DIY Freezer Paper Stenciled Onesies

I've been dying to try this technique out since I saw it floating around the blogosphere. I picked up some long-sleeved cotton onesies to whip up some cute animal print shirts for my little nephew. I found this great Animal font for free on Dafont. I love its clean animal silhouettes that are really easy to cut out, even with just an Xacto knife. For these shirts, I used the turtle and the zebra. I wasn't a fan of the whale, so I made my own in Illustrator.

Here's what you'll need:

Freezer paper (available by the roll at most grocery stores)
Fabric paint
Xacto knife (or Silhouette SD cutter)

The type of fabric paint I use is the Tulip brand at Michael's. I picked up a few bottles of these in red, blue, yellow, black and white, so I could mix a variety of colors and tints.

Step 1: Print out animal silhouette and cut out shape very carefully using an Xacto knife. I used my Silhouette SD because I had some complicated shapes for my zebra. The whale and turtle would be pretty simple with the knife though! You will want to make sure your outline is as perfect as possible because that is the part you will use.

Step 2: Iron your animal templates onto the shirts with the steam setting off. Be sure to iron around all the edges and corners to create a tight seal. You don't want any paint seeping through.

Step 3: Put some cardboard inside the shirt to protect the back layer.

Step 4: Paint away! You may need a few coats if your shirt is dark, as mine are. I used about 3 coats. Wait about 5-10 minutes in between coats.

Step 5: This is the fun part! After letting dry for at least an hour (or longer if you're patient), carefully peel away the template.

Step 6: With a piece of cloth between the iron and painted image, iron over the painted image to really set the paint. Be sure not to wash the shirt for at last 24 hours.

And here's little E sporting the whale onesie. :)

Happy painting!

Chau  – (December 6, 2011 at 9:04 PM)  

Hi Becca, I've been looking at Etsy to see if there's a birthday onesie for Emmett. But I haven't found one that I like. I think, hm.. if I have time, I'll try making one using your method above. Thanks for the tutorial!

Stacey  – (February 29, 2012 at 6:47 PM)  

Just a quick question, did you wash the onesies before painting them?

Thanks! These are adorable!

becca  – (February 29, 2012 at 7:19 PM)  

Stacey - I would definitely recommend washing them first before you paint just because if there is any shrinkage, it will happen before the image is placed on it! That way, the shrinking won't distort or warp your image in any way.

The Boones  – (March 23, 2012 at 3:02 PM)  

Cute! Love! I like the whale you made much better! Little e is lucky to have you for his Auntie!

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