DIY Freezer Paper Stenciled Onesies

I’ve been dying to try this technique out since I saw it floating around the blogosphere. I picked up some long-sleeved cotton onesies to whip up some cute animal print shirts for my little nephew. I found this great Animal font for free on Dafont. I love its clean animal silhouettes that are really easy to cut out, even with just an Xacto knife. For these shirts, I used the turtle and the zebra. I wasn’t a fan of the whale, so I made my own in Illustrator.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Freezer paper (available by the roll at most grocery stores)
Fabric paint
Xacto knife (or Silhouette SD cutter)

The type of fabric paint I use is the Tulip brand at Michael’s. I picked up a few bottles of these in red, blue, yellow, black and white, so I could mix a variety of colors and tints.

Step 1: Print out animal silhouette and cut out shape very carefully using an Xacto knife. I used my Silhouette SD because I had some complicated shapes for my zebra. The whale and turtle would be pretty simple with the knife though! You will want to make sure your outline is as perfect as possible because that is the part you will use.

Step 2: Iron your animal templates onto the shirts with the steam setting off. Be sure to iron around all the edges and corners to create a tight seal. You don’t want any paint seeping through.

Step 3: Put some cardboard inside the shirt to protect the back layer.

Step 4: Paint away! You may need a few coats if your shirt is dark, as mine are. I used about 3 coats. Wait about 5-10 minutes in between coats.

Step 5: This is the fun part! After letting dry for at least an hour (or longer if you’re patient), carefully peel away the template.

Step 6: With a piece of cloth between the iron and painted image, iron over the painted image to really set the paint. Be sure not to wash the shirt for at last 24 hours.

And here’s little E sporting the whale onesie. :)

Happy painting!

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7 thoughts on “DIY Freezer Paper Stenciled Onesies

  1. Hi Becca, I've been looking at Etsy to see if there's a birthday onesie for Emmett. But I haven't found one that I like. I think, hm.. if I have time, I'll try making one using your method above. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. If you do your base coat on dark fabrics w/ gesso (?) you’ll need less paint. It can be found at craft stores as well. I used to paint shirts for my boys when they were little & a friend of mine passed this helpful hint on to me.

  3. Hi there,
    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just made a batch of onesies for my little guy and for gifts. They turned out great and it was fun to make them. I really appreciate your instructions.

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  6. How do you print the animals out individually and to size? All I get is all of the animals on one paper? I know I’m doing something wrong. Thanks for the tutorial!

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