch the shirts. Maybe I’ll dye them, or tie dye them, or cut them up and make new shirts, or, whatever. Let’s face it. They are just as likely to clutter up my world as be transformed. That doesn’t even take into account that it would take less time to attack the shirts with a bleach pen as it would to do the amazing work I’m about to share with you.

Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles. I did freezer paper stencil paint two whole shirts. It’s not like the idea about freezer paper just fell into my lap. Nay. I read about it. Obviously. PANJO! Isn’t that an awesome word? PANJO! My stencils don’t hold a candle to Panjo. Seriously, you should check, check, check, check her out.

Briefly, here’s the low down.

Step 1. Cut your freezer paper (old school butcher paper available wherever plastic and aluminum wrap is sold) to 8.5 x11 inches (standard paper size) and run your design off your printer from the beautiful clip art you’ve poached from someone else. My letters and numbers, I did manage to type myself and choose an accompanying font. Did I mention that you should print on the matte side? Consider yourself told. Graphic images are good. Or draw your design on the paper. I don’t care.

Step 2. Cut it out. AH! See now! See? I told you to pick a graphic image. Fewer cuts. Each of my letters were like freaking nesting dolls. I had to keep cutting and cutting and cutting. But I got it done. I kept all my cut paper from certain elements together so I could keep track. I know, very Virgo.

Step 3. I know I didn’t rotate the photo. Turn your monitor sideways if you have to. This is the part where you carefully place your stencil on your shirt and cook it up with your pathetic old iron. Of course, that’s the only sort of iron I have, but some people have good scissors and good irons and all that. If you are some people, then it’s probably a good idea to use your grody iron. Why? Well, there are tiny pieces and you need to make sure that you iron the shiny side to the shirt and not to the iron like I did part of my 8. Did I mention you get a better seal if you put freezer paper on the inside of the shirt too. Yeah, I didn’t do that on my Obama shirt, but I learned.

Step 4. I’m sure you are supposed to use some fancy fabric paint, but I just used acrylics. They were a green variety though. Some name brand. Find your own. I thought maybe I’d water them down like I did for the pillowcase. What a DUMB idea. Don’t do that. It will blur your Obam”a”. I also caught onto the tip to paint from paper to fabric instead of fabric to paper for crisper edges.

Step 5. Call in your ever willing assistant to make a sparkling purple (this time not environmentally friendly paint, but some passed on by GrammaN) “Grow your own” t-shirt for the fabulous Mz. Molly who has since been in the Green Times (which is only available in print – huh, what?) and Arizona Daily Star (check out the sidebar) and is about to be in TUSD Focus. I modified this stencil. The wheelbarrow had cinder blocks in it. I changed it to veggies.

Step 6. RIP OFF THAT FREEZER PAPER! Oh, how wonderful an experience it is. Until you see that you screwed up by not having freezer paper under the design and not having ironed the freezer paper on well enough and watering down your paint. My son said if I had eliminated one of these oversights, the shirt would have been more than 30% better.

My dazzling assistant proves his case as this shirt came out worthy of its intended.

And now a word about the “political” nature of this blog. I made the Obama shirt for my husband to wear around town after he retired from 20 years of service to his country. Not that it should matter. Every citizen gets a chance to select an electorate to represent him/her in the presidential elections. Every citizen except those in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, or Federated States of Micronesia (did I miss a territory?). Anyway, we reside in a state, so we get representation. That should be good enough. The point is, this is a blog about freezer paper not politics. IF you think you might like to be inspired by politics in crafting, might I perhaps suggest Crafting for Change.

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