DIY Star Wars Freezer Paper Stencil T-shirt

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I've received several questions about Oliver's Darth Vader freezer paper stencil t-shirt from this BOY style post.  That tee is a huge hit with my boys so I figured I'd better make another one so they don't come to blows over it. We decided on a storm trooper this time around.

What You'll Need:

Blank t-shirt or one piece (pre-washed)
Fabric paint - I used black fabric paint by Tulip
Paint brush - I used a fabric paint brush by Tulip
Freezer paper - available at most super markets
Exacto knife or small pointy scissors
Stencil template - I got the Star Wars templates here

Getting Started:

You can do one of two things with the template. Either print it out and place it under your freezer paper (wax side down - paper side up) to trace it. Or you can cut an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of freezer paper and print out the template directly on to it. My printer is somewhat sketchy so I chose to trace the stencil. A few of the lines were super thin so drew them slightly wider so they'd be easier to cut.

With your exacto knife or small pointy scissors, cut the stencil out. If you use an exacto knife, be sure to lay down some cardboard or a cutting mat to protect your work surface. The Star Wars stencils are pretty intricate and took me forever to cut with my scissors. If I was able to find my exacto knife (and had taken a little more time), the cuts would have been much easier (and neater). However, the finished product looks fine. Only the ultimate Star Wars geek might notice the discrepancies.

With the wax side down, use an iron to affix your stencil to the t-shirt.

Now it's time to paint the stencil. Place a piece of cardboard in the middle of your t-shirt so the paint doesn't soak through to the back side. With your paint brush, apply a thin, even layer over the stencil with short brush strokes. You don't want it too thick but you want to be sure it's applied evenly and covers the entire stencil.

Once you've finished painting, wait for the paint to dry completely. You can use a blow dryer to speed things along if you're impatient like me. Again, be sure it's completely dry and then carefully lift the stencil up. With a scrap piece of fabric on top of the stencil to be safe, iron for a few seconds to set the paint.

Voila! Finished. These are really easy to care for. I've washed the Darth Vader tee (machine wash cold/tumble dry low) at least 20 times and the paint is holding up brilliantly.

If you get stuck or have any questions, let me know.


Laura said...

I flippin' LOVE these photos of Oliver!!!! Freaking fantastic, friend!!!!

Grace said...

Oh, wow! Thank you. Speaking of photos, we need to get planning my friend!!

Maia Dobson said...

It doesn't look like it's DIY shirt because it's so pretty just like those ones that popular t shirt manufacturers make. You are so creative! Kudos!

tracy said...

I found this post via pinterest and I cannot thank you enough for posting all of the detailed instructions and beautiful photos! I just made shirts for my boys for my older son's upcoming star wars birthday party!

Grace said...

@tracy, I am so stoked that you were able to use this tutorial for your son's birthday party! If you blog about it, let me know so I can check out the details - I foresee a Star Wars party or two in my future. ;)

Alvano Richie said...

Nice, i really like that shirt

Blank T-Shirts Lady said...

Great DIY. Excellent work!
If you can find a sheet of clear plastic (cut up a milk bottle, perhaps) or sheet acetate, you can cut a more permanent stencil from that. Quilting shops or department stores may have stencil sheeting, as well.

Beverly D'Angelo.

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