Fashion DIY: How to Paint Your Own T-shirt

I came up with a brilliant idea to refresh one of my old T-shirts and then couldn’t resist it.

You can create any design you want with a freezer paper stencil. The inspiration can be a simple design from a magazine or a nerdy quote, the options are unlimited.

Freezer paper/Grease proof paper is a paper with a waxy finish on one side. It is generally used to wrap and protect food that will be frozen, but you could cut patterns out of the paper and lightly iron it to fabric. All you need to do with the freezer paper is draw your design as you like it on the paper, cut it out and then stencil away on a t-shirt, jeans, canvas, hand bag, pillowcase, cushion cover, table cover or any other surface you want to personalize.

In this post, I am going to show you how I created a design on my own t-shirt.

You will need:

– paper & pencil (you can even print the design on freezer paper using your home printer if you are not comfortable with sketching)

– a t-shirt

– freezer paper

– A sharp paper cutter

– An iron

– a piece of cardboard

– fabric paint & brush (you can use spray paint for a more even coverage)

 DIY paint


Start by selecting your design and first sketching it to the scale on a simple paper. Then copy the same design on the freezer paper by placing it underneath a sheet of freezer paper. Make sure the design is bold enough so that you can see through the freezer paper easily.

You might want to use a marker to make the lines bold enough. For this post, I have used a clip art motif, enlarged it and then printed on the freezer paper directly.

Once you have the motif on the freezer paper, use the blade to create a stencil as in the picture below. Make sure to keep the waxy side of the freezer paper up or it will stick to your table top. Don’t forget to place a piece of cardboard under the freezer paper to protect your table/ cloth while you cut out the stencil.


The Stencil 

Now,place the freezer paper onto your t-shirt (waxy side down). Gently iron the paper so it would stick to the fabric. Before this, make sure you place a piece of cardboard between the layers of your shirt as we don’t want the paints to stain the other side of the t-shirt.

Next, use a stiff brush to apply the fabric paint. You will need at least 2-3 coats to get good coverage. I sometimes even use till up to 4 coats, depending on the color and texture of the fabric.


Gently peel off your stencil while it’s wet and allow the paint to dry as per directions on the paint box. (as some fabric paints need to be heat-set, please read the label).

Will be back with more Fashion DIY projects and Style updates. Till then Stay Fashionable, Stay Young!