Painting Textile With Freezer Paper Stencil

Red, white and blue pillow

Large (king size) pillow sham for Americana Decor

I’ll start here, as the actual beginning photo is not too interesting. This is a large size pillow sham stenciled with abstract flag design.

Starting the stencil:

Freezer paper makes an efficient stencil that can be used several times.

Freezer paper makes an efficient stencil that can be used several times.

I told you it wasn’t much to look at, now I’m sure you agree. This is very basic, not much mystery. We probably all did stencils in elementary school. Or before! As I quickly sketch the lines I am imagining a flag snapping in the breeze. Next:

star shape being cut from paper

Starting to cut stencil in the freezer paper

painting through stencil

I had changed my mind on the star – I made the complete cut out – eliminating the ‘bridges’ – but then inserted a smaller shape to keep the star white.

I used a brush but sometimes I use chunk of foam. I think I prefer using foam.

I used a brush but sometimes I use a chunk of firm foam – like would be in a seat cushion. I think I prefer using foam. I also should mention that the freezer paper adheres well to the fabric by ironing on, shiny side down.

After the paint has aged and been ‘set’ with a hot iron:

layers for quilting - cotton, batting, painted fabric

Layering cotton fabric backing, cotton batting, painted fabric. I’m embarrassed about the canvas on my cutting table. I really need to put on new. But then I’d have to be so careful. You can be sure I’ll brag about it when I do replace it.

pinning the layers together

I’m a ‘pinner’, I seldom baste. Sometimes I need to rearrange the layers as the stitching progresses.

Beginning the quilting

I do make a decision on my general direction before I begin, but after that I ‘go with the flow’.

One ‘rule’ I do tend to follow. I decide whether or not I am going to cross stitching lines.

completed sewing

After completing the quilting, I machine washed and dried to shrink the batting and backing. This emphasizes the quilting lines and gives texture.

You may notice there is a mottled look to the blue paint. I don’t usually use a paint extender but this time I did. I think the loss of paint was from using too much, causing poor adhesion. Since my intention for the pillow (and the washing and drying to shrink the batting) is to create the used quilt texture I still consider this project to be a success. But I will remember my lesson. The extender (using too much of it) also lightened my paint considerably.

Available in my Etsy Shop.

4 responses to “Painting Textile With Freezer Paper Stencil

  1. This is terrific. Special thanks for showing the process. What type of paints did you use?

    • Melanie –

      I am using Jacquard textile paint. One source is Dharma Trading Co. (no affiliation, just a satisfied customer). If you’re not familiar with Dharma, you’re in for a treat!

      Thanks so much for your approving comment. I find I do enjoy showing my process and am very glad to know it is of value to you.


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