Thursday, 7 June 2012

Cubby house creation with a sheet and fabric paint

While Alex and Jasmine await their stylish wooden cubby house their dad is planning to build in the garden we thought we'd make an indoor version. We used an old queen sized white sheet and some fabric paint. The sheet is the perfect size to throw over our playroom table so the kids can hide underneath and get up to all sorts of "secret business".

We've had a few attempts at decorating with fabric paint in my household. This time we used the freezer paper stencilling method that so many people rave about on their blogs. Now we know why people love it so much. It is relatively easy and super effective. In previous activities I let Alex and Jasmine go crazy with glitter paint on a pair of their old jeans and a t-shirt. They had a fabulous time but used so much paint that their clothes became stiff and uncomfortable to wear. With the freezer paper method, you basically just cut out an image into the paper, iron it onto your fabric and apply a thin layer of paint. Once dry you pull off the paper and a beautiful coloured image awaits.

The hardest part is sourcing the freezer paper in Australia. Unlike the USA where I believe you can buy freezer paper at the supermarket, Australian grocery stores don't stock it. In Sydney, you can buy it at Spotlight. Just ask at the counter for some. It is like baking paper but has a sticky side which means you can cut out an image and then iron the paper onto your fabric, making a nice neat surface to paint.

I browsed some silhouette images on the internet and ended up printing a bat and a butterfly, in consultation with my children.

I traced the images onto the freezer paper and cut them out. I made several copies. Where possible I tried to keep the inside image intact too in case I wanted to do some reverse paintings of the image. I used scissors for some images and then an artline cutter on a board for others. The artline cutter was by far the more effective approach.

We decided to decorate two pillow slips too so the kids could sit on pillows in their cubby rather than on the hard wooden floor. I did the ironing of the bat and butterfly freezer paper cut-outs onto the fabric.

Jasmine did a great job helping me with the painting. She is very careful and patient. Alex prefers messier, free forms of painting so I did the bat prints for him.

It was too tempting to add some extra colour with some paint spatters too. I also painted on some little people, based on some cut-outs I had in the cupboard.

Here are some links to other inspiring freezer paper stencilling ideas and techniques worth checking out:

The Artful Parent

Julie Ann Art

Full of Great Ideas


  1. So fun!! We just did stenciled t-shirts, but instead of freezer paper I used clear contact paper so you could restick it. We also used large rubber stamps. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

    1. I hadn't thought of using contact paper. Sounds great and easier to find. We will have to give it a go.