Tuesday, September 2, 2008

project completed and some tips

I'm so thrilled to have finished my little stencil project. I had this idea of combining three of my favorite projects: stenciling on fabric, painted matryoshka dolls (like my stone dolls), and embroidery hoop "frames" (remember these?). I'm pleased with the end result, but the road to complete these three dolls was filled with delays. Some of them based on time and my family needing some attention too, and some technical difficulties with printing that had me doing many steps over and over again. I've included some stenciling tips so you don't have to repeat my mistakes! Hopefully my obsession with freezer paper has rubbed off on you and you'll be trying it soon, if not already. When it works it's so satisfying and feels easy as pie. I had planned to hang this threesome in my daughters room, but my color choice had to change midway, so I wound up hanging them in my studio... I love looking at them and now I have an excuse to come up with a some new wall art for my little one.

Freezer paper stencil tips:
(in case you need a tutorial cick here)
1.make a small and easy pattern to test your fabric and paint
My little toadstool was a test to see how linen would take paint...

I was so pleased with the crisp lines, that I went ahead and cut a very complicated and intricate design for my stencil. I then proceeded to use a different brand (cheaper) of paint...not so smart...which leads me to

2.use only high quality textile paints for printing.
The paints on the left are economical but are too thick and don't take well to fabric. They muddy the details. The ones on the right are lovely, but you might not find a huge color selection at your local craft store, so get them here.

3. if you work hard on your design, scan it into your computer so that you can try again if you make a mistake
I'm so grateful that I had a copy of my drawing, because the original was worthless after my first failed attempt with the cheapo paint. I cut more freezer paper to size and printed directly onto it with an ink jet printer.

4. use tools after your paint has dried
I love using an old pair of tweezers for peeling off little pieces of paper and a toothpick for touch-ups. The stiff point of the tooth pick makes for clean and precise details.

It's so easy to get frustrated when things don't turn out as you had envisioned, but I work towards rolling with my mistakes and trying again . I had to make the small and medium doll TWICE! zencrafting has an absolutely wonderful post about the process of not getting discouraged during your creative process. I think I'll be reading it over and over again whenever I need some encouragement.

Stop back tomorrow for my second give- away! Pin It


  1. These are fantastic!! It's nice to see them finished, you did a fabulous job on them!! :)

  2. Those are awesome, what a great project.

  3. I need a shirt that says "ask me about freezer paper stenciling," I talk about it SOO much! It's such a great project and I think even those of us who are obsessed with it could always use more tips and ideas! I'll be linking to this!

    You are a bottomless well of creativity, you always come up with something fabulous!

  4. I love love LOVE it! Such a great idea! (I might have to steal it at some stage.) I've been meaning to try my hand with fabric paint for a while. Thanks for all your tips!

  5. Thank you for yet another great batch of inspiration! I love the beautiful dolls all together, and I think what makes them so powerful is how you've brought together so many crafting influences into one creation. They feel so personal, too. Your handy tips are just what I needed to nudge me a little closer to tackling printing on fabric.

  6. My gosh, that is so amazing that you can do all the with freezer paper. I have GOT to TRY THAT!

  7. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm...it makes the late, late nights feel worth it. Let's face it, I'd be up making something anyway...but all of your kind words make it that much sweeter.

  8. Brilliant job!! And well done not going insane with the tiny parts of the stencil! rofl

  9. Wow, the detail on those is amazing! I love how crisp they are...thanks for the tips, especially on the paint. The last one I did was a little, um, crunchy :)

  10. Oh my!
    Those are just a few of my favourite things too!
    Thanks so much for dropping by, I'd love to add you to my link list if that's OK? Xxx

  11. Thanks again everyone and I'd be happy to be added to your list, Poppy and Mei!

  12. They came up beautifully Maya. I love the babushka but most of all I LOVE that little toadie pincushion.

  13. They came out beautifully, it was definitely worth the hassles. Thanks for the stencilling tips, I've wanted to try again after my first failure so maybe I will soon.

  14. These ar so pretty.I love the detail. I also really love the stone versions of your Russian dolls you did a while back. The patterns were amazing, So clever to create such interesting patterns with one colour.

  15. Thanks for the tips. I have one question: I managed to make "full" shapes but when I want to make something with details inside I don't know how to proceed. What do you recommend?

    On your post about the chair I saw that you're numbering the parts of the flowers, how do you use these marks?

  16. Hi Steph, I cut out smaller parts to fill in and iron them on individually... like little islands. I number them if I want to remember to put them in the exact order that I've drawn them. Not always necessary, though. Good luck! So glad you're giving it a try.

  17. What was the "bad" paint? I am just getting started doing this.

  18. Cheryl, the "bad paint" is the one in the photo on the left: typical inexpensive fabric paint from craft stores... please check out my link to the better stuff: Jacquard textile paint. Good luck and have fun!



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