Did you know that one of the most useful tools for your sewing room can actually be found in your local grocery storer kitchen drawer? That’s right – freezer paper has a variety of uses in the world of sewing, and once you learn to use it properly you’ll want to keep a box handy all the time!
Tips for Using Freezer Paper in Your Sewing Projects:
Use freezer paper to help you cut shapes out of fabric! Draw a design on the dull side of the freezer paper and cut it out. Iron the paper (shiny side DOWN) onto a piece of fabric, then cut around the design. You can reuse the same shape over and over – just peel it off and iron again! This is a great way to create easy applique pieces for quilting, too.
Use it as an embroidery template. Using the same process as the last step, draw a design onto the paper and iron it onto a piece of fabric. Pop the fabric into your embroidery hoop and stitch right over the design; when you’re finished, you can peel and tear away the paper but the stitches will remain.
Use it as a paint stencil. Draw a simple shape onto freezer paper and cut out the shape only, leaving the outline in place. Position this outline onto your T-shirt and iron it down, then sponge fabric paint into the space where the shape was removed. When the paint dries, peel off the paper and your stencil is complete!
Extend the life of your sewing patterns. Pull out enough freezer paper to completely cover a sewing pattern piece, and position the freezer paper with the shiny side down. On the dull side, use a pencil and ruler to help you trace the pattern outlines and markings onto the freezer paper, then cut them out and use them. That way you get to preserve the original pattern for future use, and the freezer paper is more durable for cutting out your fabric pieces, too.
Use it as your foundation for English Paper Piecing. Cut out several shapes from freezer paper as your template for hand stitching, or cut out and iron the shapes onto the paper to create your templates.
- This standard household item can be cut into 8 1/2″ x 11″, fused the shiny side of freezer paper to thethe wrong side of fabric and cut fabric to size. The freezer paper will provide enough stabilization to allow the fabric to run through the printer. WOW, it will help you print on fabric. Allow the ink to dry and peel away the paper. Set ink with a hot iron.
Who knew that a simple household pantry staple could be so useful in sewing? Do you have any favorite uses for freezer paper? Share them with us in the comments below!
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Comments & Reviews
Jacquelyn Clauson says
Don’t forget you can use freezer paper when you’re fusing. Put a piece between your ironing board and the project and another on top between the project and the iron. Then, just iron. You won’t get the glue on your ironing board or the iron, and it’s reusable! I also use it when I’m ironing more delicate fabrics.
That is BRILLIANT! I never thought of that Jacquelyn.
Thanks so much for sharing!
Marie Vickers says
Brilliant suggestion, Jacquelyn, I will definitely do this from now on 🙂
I use freezer paper for cloth doll making. Often the pattern pieces are too small to pin on fabric and cut out with plans to sew. I cut out the pattern piece on freezer paper, minus the seam allowance, adhere to fabric with iron, then sew around the pattern piece. Peel away the freezer paper and cut the seam allowance then! It is so fast and easy!
Fab idea Karen. I love sewing small pieces like that in bulk and then cutting. It makes the work go faster.
Thanks for sharing!
Hello Heather, I love using freezer paper, I do not remember the last time I used it for it’s original use, the kitchen…..But I also use freezer paper when I cut out a pattern on knit material that is very curly, the kind that is light weight use for nitegowns and such…. It stops the curl effect and will stay put til I need to remove it. I also use it on applique pieces that I will use mutiple times in a project, just as you said draw your pattern on the dull side, but I iron 3 more pieces together with it to make it much sturdier…Thank you for ideas…..
Hi Heather! I love your blog. Every post is well worth to save it and I’ve already saved some for future reference. Thank you!
Freezer paper is magic stuff! I hadn’t thought of using it for a temporary stabilizer before. I’ll definitely be doing that from now on!
I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later this evening that links to your post:
Yay Anne! So glad we had a new tip for you. As always, thanks for the feature!
Great on the backside of signature blocks as well. Stabilizes the fabric just enough to make writing smoother.
Combine the first and fourth tips – after cutting out those freezer paper pattern pieces, iron them directly onto your fabric, then cut out.
I use freezer paper to make fancy envelopes. Crinkle some colored tissue paper and smooth out. Place it on shiny side of freezer paper and iron. Then cut out into your favorite envelope pattern.
That’s a great idea Marlene!
does the plastic wax paper work as good as wax paper? Do either leave a residue on things>
Thanks for this idea. I have wanted to quilt and thought I would start with paper piecing as my friend did. This will make it easier for me. I will be browsing around your blog today and maybe sign up. Thanks again.
BTW, I just found you on craftgossip.com today. Love that daily email.
Excellant ideas. Didnt know they peel off for reuse
Hi I didn’didn’now either but what a great idea.
I iron freezer paper on the inside of a sweat shirt when I plan to decorate or sew scenes
and ect on the front of the shirt. It keeps it shape and everything comes out perfect. BTW
I always make sure I wash the sweat shirt first so there won’t be any shrinking after my
design has been sewn on. This can be done w/lettering the front or scenes or whatever
and when finished sewing the front it peels of real easy.
Great tip Bobbi. Thanks so much for sharing!
Heather you can do the same w/tee shirts too, anything you want to keep from stretching while you work on it.
I iron my patterns on it. Cut them out and you can peel the original pattern off or leave it there. Much sturdier than the tissue paper pattern.
Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing.
I iron it to the back of silk taffeta before I paint the silk with silk paints. It stabilizes it and minimizes the paint bleeding. It peels off when the fabric is dry and then I steam set the paint.
Awesome idea Mara! Thanks for sharing.
Wish I Could buy freezer paper in the grocery store here in England. Only in craft stores where it is very expensive. Love your ideas by the way..
brigdaleHarriet Brigdale says
You can buy it on Amazon.uk
Lunda Kosh says
You can actually iron the tissue pattern to the glossy side of the freezer paper and then cut it out. It saves the step of tracing, because there is no need to trace!
I iron freezer paper on white fabric or pail printed fabric (shiny side of FP to back of fabric), cut to 8.5 X 11 and then print photos on my regular copier for use in art quilts. Just peel the freezer paper off and start sewing on the fabric.
Rita Yoshisato says
I just recently used the freezer paper ironed on to the top of my fabric with a pattern drawn on it for a free form embroidery piece. The only problem I had was when the stitches were done I had difficulty removing the bits of freezer paper in the small areas. I spent quite awhile picking it off with a tweezer, then a needle. It was so tedious that I thought I would try to wash it off. I soaked it for 3 days in soap, then tried to used powdered borax and a toothbrush, next alcohol, and even goof off but that sticky stuff just won’t come off. Any ideas? When it dries I was gonna try using duct tape to lift it.
Oh Boy, that’s a bummer Rita. Did you reduce your stitch length? If not, that is super helpful and I would be sure to do it next time. Also, if the lines are straight, it is best to fold your paper onto itself and crease it before ripping away. Just like you would a piece of loose leaf paper. As for now, I’m not sure soaking it will really make a difference since the paper as a coated back on it. I would toss it in the way and hope that the agitator would help release some of it. If you send me a photo, I can get a better idea and even post it to the facebook wall to see if anyone has additional ideas.
Rita Yoshisato says
Thanks Heather. Actually some good news, I let it dry and tried the duct tape to remove those really tiny pieces – seems to be working well. I did use a short stich length #1 and I wish I we’re savy enough to post a pic but what I’m doing is thread sketching so there are literally areas of scribbling that are the width of a blade of grass that get stuck between the stitches. The larger areas are a breeze and come off really well though. Hope this helps others. I much prefer the cost of freezer paper to the 18$ per roll stabilizers!
That’s great news Rita! I completely understand the smaller bits of paper with thread stitching. Keep us posted and I would love to see a picture once everything is finished. Maybe share it during our Sunday Sew & Shares.
Therese Wescott says
This will not help on your current project but if you try it again don’t use as much heat to iron on your freezer paper. You might have actually melted the adhesive on the paper. It is so disappointing to have a project turn out unexpectedly, I know from experience! We always learn from our mistakes don’t we.
Would you please explaIn to me what the difference is (if any) between freezer paper and greaseproof paper?
I have never used or purchased grease proof paper and am not sure I can.
putting the f.paper thru the printer rather than drawing the pattern (my drawing stinks)
I have found myself drafting many of my own patterns lately. I will now be switching from drafting on Christmas wrapping paper to freezer paper, at least for my final pieces. I can’t wait for my next project that works from a pattern!! Thanks!!
Hello! I use freezer paper to draft my own patterns. Iron the freezer paper on the pants that fits me
Perfect. I do half of the front, and half of the back ..now I can see the perfect size of the crutch .
I use a permanent marker to draw the pattern.
Once it cools off I remove the freezer paper, cut on the line. My pattern is ready to be iron on .
Using a “disappearing” pencil I add the seam allowance. Voila ! I am ready to cut my new pants, knowing it will fit perfectly.