a t-shirt or whatever item you are adding your image to
First step is to figure out what design you want and cut it out of your freezer paper. I cut mine with my Cricut shiny side up on the Washi Tape setting to cut all of the intricate bits without tearing the paper. You will want to make sure to reverse your image if you have any writing because the shiny side is what will go down on your shirt. You do not want any tears because your ink will seep through them and mess up your image.
After cutting the image weed it from the mat, this means you will remove all of the negative pieces making sure to leave the edges nice and clean. If there are any bits that do not cut cleanly you can use a craft knife to clean up the edges and make them smooth.
After I have my image cut out I put it aside and prep my t-shirt. I turn it inside out and iron another piece of freezer paper to the inside, shiny side down, to create a barrier that will stop the ink from soaking through to the back of the shirt. You can use a piece of cardboard to prevent any ink or paint from seeping through instead.
Next you will place your freezer paper down on your fabric, shiny side down, making sure to place it exactly like you want it on your t-shirt. This is the time to move it around. Once it is ironed down you really can’t move it because you lose all of the sticky stuff that seals those edges.
Using a craft sponge dab the ink onto the design. I dab it around the edges and then fill in the center and try to make sure the ink is as even as possible.
I tried to go back in and add some ink in spots where I missed it on this Audrey II shirt and as you can see the ink dried a bit of a lighter color. That’s ok though, my oldest wears it around the house now, so it’s not a total loss and I learned from the experience.
Leave the shirt to dry to the touch and then peel off the freezer paper stencil. At this time you will need to set the ink. I use a heat press but you can use an iron as well. Set the iron to the highest heat that is recommended for the material and use a piece of parchment paper or cotton scrap in between the iron and the shirt. You will press until you no longer see steam/moisture coming from the t-shirt. Sometimes this can be a long process, but it is really important so the shirt stays looking like new after multiple washes. I press for about 15 seconds then check and then repeat until it is set.
I have done so many of these for the kids and myself! The options are endless and they make great gifts! I hope this little tutorial inspires you to make all of the nerdy shirts you can dream up!