Leggi questo post in: Italiano
Are you freezer paper addicted? Yeah, I am too.
I use freezer paper ALL the time to stencil on clothing, costumes and all other fabric items. It’s a really simple way to paint designs onto fabric, even if you are far from being an artist. I really love how perfectly crisp and clean the lines come out with this technique. If you have never tried it, check out this tutorial on how to freezer paper stencil designs on fabric. You’ll see– it’s super addictive!
And now freezer paper stenciling has gotten even easier, thanks to something that I’ve recently discovered:
Printable freezer paper sheets*! This means that you don’t even have to trace onto the paper, because you can now use your home printer to print onto it! Absolutely perfect!
These sheets* are the same freezer paper you’ve always used, with a paper side on the top and a shiny side on the bottom. However, they are conveniently US Letter sized so that you can just pop them right into your ink jet printer to transfer your favorite designs, all ready for cutting out and applying!
How do they work? And what if you have a laser printer that you use with A4 size paper? No problem! Keep on reading to find out how to print on freezer paper with a laser printer with whatever size paper you want!
How to use printable freezer paper
If you know how to print on a regular piece of paper, then you know how to print on freezer paper. If you have an ink jet printer that you usually use with letter-size paper, just stick the freezer paper sheet in the printer, shiny side down, and print whatever image you want! Done!
What if I usually use A4 paper?
Not a problem! I usually do, too! Just change the size in the printing options box (yeah, mine’s in Italian because I live in Italy, but I’m sure you can figure it out in your own language!) and adjust the clips that hold the paper in the printer’s tray so that they fit correctly around the Letter-sized sheets. Done! Just don’t forget to change the options back when you go back to printing A4 paper.
What if I have a laser printer, not an ink jet?
The thing that makes freezer paper so fantastic for sewing is that you can fuse the shiny side temporarily to the fabric. Common sense tells us that things that can be fused shouldn’t get near heat when you don’t want to fuse them. And laser printers get HOT inside. I haven’t tried putting freezer paper through my laser printer without any protection, because a total disaster happened when I fed a sheet of Heat’n Bond Lite* iron-on adhesive through it. (You can read all about it, plus my great trick to get around this problem, here.)
Luckily, this nasty experience gave me a great idea of how to print on freezer paper with a laser printer, without ruining your printer. All it takes is…
…scissors, tape and a sheet of regular printer paper! Just like I did with Heat’n Bond, trim the edges of your printable freezer paper so that it’ll fit on regular printer paper with about 1 cm margin all around. (I used a sheet of A4 paper, so I only had to trim one long side. I chose red paper to show the difference between the two papers more easily.) Center it on the printer paper, shiny side down, then tape down all edges, making sure that both the freezer paper and the tape are perfectly flat and without any folds or wrinkles.
Incidentally, you can also do this with regular freezer paper in a rolls*, too, however it may be harder to get it to lie perfectly flat.
Print on it as usual, and that’s it!
Then get out your usual freezer paper stencil tools, and get to work! (Read more detailed instructions on freezer paper stenciling here.)
In this case, I’m embellishing a prototype of what I’m currently calling the “One-Square Tote”, a tutorial I am getting ready for the blog, with one of the designs from my upcoming “Speech Bubble” appliqué pack, which will be available soon!
Stenciling with your printed design
First, if you taped the freezer paper to a regular sheet of printer paper, cut off the taped margins (or peel off the tape if it gets too close to the design) to liberate the sheet of freezer paper.
Then, as usual, use an Xacto knife* (or regular scissors for larger parts) on a small cutting mat* to remove inside parts that will get discarded. Be careful not to cut into any parts that you DO need!
Iron the freezer paper, shiny side down, onto the fabric where you want it, to stick it on. I used a ruler to make sure that I lined up the letters straight.
When using freezer paper with a multi-part design, I suggest first ironing the largest part (in this case, the speech bubble), and then positioning other pieces, largest to smallest. I use the tip of my iron to quickly fuse just a part of each letter at a time. Then, once all letters are in place, I iron them all properly.
Paint over the design with fabric paint. I like to give two coats and then let it dry overnight. Then peel off the freezer paper and heat set the paint by ironing over it (with an ironing cloth over the paint) for 5 minutes, or however your brand of fabric paint instructs you to do. Always follow the instructions of the products you are using!
And you are done! It’s so easy to freezer paper stencil when you don’t even have to do any of the drawing yourself! And now that it’s even possible to print on freezer paper with a laser printer, not just ink jet, you have no excuses not to try this super fun decorating technique!
If you love freezer paper stenciling, check out this adorable pencil-shaped pencil case FREE pattern with a fun freezer paper stencil detail to make it all the more realistic!
*This post contains affiliate links.
20 thoughts on “How to print on freezer paper with a laser or inkjet printer”
This is so brilliant! Thank you! I’ve been searching endlessly for freezer paper (oddly this is not something easily available in Canada of all things!) but I’m glad I didn’t find it because this quilter’s freezer paper is so much better. I love stenciling and you’re right to put up a warning! It’s hugely addictive 🙂
Actually, Kathleen, it seems to exist only in the US from what I can tell! It definitely doesn’t exist in Italy, where I live, and I’ve gotten comments and emails from people in all different countries saying the same thing! I am updating my original freezer paper stencil tutorial today, and I will show a few alternatives to freezer paper for those of us who can’t readily find it! 🙂
Hi Lisa, too clever! I was confused about freezer paper, I though I could use for appliqué too, but I see it is used for stenciling. Freezer paper is not available in Belgium, so I bought in USA last time I was there. I have a long roll, so any suggestion for another use?
Thanks so much
Hi Nuria! You CAN use freezer paper for appliqué work, though I will be honest that I haven’t ever tried it. I should, though! Just google “freezer paper applique” and you’ll find a bunch of tutorials! Like I mentioned in the comment above, freezer paper isn’t available in a lot of countries (include Italy, where I live). Like you, I buy it when I visit my family in the States, but I’ve since discovered some alternatives to the classic long roll of freezer paper, which I will include when I update my original freezer paper stencil tutorial later on today. I suggest you use this paper to try stenciling, because it is truly so much fun, and then give freezer paper appliqué a try… and let me know how it goes! 🙂
I will try, sure. Now is in my endless to-do list 😉
Haha! I know what that’s like!!
Such a cute tote bag! I only recently learned that you can print on freezer paper. I need to try it to make a fun bag for our upcoming beach trip. Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday!
It makes life so much easier, Donella– you should give it a try! Thanks for stopping by!
My daughter brought me back a role of freezer paper from the US and I can’t wait to use it. Going to look at your original post too. Thanks I love this tutorial…and your tote!
Yes, go try it, Trixi! I promise that you’ll get hooked and want to stencil EVERYTHING!! 🙂 Lisa
Using the Quilter Freezer Paper sheets in article. I want to use this to transfer image to cotton flour sack towels, once washed will it remain vivid? Has there been any problem with peeling once laundered? Thank you. I love this idea
Hi Doty, so sorry I didn’t respond sooner! Freezer paper is used this way as a stencil and gets peeled off after the design is applied and dried, but before laundering. Whether or not the image remains vivid depends on what product you use and if you follow the product’s instructions. I always use fabric paint, which gets heat set with an iron after it’s dried. I’m not sure if I answered your question. If not, just let me know! 🙂
I just can’t get the print to take using freezer paper – ink just forms in small blobs/bubbles in the vague form of the image using a new Canon inkjet printer. The result looks much like when you paint with water colours on an oily surface, the ink doesn’t want to adhere to itself, just bubbles/blobs. 99% of people don’t have any issue, so I’m not sure what is going on.
Oh no! Are you sure that you’re printing on the right side? The shiny side is the one that sticks (temporarily) to the fabric, so you need to print on the paper side.
I am also having a hard time with my Canon printer printing on freezer paper. Do you print on the shiny side or the dull side? I have been printing on the shiny side and the photo comes out bareley recognizeable.
No, Renee, it’s really important to print on the paper/dull side. The shiny side is the one that sticks to the fabric. Give it a go and let me know how it goes!
If I iron the top edge of freezer paper to an 8 x 11 sheet of paper, will it go thru my laser printer without getting stuck in the machine?
I have done this with an inkjet in the past, but now all I have is a laser printer.
Wow, Ann, that hadn’t occurred to me! I don’t see why that shouldn’t work! Try it and let me know how it goes!
After irioning freezer paper to material,when putting it in printer is the material side facing down or up. Thanks
Hi Jean, you iron the freezer paper to the fabric AFTER printing it. So print on the paper side (non shiny side) of the freezer paper, cut it out, and then iron it shiny side down on the fabric.