I stenciled today!
(+1 at Flickr)
Isn't it cute?
I bought a bunch of cheap canvas bags at MUJI in Japan, and was planning on stenciling some flowers or something, and last night, when I couldn't fall asleep (I love jetlag, let me tell ya), I had this awesome idea. I was smart enough not to try stenciling at 1:30am and waited until this evening to play with knives.
(1) Figure out what you want to stencil and print it out.
(2) Trace it onto the paper side of some freezer paper. (You can try printing directly onto the freezer paper, but I wasn't brave enough to put waxy paper inside my printer for fear that it would get stuck. Plus, freezer paper is transparent enough that it's reasonably easy to trace through it.)
(3) Use a sharp knife to cut the negative space out of your design on the freezer paper. I use one of these: retractable knives.
(4) After you've cut your design out of the freezer paper, iron it (waxy side down) onto the fabric you want the image on. It'll stick.
(5) Once you've got your stencil applied, place a piece of thin cardboard under where you're going to paint (in case the paint bleeds through).
(6) Mix equal parts fabric medium and acrylic paint, and apply to your fabric/stencil with a foam brush (or a sponge, or regular brushes, whatever you want).
(7) Gently lift fabric off of cardboard (to prevent sticking). Let fabric dry (with stencil still attached) for at least 4 hours. (The instructions on the fabric medium say to wait 24 hours, but I couldn't wait that long and my paint was dry. :P)
(8) Once the paint is really dry, gently peel stencil off of fabric. Bask in the glory of your stenciled image!
(9) After 24 hours, heat set the paint by placing a towel/sheet over painted image and ironing it. Your fabric/image are machine washable, but to be on the safe side, you should wash it inside out.
There are some helpful hints on stenciling at craftgrrl on livejournal that I'd read prior to trying this out on my own. Surprisingly easy though!
Next up, screen printing or needle felting (bought a kit at It's Demo - also in Japan).