Apparently, a lot of people know about the joys of freezer paper. I'm slow to catch on and only discovered freezer paper stenciling recently. If you google it, you'll find a bunch of tutorials.
Here's what I did:
Step 1: Tell hubby to add freezer paper to the grocery list. Don't mention it is for crafting or you might get "the look."
Step 2: Trace a pattern. I used a pattern that I liked from Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching. Its an embroidery book, but perfect for simple outlines too.
Step 3: Spend a half hour deciding which way is most comfortable to hold an X-acto knife. Also contemplate which way will be less likely to land you in the emergency room minus a finger. Then cut the shape out (make sure you have some cardboard underneath your freezer paper...don't want to scratch your table). I wanted to keep all my digits, so I went slow and this step took me about an hour.
Step 4: Proudly show hubby your stencil. When he says "is that the freezer paper you asked for?" just smile and walk away. Admit to nothing.
Step 5: Iron the paper onto your fabric, shiny side down. I'm using more of that leftover $5 corduroy as my fabric.
Step 6: Totally optional. My old iron bit the dust (it was nearly as old as Pi) and I bought a cheapie new one at Kmart. So, I also spent a moment admiring how much better this one works. If your iron hasn't gone to iron heaven, then like I said, this is totally optional.
Step 7: Paint a thin layer onto the stencil. I used fabric paint and a styrofoam brush to dab the paint on. Pretty sure acrylic would work too. Now's the hard part...be patient and let it dry. Since it was nearly midnight by this point, I just went to bed. If its a normal time of day and you don't want to wait, use a hair dryer.
Step 8: Wake up. Lament that you still can't have coffee (this is again, optional). Then peel the stencil off!
My stencil bled a little bit in two places, but not enough to make me unhappy. Next time, I need to iron the stencil just a little longer to make sure it sticks completely. That should take care of the paint bleeding.
Step 9: Embellish if you want. I used teal fabric paint and a toothpick and freehanded some details onto the flowers. Its a little rough looking (I'm no artist), but I like it.
Tada! How easy was that? I'll be able to show you what I'm making with this pretty soon.
So go grab some freezer paper and start stenciling stuff.