Tuesday, January 13, 2009

DIY Faux Freezer Paper for Stencils (trashbag & all!)

Tonight I started a new project - a tote (Purl Bee's "Un-Paper Bag") to use some beautiful thick cotton fabric I have. This project went awry pretty quickly when I burned one of the pieces of fabric! I've never burned fabric before!!
I don't have enough fabric to re-cut the piece so I had to get creative and come up with some creative way to cover the burn mark (eeks!).
After a long train of creative processing I have decided to use some coordinating blue fabric that I am going to use for the inside of the bag and another coordinating lighter blue ribbon to make a stripe across the top of the bag. Ugh! But "A mistake is just creating new opportunity!" so I embraced the challenge and decided on putting my name is the strip of blue to make it look more purposeful. "Sarah" - I know, how very unique...
So how am I going to do this? Embroider it? Punch needle it? How about stencil it with paint! I had seen all of those tutorials on stenciling with freezer paper (NOT wax paper) and thought it looked fun. I don't have any freezer paper and the last time I was at the store they didn't have any on hand (it's actually kind of hard to come by these days). So when I was browsing the instructables website I saw a feature for making your own freezer paper.
What?!? Make your own freezer paper? How do you do that? Well, check it out here. Basically using a piece of copy paper (that I printed my name on in the font and size I wanted), I adhered 1 white trashbag with an iron to the back side of it. I then saw that there were areas that weren't covered all the way and did a second layer of trashbag. It worked like a charm! So all in all it cost pennies to make some freezer paper (and was darn fun I have to admit). The instructables suggest using something called "airmail" paper (apparently ultra thin paper?) and clear, thin plastic bags. If you used the thin plastic bags with copy paper the final "faux freezer paper" doesn't adhere to your fabric. They suggested if you wanted to use copy paper to use the thick black trashbags. But I didn't have thick black trashbags (and I heard that the black color could stain your fabric) so I tried my white trashbags. Even the little "A" islands (the little pieces I cut out of the letter "A" in Sarah) stayed perfectly in place while I painted my name in fabric paint. I made sure I followed everyone's advice and pulled off the stencil when the paint was still tacky because otherwise it is apparently a bear to get off. My name is crisp and clear! Too much fun...
So I guess it was meant to be when I burned my fabric. It gave me an excuse to have some fun and paint my name. Now I just need to get my sewing machine fixed so I can finish the item and post it here!!

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