How to Make a Stenciled Shirt out of Freezer Paper

Wonder Woman was a landmark movie this year for millions of people. With a domestic total of over $400 million, Wonder Woman was the highest grossing movie of the summer, proving that superhero movies with strong female leads can absolutely hang with the boys.  The film is also unapologetic in its “girl power” message; the movie is bursting at the seams with badass females fighting (and winning) heroic battles and saying amazingly empowering things.  Wonder Woman was chock full of empowering quotes that inspire me on a regular basis, so it seemed only fitting to put some of these words on display in my everyday wear.  Today I’ll be showing you how to put your favorite words onto fabric!

This method for painting shirts uses a stencil that sticks to the fabric. There are a few methods to create the stencil, but I chose to go with freezer paper because it’s cheaper and easier to cut out than vinyl. Of course, vinyl is still an available option for anyone who prefers it.


Freezer Paper Stencil Materials

  • Freezer Paper
  • Shirt
  • Fabric Paint
  • Brush (I used a sponge brush for dabbing)
  • Exacto knife
  • Iron
  • Print-Out of Quote


Print Out the Quote or Design

Wonder Woman Quote for Freezer Paper Shirt

I used photoshop to design my quote and printed it on letter paper. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to space it out on the shirt so I made sure to space out the words in case I wanted to adjust it later (which is why I broke it up and printed on two sheets of paper).  I wasn’t sure if fitting it on one page would make it too “boxy” for my taste.

Trace and Cut Out on Freezer Paper

Cut Out Quote for Freezer Paper Stencil

Because freezer paper is fairly transparent this shouldn’t be too hard.  Tape down the quote onto your table or whatever surface you’re using, and tape the freezer paper on top of it.  Use the exacto knife to cut out the words, but be really careful not to cut corners.

If you have any words like “O” that have an inner piece that isn’t attached to the main stencil be sure to save the inner piece.  Also, make sure that the waxy side of the freezer paper is face down on the quote.  The waxy side is the side we’ll be ironing onto the shirt.

Iron Stencil to Shirt

Iron On Freezer Paper Stencil to Shirt
Place the freezer paper stencil onto the shirt, and iron it so it sticks.  Be sure to carefully place and iron the inner parts of the design too.

Paint the Shirt

Paint On Freezer Paper Stencil

Put something inside your shirt to protect the layers. I put a thin cardboard under the first layer of my shirt in case some bleeding occurred. Next, use the sponge brush to dab paint onto the stencil, being careful around delicate pieces.  I made sure to use just a little bit of paint at a time to dab on top of the stencil so there wouldn’t be as much paint sneaking underneath it.


Let Dry and Peel Off Stencil

Finished Freezer Paper Shirt

Make sure the paint is fully dry before peeling off the freezer paper.  I needed some help because my stencil was pretty big and I couldn’t take it off cleanly by myself.


Heat Set the Paint

Iron Freezer Paper Shirt

The specific paint I bought needed to be set with heat so it wouldn’t wash away.  I just ironed the front and the back of the shirt for a few minutes, making sure to go over the lettering very slowly.


And You’re Done!

Finished DIY Freezer Paper Shirt Paint

Admire your new beautiful shirt!  I love how the gold looks on the white shirt so I will absolutely be wearing this out and about, and I have a LOT of paint left so I’m already getting ideas to paint throw pillows, canvas bags, shoes… basically everything in my house that’s made from fabric. We’d love to see your creations! Be sure to tag us on social media (@6NerdyChicks) so we can see what you’ve made!

Mindy Jang

Writer and Techie at 6NC. An avid computer gamer and devout Slytherin. Mindy can usually be found cooking veggie friendly meals, binging reality TV shows, or herding her clowder of cats.

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