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How to Stencil Fabric  (2 Easy Methods)

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Fabric is a blank slate, a piece of art just waiting to happen!  One of the many ways you can embellish fabric is through stenciling, today I am showing you how to stencil fabric. You’ll get not 1 but 2 easy methods for stenciling, plus all my tips for creating tote bags, shirts, pillows and anything else made of fabric.  Watch the video for all the details then scroll down for more.

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For this project I chose a canvas bag to stencil.  When choosing a fabric to stencil, opt for a natural fabric like cotton and be sure to wash and dry it before stenciling.  

I really like using these canvas tote bags.  I have made a library book bag using fabric scraps and so many different stenciled bags.  They made great gifts too! 

Once the tote bag is washed and ready to use, it’s time to stencil.  Be sure to watch the video for all the details.  You can find a few tips for each method below, along with links to my go to supplies. 

How to stencil fabric – Method 1

Freezer paper stencil.  Using freezer paper allows you to design and cut your own stencil using a Silhouette or Cricut.  

Watch this video to learn how to turn any font into a stencil font, this will help you create a flawless design!

Lay the freezer paper shiny side down on a cutting mat and cut the design.  Once the design is cut and weeded, place it on the fabric and use an iron on low heat to adhere the stencil to the fabric.  This creates a temporary bond that will help you achieve crisp lines.  

Using very little paint and an up and down motion, dab paint onto the stencil. I like using this fabric paint for these projects, it has a soft feel and can be washed and dried once your project is complete.  Peel back the freezer paper when you are done painting to reveal beautiful crisp lines! 

How to stencil fabric- Method 2

An adhesive stencil.  This method is ideal if you cannot, or don’t want to, cut your own stencil.  I have a Silhouette and love to create my own stencils, but sometimes I see something like  this stencil that I just can’t pass up.

Just peel the blue stencil away from the clear backing and stick it to the fabric.  Press down gently and use the same painting method as described above.  

When you are done with this stencil, peel it off the fabric and place it back on the clear backing.  Wipe away the paint and it’s ready to use for your next project. 

How to Stencil Fabric - Creative Ramblings

Heat Setting – the final step

For any fabric painting, you will need to heat set your final piece.  Once the paint is dry lay a thin towel over the design and run a warm iron over the top.  Be sure to check the back of your paint bottle for full directions, some brands recommend different methods of heat setting.

And that is how to stencil fabric!  Use these tips to create personal decorative items, tshirts and gifts.

If you like this post, pin the image below and share it with a fellow crafter! 

Learn how to stencil fabric using 2 easy methods

Thanks for visiting!


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