I love this project because not only is it cheap, but you don't need any special equipment. In fact, you'll probably find what you need in your kitchen - Freezer Paper! When I first read that you could make iron on stencils from freezer paper, my mind started spinning with ideas! I've used them for countless baby onesies, sports apparel, superheros, and now Barbie.
Printout or drawing of image
Shirt (or whatever material you are using)
cardboard (or heavy cardstock)
Cut freezer paper so it is slightly larger than your image. You want to allow enough space around the image to protect your material while painting. Tape your freezer paper (glossy side down) on top of image on your cutting mat. If your image is dark enough for you to see you can simply use it as a guide to start cutting. You may prefer tracing it onto the freezer paper then cutting it out.
You can also use a cutter such as a Cricut for this project. However, I found that the glossy side doesn't stick as well to the cutting mats as well, so I usually cut with the glossy side up requiring me to first reverse my image. Some images don't need to be reversed but if you are thinking of doing any words you MUST cut the mirror image if cutting with the glossy side up.
Iron your stencil to your material taking care to make sure it is straight/centered.
Put a piece of cardboard or heavy card stock inside the shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through. This may seem like an obvious step but it is incredibly important. Without it, your project will likely be ruined.
Using a sponge brush paint inside your stencil. I like to remove excess paint and dab around the outside of the image first and then brush inward (from the freezer paper to the material) to achieve a clean line.
Wait until paint is dry to touch and carefully peel off freezer paper. Make sure to keep cardboard inside until paint is completely dry.
This outfit cost me $10! The skirt was $6 (actually $5.97) and the shirt was under $4. (I had all the supplies I needed on hand.)
Of course I had to accessorize a bit so I used some beads I had on hand to make a Barbie necklace. I did order the silhouette and I stole a Barbie shoe to add a special charm.
There it is - a boutique inspired outfit for $10 and made during nap time.