Freezer Paper Stencils Shirts and Self-Portraits

Believe it or not, the “wraps and foils” aisle of your local grocery store is also home to a staple in many crafters’ toolboxes – freezer paper. Sure, it’s great for wrapping up meat to keep fresh in the freezer, but its plastic-coated side acts as glue when applied to fabric, making it a perfect stencil medium.

If you’re in the mood to add some new pieces to your dress-up box, or just want to give an old T-shirt some new life, try these wee tuxedo or fancy necklace stencils!

Freezer Paper Stencil T-Shirts


  • Reynolds Plastic Coated Freezer Paper
  • Bow tie, flower and/or necklace star template (download at right)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher
  • Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid (your choice of colors)
  • Fabric paint foam sponges
  • Paper bag
  • Iron
  • Ruler

Get stared

Start out by cutting out your templates and tracing them onto the paper side of the freezer paper. (For the necklace shirt, print out three stars.) With your scissors, cut a small slit in the center and neatly cut out the inside of the design.

Tuxedo top

Position the stencil at the middle of the neck. With a warm iron, press firmly back and forth until it’s adhered to the shirt.

Next, place the paper bag inside the shirt. With the sponge, start dabbing the paint onto the stencil. If it looks like the color isn’t deep enough, apply another coat. Once the paint has dried, carefully peel off the paper.

Take your flower template and position on either the right or left side of the chest. Apply, paint and remove when dry.

To make a row of buttons, cut a length of freezer paper about 1″ wide. With your hole puncher, punch every few inches, depending on how long your freezer paper is. Apply, paint and remove when dry.

Nifty Necklace

This shirt is a child’s small; if you use a bigger shirt, you’ll want to add additional stars to accommodate for the larger size. Position one of the stars just below each of the shoulder seams and one in the center of the neck, several inches down from the seam. Apply, paint and remove when dry.

With a smaller piece of freezer paper, punch three holes about a half-inch apart from each other to create the beads. Make two of these sets. Position on either side of the center star. Apply, paint and remove when dry. Add another “bead” under each shoulder seam if you like.


Once the shirts have dried completely, place a lightweight towel on top of the painted areas. On a warm setting, move your iron over the design to set the paint. For washing, consult the directions on the paint bottle’s label to keep the paint as fresh as possible.

Self-Portrait Fabric Art

It’s pretty easy to make stencils with freezer paper, isn’t it? Now try your hand at making your own basic stencil to create a piece of self-portrait fabric art!


  • Reynolds Plastic Coated Freezer Paper
  • Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid (your choice of colors)
  • Fabric paint sponge
  • Scissors
  • Fine-tip Sharpie markers
  • Decorative embroidery hoop
  • Fabric of your choice (size will depend on the embroidery hoop size you choose)


  1. Trace a circle on a piece of freezer paper. If you’re going to add long hair, a hat, etc., make another circle a bit bigger than the one you’re going to use for your face – it will serve as a backdrop and be easier to decorate with the markers.
  2. Apply the template with a warm iron. (If you’re adding the bigger circle, apply the larger one first, paint and then move on to the smaller circle.)
  3. Once you’ve let the paint dry completely, it’s time to decorate. Have fun! Give yourself a big smile and your favorite accessory.
  4. You’re ready to frame. Position the fabric on the inner ring of the embroidery hoop. Either snap or screw-on the outer ring, depending on the frame style you chose. Trim the excess fabric on the back and hang it up for everyone to see.


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