Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tipsy Tuesday

I had a request to share my Freezer Paper tips again...so here ya go!

Today I want to talk to you about one of my favorite craft room friends...freezer paper--which I will refer to as FP in this post (just cuz' I'm lazy!).
I use it A LOT in my crafting adventures and wanted to make sure that you all were aware of it's many charms!

What is it? It's a nice weight white paper that is coated with a thin layer of plastic on one side. Not to be confused with wax paper, which has wax on both sides. Sometimes it's a bit hard to find...but just go to your plastic wrap/tinfoil section and check the very bottom shelf and the uppermost top shelf...that's where I usually find it.

What is nice about the plastic side is that you can iron it onto many surfaces, and it just peels right off, slick as can be, when you are done using it! Another great thing is that it can be usually be used several times before the plastic wears off--so it's economical too!

Here are a few ways I use it in my everyday crafting:

1) Making templates
Just draw your pattern on the paper side of your FP (which you have traced or copied from another source..see tip #6) and iron it onto a piece of medium weight cardboard (cereal boxes work great for this)--cut out, and there you have a wonderful, reuseable template. Easy as pie.

You can also cut your freezer paper into regular sheet paper size and run it through your printer (making sure the printing is going to the paper side, not the shiny side) and this will enable you to get patterns from online into your hot little hands. It just saves a lot of tracing and re-drawing and gluing of patterns.

I haven't tried this yet, but you can also iron the FP to a piece of fabric that is cut into paper size and run it through the printer to print on fabric. I would think you would have to iron very carefully (no air bubbles) and make sure you don't have any loose threads.

2) Cutting things from FELT!
I think we all know how difficult it is to cut things from felt...trying to mark the patterns without distortion and even then to have to try and remove the markings when we are done cutting them out--this is perfect for this! Just draw all your patterns to the paper side of the FP and iron it onto your felt--cut out --and peel off the paper! You are left with perfect little pieces..Yeah!

Of course this would work well with fabric too--if you don't mind having raw edges on your project or if you will be satin stitching the edges...but this leads me to my next tip......

3) Making fabric appliques

Make FP pattern piece and iron it onto your applique fabric, cut out ***making sure to add a seam allowance all around for turning under***. Make little snips all around the seam allowance area of the applique (for turning curves and valleys) and turn your seam allowance to the back. I like to spray on some heavy starch before beginning this, as it helps to hold the fold nice and firm. When you are done turning under your seam allowance, just peel off your paper and you are ready to stitch your applique to your project!!

4) Freezer Paper Stencils
So, what if you don't want an applique, but want to paint or ink your design onto say, a t-shirt for example?? Well, FP works wonderfully for that too! Just trace your stencil onto the FP and cut out ---

AND here's a bonus tip for ya! I like to use an exacto knife to do this for smoother cutting lines, as working on interior cuts with scissors is a bit tricky, and this little gadget from Fiskars is the BOMB! It fits over your finger and you can really have great control over your cutting--Love it!
Then you just take your FP stencil and iron it onto your t-shirt or fabric or whatever and go ahead and apply your paint or ink--remove the paper and WaHLaH! Cute.

5) Stitching lines
I can't tell you how many little wallets I made with crooked flaps before I figured this one out! Make a template from FP of your projects stitching line and iron it onto your project--then just stitch along the line for perfect seams allowances! This is a great way to stitch smaller items and things that have to be perfectly even. And, like I said before, you can re-use these FP templates several times before they won't iron on any more--so this is actually a pretty economical material in the long run.

6) Tracing patterns!

This one is worth it's weight in gold. Really! Any pattern you trace can then be ironed onto your project. No more ruined fabric from mis-marking! You can also embroider or machine stitch right through the paper and remove it after you are done (Yeah, another bonus tip--dampen the paper with a damp washcloth before trying to remove it and it won't pull your stitches out of place!)

Oh, and how do you like my little light box?? I looked at so many expensive light boxes in the art stores and couldn't afford one. One day, while Christmas shopping for the kids, I ran across this Nickelodean one in the children's art section for a whopping $10! LOL And it works like a charm!

OK--that's it for today. I hope I was helpful to you and that you will give the freezer paper a shot, it's really a great help.

I would love to hear any helpful hints or tips you might have too. If you blog them or leave them here in a comment, I will share them next Tuesday.

Have a great day!
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