Freezer Paper Primer

There are lots of tutorials and how-to’s out there for freezer paper, but based on the quantity of questions I’ve gotten (email and real life), I decided to talk about it briefly.


Here’s what I’m talking about. It’s located by the plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Not everywhere carries it. I would say it’s difficult-ish to find. I even had to break down and go to WalMart to get some. A roll this size runs $6-7, but it will last you FOREVER.

Freezer paper is shiny and plastic-y on one side and plain paper on the other. The plastic coating will stick to fabric when it’s ironed, but can easily be peeled off.

You can use a number of different techniques to get your design onto your fabric. I’ve tried bleach, spray paint, fabric paint, and acrylic paint mixed with a textile medium. I like them all.

If your design has free floating details like the skull or letters, you’ll need to hang on to those pieces and reposition them within your design. The nice part about using pumpkin carving templates is that there aren’t any floating pieces.

And here’s a brief how-to!

You’ll need freezer paper, a design to trace, a pencil, an Exacto knife, and some sort of paint or bleach.


Trace the design onto your freezer paper. You can see through it pretty well:

(I had to put the knife there to get my camera to focus)


How much excess freezer paper you leave around the edges is kind of personal preference. I leave more when I use spray paint to protect the rest of the shirt.

Sit down with your Exacto knife and start cutting.


(There’s a navy cutting board underneath my cut out)

Position the freezer paper on your fabric and iron.


You’ll want to press and then lift and press some more as opposed to sliding the iron back and forth. Sliding it will catch on the details and rip them.

If you’re using paint that will bleed (pretty much anything but spray paint), you’ll want to stick a piece of cardboard inside the shirt now.

Then I went out to my garage…


and spray painted.


Let it dry for about 10 minutes and then peel the freezer paper off.


Finished product?


You can also cut freezer paper in your Cricut…think of the possibilities with THAT!

***Edit to add pics of the shirt after it’s been machine washed and dried (inside out). They should be click-able.***


***Edit part deux: I tried another shirt using Valspar spray paint and it was a disaster. Probably don’t use that kind.***

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  1. Melissa at Perry Jayne says:

    Great tutorial. But, I'm trying to figure out what your image is…Is it a Transformer? I'm puzzled.

  2. Amber Lynn says:

    Do you use just regular spray paint? How does it hold up?

  3. I've tried matte fabric paint and it cracked. Any idea what I did wrong?

  4. Stephen and Heather says:

    Melissa – the picture is of Boba Fett from Star Wars, one of my kids favorties.
    Char – When you use spray paint, do you need to do anything to set it onto the fabric so that the shirt can be washed?

  5. The Monster and Me says:

    awesome! great tutorial :) I was wondering as well if you just used regular spray paint and if its washable?


  6. spray paint! that would have been way easier for that halloween shirt I did.

  7. Excellent tutorial – thanks for sharing!

  8. madebymegs says:

    What a great idea. I didn't even know that freezer paper existed before this. I will have to use this technique for sure. Great post :)

  9. michelleml says:

    thank you thank you soooo much. I will have to make one of these for my son. I have the same question as other does it matter what type of spay paint? can we wash?


  10. Jenglamgirl says:

    AMAZING… MY 8 year old son… aka Star Wars lover… would love this! P.S. LOVE YOUR BLOG NAME… AND THE MESSAGE JUST BELOW IT… and sometimes its crap! TO FUNNY! I am going to follow you too, I would love for you to follow Jenn

  11. Shel at Dreamy Nest says:

    Cool – thank you for sharing this tutorial. I've been reading about freezer paper, but never tried it. This makes it seem easy. Like – maybe even I could do it.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Thanks so much for doing this tutorial. Everyone has had them on, but I haven't found specifics on it yet. You're the best!

  13. Tammy and Brian Family says:

    AWESOME! I have been wondering the same thing about washing, is there spray paint you shouldn't use, what is the best to use?

  14. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    I went back and added 2 pics of the shirt after washing and drying. They should be click-able.

    Spray paint doesn't wash out when you want it to, right? LOL! I've never done anything special to set it. I suppose pressing it with a hot iron and a press cloth couldn't hurt.

    I've used both Rustoleum and Krylon, because those are the 2 paints I buy regularly.

    And I'm not sure why the fabric paint would have cracked for you, Tammy.

  15. paint will crack if it's too thick!

  16. Melissa at Perry Jayne says:

    Ah, Star Wars. Yes I can see it now. My little boy is still too young for Star Wars, but I'm sure that is not too far away.

  17. I was going to ask how to do this, and you're usually the one I go to when I can't figure soemthing out. Lol.

  18. What a wonderful idea! I love it and I gotta, gotta, gotta try it! Thanks for sharing. I'm folloing!
    Jenn :)

  19. samkamgun says:

    thank you so much! i made one on thurs. to tell my family i was preggo. my son wore a shirt saying he had a secret on the front and on the back it said im goin to be a big brother. I found fabric paint worked really well too. And if you have cricket i found that alot easier then having to trace and cut.

  20. Great idea! Love seeing a creative mind work and gain success!!!!!! Hope it continues to grow!


  21. Mommy of Two 24/7 says:

    Great tutorial! I am going to make my kids shirt's graphics this way! Love it!

  22. Thank you for the tutorial :)

    Spray paint is a regular spray paint, right? there's no special spray paint for fabric, am I right?

    Where I live it's impossible to get freezer paper, but I'm gonna get some when my MIL comes back from the states :) just a week to go.

  23. Mom 2 Dom and Gigi says:

    great tut. I trim my freezer paper down to 8.5×11 and run it through my printer, printing on the paper side. That eliminates the need for tracing. I also suggest using a self healing mat to Exacto on.

  24. Great tutorial. I haven't used freezer paper yet, but I want to!


  25. Sew It To Me says:

    My mom just got a Cricut (with my persuasion) and we've been playing with it – felt flowers, cards, etc., so when I saw you could do freezer paper . . . yay! Oh the possibilities. . .

    Thanks for the tut!


  26. Wow. That looks like so much fun. I can't wait to try it!

  27. Great tutorial! You're right, I guess great minds do think alike since I just posted about the technique too! Isn't it so crazy easy!?! I'm in love with this technique!
    -Sarah from Create Studio

  28. Jenn @ WestSacHoney says:

    Freezer Paper is the best I just found a love for it and my Cricut machine!

  29. Lovely Lizzy says:

    Genius! The pumpkin carving bit is the best thing I've ever seen in reference to freezer paper! Thank you!

  30. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have been wanting to use freezer paper for a while now, and now I think I'm actually gonna do it!

    P.S. I haven't been in your kitchen, but my sister has.

  31. michelle@somedaycrafts says:

    Spray paint for this! Great idea! I will have to try it!

  32. Love that train! great colors too.

    Andrea @

  33. Life in Rehab says:

    That's too cool. And I know from experience how well spray paint adheres to a T-shirt. Unintentional experience, mind you…

  34. Nifty Thrifty 'n' More says:

    Ahhh! Finally a masking tut I can follow with my addled brain! Thank you, I'm linking to my new blog niftythrifynmore(dot)blogspot(dot)com. My childrens wardrobes thank you!

  35. Awesome tut. Thank you as I have been wondering about this and haven't found any specifics on it! Now, all I have to do is think of a good project…hmmm.


  36. JJMEARS says:

    I have a dumb question:I got the textile medium for acrylic paints. It says to let it dry for 7 days! In your experience, is that necessary??

    You say you've used all the mediums, but which have you had the very best results with? thanks!

  37. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    Maybe I didn't read the directions on the textile medium all the way through, but I know I never let it dry for 7 days.

    I like spray paint because it's quickest.

    Textile medium is probably my least fave because of the mixing.

    I'm lazy. ;)


  39. Wow! Thanks for sharing that. Endless possiblities. One more thing to use the Cricut for.

  40. Christie says:

    Can you tell me where you found the Boba Fett image? I have two boys who would love it!

  41. Thanks so much for including the picture of the football jersey!!! I looked everywhere yesterday for it. :) Turned out great! With 4 boys and football season in full swing might have to give this one a go! Thanks!!

  42. Thanks so much for including the picture of the football jersey!!! I looked everywhere yesterday for it. Turned out great! With 4 boys and football season in full swing might have to give this one a go! Thanks!!

  43. Can you please share the settings for your cricut? I’m having trouble with it ripping the paper or not cutting deep enough. Thanks for your help!!!

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  45. Great post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired!
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  1. [...] going to show a tutorial, especially since there’s about a thousand of them. For instance, here, here, and [...]

  2. [...] And now onto this sneak peek I keep talking about. This is what I worked on today, via an old tutorial by Char from Crap I’ve Made: [...]

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