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DIY Projects: Screen print with freezer paper

This has been a fun project to work on.

Ryan over at The Life and Style Guild is going to Design Camp Atlanta at the end of the month.  She asked me to create magazine totes for her team to carry.  We decided on a grey/white chevron print [ “Chevron”.. fancy work for zig zag..].  She then asked me to print their name “The Life and Style Guild” on the totes..


I wasn’t sure how I was going to print their business name and still have it look professional.  I am a perfectionst.  Not only is it important for my projects to look good, but to also have quality workmanship.

Sooo, I googled “printing on fabric” and searched everywhere on the Internet.  I found multiple approaches, but the method I read most about was using freezer paper.  Interesting!  I wasn’t sure how this would come out.

Check out the 6 easy steps below:

Materials Needed:

  1. Renolds freezer paper
  2. Tulip paint.  This brand comes in a variety of colors and is fairly inexpensive
  3. Sponges. I broke down and bought the Tulip sponges. You can find cheap sponges for under 50 cents.. But I liked the flat end to the Tulip sponges.
  4. Fabric
  5. Iron and ironing surface
  6. X-acto knife and cutting board
  7. Cardboard
  8. Image, words, logo to screen print

6 Easy Steps:

1. Gather your materials – Buy paint, sponges and fabric. Find an image you want to print on your fabric.  I printed out the words “The Life and Style Guild” a few times to get the right look. This was going to be on a totebag, so the size and layout was important to consider. Prewash your fabric.

2.  Place the word or image under the freezer paper. Shiny size down/matte side up. Trace onto the matte side. Use a marker – a sharpie works really well.

3.  Using your X-acto knife carefully, CAREFULLY cut out your image or word.  Make sure to have exact corners and don’t criss cross at the corners with a cut. This will cause paint to bleed and you won’t have precise edges or corners. Remember to save the inside of your letters – for example the inside of the e, a or or.. As you cut along, if your knife cut is wiggly – this will show when you paint on the fabric. Try to be as precise as possible. Practice if needed..

4.  Press your fabric nice and flat. Place the freezer paper onto the fabric shiny side down. With a hot iron, press the paper in place. Make sure to lift and press as you go. If you pull and iron, you may crinkle the letters.  Add the inside of the letters – e, a, or and iron again..

5.  Prep your painting area. Place a piece of cardboard under your fabric.  Get your sponges ready, open your fabric paint and squeeze into a container.  I would suggest doing a test run on a piece of muslin before starting on your real fabric.  I didn’t do this and my first try looked like total crap.. ugh, $12 a yard fabric!! Dab the sponge into the paint.  Get rid of the excess paint and lightly dab the fabric.  After the first dab on the fabric, I found it best to lightly brush the sponge over the fabric. remember again to only use a little paint, otherwise you will have goopy, thick edges and it may run.

6.  Carefully peel the freezer paper off your fabric WHILE the paint is still wet.

Voila – Freezer paper image complete!!

Stay tuned as I complete the totebags and share the remainder of this DIY project


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