Freezer Paper Stencil Tee-Shirts Using Silhouette

I may be a little obsessed with my newfound Silhouette skill.  This may be an old trick to you Silhouette veterans out there, but I’m just now discovering the beauty of using a Freezer Paper Stencil.  And once I figured out how to turn just about any image into a cut file in my Silhouette, all the sudden I can churn out graphic tees and cheeky quote shirts with the best of ’em.  And all by using the freezer paper stencil method!

Good news!  You don’t have to have a Silhouette machine…just use scissors or an exacto knife to cut out your image from the freezer paper…then skip to the end of this post to see how to paint!

*Please keep in mind that I am not selling anything that I make.  It is for my own personal use.  Be sure to check copyright details on images that you use!*Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteRecently, my best friend from Maryland and her three kids came to visit.  After a happy accident where we happened to mash our two last names together, we realized that it sounded just like a southerner’s version of “raccoon.”  So we decided to call our yearly get-togethers Camp RaKuhn {we’re such dorks, I know!}.  And as a former camp counselor, there is no camp without a camp tee shirt!Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSince I had recently figured out how to change almost any image on the internet into a cut file, it was just a matter of finding an image of a raccoon that was what we were looking for.  We needed a simple image with block colors.  I Googled “raccoon+silhouette+vector” to get the widest spread of simple images I was looking for.  The images below are perfect for this project.  You don’t want anything too detailed {like the ones X’ed out}, but keep in mind you will be painting, so any simple/high contrast color images are fine too.  There are a bunch of cartoon raccoons out there as well, one of which we ended up choosing.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteWhen I found the perfect one, I saved it as a .JPEG.  Then, I opened it as a new file and re-saved {“Export”} it as a .PNG file.  Then, it was ready to be opened up in the Silhouette program.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteWhen you open your file in the program, you will need to trace it.  Highlight the image and then click on the icon that looks like toast on the tool bar that goes across the top of your screen.  You’ll want to adjust your settings, including the High Pass Filter to make sure all of the different areas of your image are highlighted to be cut out.  You can test this by looking at the areas that turn yellow.  Click on TRACE on the right side bar, and the areas that are yellow will turn red.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteI’ve zoomed in here so you can see…if you drag the original image away from your traced image, you can see the red “cut lines.”  On simple, plain black silhouette images, there will only be one cut line around the entire image, so you will have minimal editing to do.  But as you can see, I have “double” cut lines on mine.  Zoom in further….
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteNow you can really see the double cut lines.  You’ll need to clean your image up a little, since it wasn’t originally made to be cut out by a computer!  Take a look at your image and get a good idea of which lines you need to get rid of….they are messy and squiggly and will have a TON of dots in the next picture.  You also want to get rid of any random little dots, or else they will be cut out by your machine too!
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSo in the left side bar, click on the icon with the arrow and the connected dots.  Then click on any part of a red line.  A gazillion little dots will show up.  They are all tiny little angles.  Let’s make it a little simpler, shall we?  Click on SIMPLIFY (#1) and some of the dots should go away.  Then, click on dots and lines that you want to get rid of {the messier ones} by clicking on DELETE POINT (#2).  You’ll need to click this each time to delete….it gets a little tedious…you might as well binge on some Netflix while you work.

Keep in mind that most of the points are connected at some point {no pun intended}, so you will mess up and delete something you didn’t mean to.  Just use the UNDO arrow icon on your top toolbar.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteLike I said, some of the lines will be connected in weird places.  And some of those places you need to get rid of!  So highlight the line you want to break off, and click on BREAK PATH.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteThe two lines that used to be connected will turn into a solid and open red circle.  Drag them away from each other and put the red circle on any other dot to which you want to connect that line.  They will automatically fuse together.  Then you can delete the other line if needed.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteKeep deleting, moving and adding points as necessary to clean up your image.  Make sure all of your areas connect, so it will be a clean-cut and easy to weed.  Then you are ready to cut out onto your medium.  You can use vinyl to create a stencil, but I’ve found that freezer paper actually cuts AND paints cleaner.  I use the same settings for freezer paper as I do for regular paper.  Once you weed out all of the little pieces, place them carefully on your tee shirt and iron them down.  You are ready to paint!
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteUse fabric paint and a small paint brush or sponge.  Get creative with your colors and layering.  Just be sure to use an up-and-down motion while painting to prevent bleeding.

In order to make our tail, we painted the entire thing gray {using the cut out of the entire body of the raccoon}.  Then, after it was dry, we placed the cut outs of the tail stripes over the gray paint and ironed them down to protect them…then painted over the gray with a darker gray to create the two-tone effect of the tail.  When you are done with the stencils, just use tweezers to pull them off, and let dry!Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteAfter it dries for 4-6 hours, iron it one more time to set the paint.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSuper easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSuper easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteNow, you are all set for camp!

Follow me on Instagram {@palmsandpigs} to see some of the other Freezer Paper Stencil projects I’ve made….with and without the Silhouette!

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