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How to Make a Stencil with Freezer Paper for Baby Onesie Decoration

Learn how to make a stencil with freezer paper using these simple instructions. Warning! This craft is addictive! Once you try this once you may find it hard to stop. With a pack of plain onesies and some freezer paper, your baby will have a crafty wardrobe in no time!

stencil onesie examples

You really can create any design, words, pictures and more using this simple technique. This is also a fun baby shower craft where many people create a whole stenciled wardrobe for the new baby. Monograms, animals, people, the options are really endless.

how to make a stencil materials

Materials Needed: Freezer paper (not wax paper, freezer paper is coated only on one side, this is important), paint (fabric paint or acrylic paint), paint brush, tape, self healing cutting mat or cardboard, x-acto knife and an iron.

First, cut out a square of your freezer paper and tape it down on all four sides on your self-healing cutting mat. You can use cardboard or another surface to cut, but a self-healind cutting mat is by far the easiest thing to use and should be in your "craft materials library" anyway! They are well worth it!

Next, draw your design onto the freezer paper, on the non

how to make a stencil materials

When you are happy with your drawing, cut it out with your x-acto knife. Remember to save any "islands" that will need to be placed in the stencil, such as the fish's eye. Cut those out first and then set aside.

x-acto a stencil materials

Once your handmade stencil is completely cut out, cut it away from the tape and lift it out. Be sure that all the tape is removed, otherwise it will melt all over your iron! (ask me how I know this...)

cut stencil materials

draw a stencil materials

Now, position your stencil onto the onesie shiny side against the fabric and iron it on. For 100% cotton (onesies, pants, etc) use the highest setting and I iron for just a few seconds. You can iron on the main stencil first, then place the "islands" such as the fish eye and then iron those on to be sure you have perfect positioning.

position a stencil materials

iron stencil materials

Now, before painting, place something inside your onesie to catch any paint that will bleed through. I like to cut another piece of freezer paper, and place it shiny side up inside the shirt and iron again. This creates a nice seal and no paint bleeds through to the back of the shirt. Plain paper or cardboard will also do the trick.

Gently dab on paint in the color of your choice! Don't be afraid to experiment with multi-colors and blending colors too. Acrylic paint works fine on fabric, but paint specifically for fabric (such as the Soft brand I'm using) will hold up really well. Simply purchase the starter colors of red, blue, yellow, black and white and you can mix any colors you need.

paint stencil


Once you've painted the fabric within your design set aside to dry completely, overnight is best. It is tempting to peel off right away, but trust me if you let it dry completely you will be much less likely to have streaks and runs and it will looks so much more crisp!

Finally, once it is dried overnight, peel off the freezer paper and reveal your design! Use a tweezers to grab the tiny islands of paper if you have any.

how to make a stencil peel

how to make a stencil finished

More tips: You can draw your own stencil or you can print directly onto the non-glossy side of the freezer paper with images found online. Clip art sites are often good sources for simple images. This is a great resource for stencils to get you started. Please note that using clip art and stencil designs found online are for your personal use only! It is illegal to use them on a onesie for example and then sell it. If you get addicted to this craft and want to sell some custom baby clothes you must use your own designs.

tractor stencil onesie

Enjoy learning how to make a stencil with freezer paper! The applications for this craft are endless. I guarantee you'll love this one!

Go to the Make Baby Clothes Section for more project ideas!

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