After you've sourced all your materials and have tried it once, you'll discover freezer paper stenciling is neither labor intensive nor very messy. Therefore it is suitable for both the ultra crafty types and the not-so-crafty types who hate glue and paint on their fingers.
Step 1: Gather your materials:
-freezer paper (I found this at my grocery store. The plastic coating is the part that adheres to the fabric. If you're curious, the wax on waxed paper just melts.)
-craft knife (exacto knife)
-fabric paint (Look for this in a craft or fabric store. There are many different types and they may not clearly state "fabric paint". Check for a list of suitable applications.)
-paint palette or paper plate
-painting sponge or small paintbrush
I like to use the assortment of little Dover Publications stencil books we have.
Step 3: Cut out the design with your craft knife.
Step 4: Place the stencil on your garment, plastic side down.
The plastic will melt and stick firmly to the fabric.
You can see the stencil has adhered nicely to the fabric. Paint won't be able to seep under the paper.
Step 6: Squeeze some paint onto your palette.
Optional: place a sheet of paper under the area you're painting to protect the rest of the garment from any paint that seeps through. I didn't do this with the sweatshirt here, but I would on a thinner fabric.
Also, wash out your sponge and paint palette (:
Step 9: Add more coats of paint if necessary, allowing to dry in between coats.
This will depend on the type of paint, color of paint, color of fabric, absorbency of fabric, and possibly your elevation (: Here I did three coats.
Step 10: Carefully peel off paper, pressing with your fingernail to break the seal between painted fabric and painted paper.
Your paint bottle may give you additional instructions for setting the paint (such as pressing) or for washing (such as waiting 72 hours and turning garment inside out).
The sweatshirt you see here has been washed and dried many times and the paint still looks good.