DIY Shirt Designs: How To Make Your Own Freezer Paper Stencils


If you’re looking for a fun easy craft, then you’ve come to right place. This post is actually 2 tutorials: how to make your own freezer paper and how to make your own shirt designs.

I first heard about “freezer paper” and it’s magical properties on Pinterest. Let me just say that Pinterest has changed my life in a nerdy, crafty way meaning that I try to have a go at all the DIY stuff that I pin. It’s a little pet peeve of mine when people pin DIY stuff that’s basically impossible to make unless you’re a hybrid of Mike Holmes and Martha Stewart. Anyways, when I went to try out a cool tutorial on how to make your own shirt designs using freezer paper I realized that I had pinned a dud because I could NOT find freezer paper anywhere! I don’t think it’s widely available in Canada.

But I refused to give up that easily. In my search to locate freezer paper I came across an instructable on how to make your own! And the homemade freezer paper is AMAZING! This is definitely one of the more satisying DIYs that I’ve tried. It’s so easy to make and works great as a stencil.

Have a look!

What you need for the freezer paper:

– a plain piece of paper

– a garbage bag

– an iron


1) Print your design on the paper. Note: The simplier your design, the better. Silhouettes work great. I’m making an owl shirt for Oliver. He has a thing for owls.


2) Iron the design on the garbage bag.


The garbage bag will melt and stick to the back of the paper. I know, crazy eh?! It will look like this:


Ok now you’re ready to make the stencil and put it on your shirt.

What you need to make the stencil/paint the design on the shirt:

– self healing mat

– craft knife

– T-shirt

– fabric paint

– paint brush


1) Cut out your stencil using a craft knife. I improvised on mine a little.


2) Iron the stencil on to the shirt. The garbage bag backing will stick to the shirt like magic!


3) Then paint your design using the fabric paint. I use a brush meant for acrylics. You can probably use any kind of brush that you want, as long as it’s not a really cheap one or else you’ll get bristles on your design. Let it dry between coats. I usually do about 3 coats mainly because I’m too impatient to do any more.


4) When it’s dry, peel off the stencil and viola! You’ve just designed your own shirt.

IMG_4143  IMG_4151

Here are two other shirts that I’ve made. One for the TTC subway enthusiast in my life. I used a single hole punch to punch out the subway stops and stickers for the names. I work with a boy that loves Angry Birds, Mario and Sonic. How else can you get all three on one shirt? Thank you garbage bag freezer paper!

20130411_164057 IMG_4043

I think these DIY shirts make great gifts and you don’t have to be an artist to make them. Not to mention that the people you give them to LOVE them! Oliver thought his owl shirt was a real hoot! (Sorry couldn’t resist painfully cheesy pun…)



5 thoughts on “DIY Shirt Designs: How To Make Your Own Freezer Paper Stencils

  1. Pingback: DIY “Hands Down Best Dad” Father’s Day Shirt | diary of an east yorker

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