Sunday, November 10, 2013

All hail the mighty freezer paper!

There are so many tricks and methods of doing transfers that it's hard to remember them all. At least it is for me. I forgot all about freezer paper! Completely and totally forgot. Then one day I was visiting different blogs and came across a reminder. Oh yeah! Freezer paper!

Freezer paper transfers are great for those of us who need instant gratification. There is no leaving the transfer to dry overnight as with the mod podge method. And anyway, when did I ever let a transfer dry overnight? Never. I always start rubbing the paper off within hours. Hour. I meant to say hour. Maybe 10 minutes with a hair dryer.

So for those who have never heard of a freezer paper transfer and are the impatient type, here's how to do it.

First I did a simple black text transfer - just to refresh myself.

I have had a peeling brown step-stool ladder for a couple years. It has moved from one place in the garage to another. I could never decide what I wanted to do with it. Finally I decided to just keep it simple, but do something!

So I painted it red.

Then I painted it white.

And then I did a transfer.

What you'll need:

inkjet printer, printer paper, freezer paper, tape or glue stick and a
heavy spoon

Trim a piece of freezer paper to the size the printer paper. Trim a little bit more off the top to accommodate the tape. Tape the freezer paper to the regular paper wax side up. Trim any extra tape so you won't have a paper jam. Place in paper tray.

Print your image, remembering to reverse it. You need a mirror image, otherwise your transfer will read backwards.

Trim close to your 'live' area so you can better see what you are doing. Tape or pin the transfer down securely.

Burnish hard with a spoon. Hard.
I'm not kidding.

You can peek under the freezer paper to check your progress. 

And what have we here?

Zebra stripes!

Fixed. If you miss a spot just go back and burnish more.

The finished stool. Simple, shabby and white. So much better than brown!

COLOR TRANSFER - Now the REAL fun begins!

You'll use the same steps for a color transfer, just remember to transfer onto an object that is lighter than your image.
This is what happens when the colors are too close together. It's not
very compelling.

Here, the toy horse pops off the white box even though the horse is white. The black outline saves the day. And notice the reversed transfer paper, although, without words it really doesn't matter if a transfer is
backward or not.

The freezer paper gave better detail to the transfer than I thought it would. There is just the right amount of rusticness (that's not a real word, is it?)
to match the box.

This box was another piece of clutter sitting in my work room waiting, waiting, waiting for an idea to strike. I love when inspiration finally hits!

Even with the horse the box had an unfinished look to it so I decided to add some faded text to the design. Something to anchor the
horse to the box.

I was really careful to make the text unobtrusive. I used a light caramel color and it was perfect.

In person the text shows up perfectly faded. Taking a picture to capture it was a little challenging.


I didn't bother to frame this shot because I thought no way was it going to be successful. Wouldn't you know this is one where the text shows
up the best.

I think it has that 'look what I found stuffed in the wall' look to it.

The text is a poem about an old wooden pull-toy horse - perfect, or what? I used google to translate the poem into French, then I formatted it in a pretty script. When I burnished the text down I was careful not to go over the horse (which showed through the freezer paper, thank goodness). It actually turned out exactly how I wanted it.

Truthfully, I am so pleased with this box that I'm going to gather all my boxes and all my antique toys and do a series.

That's the plan, anyway. Unless I fall asleep.

The finished box.

Linking to:
nifty thrifty things
funky junk interiors
be different act normal
a night owl blog
miss mustard seed
savvy southern style
french country cottage


  1. Freezer paper is a staple for quilting, too.

  2. The horse box is an awesome project. The text is the perfect finishing touch. Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I am sharing this on my Once Upon a Firefly FB page.

  3. oh yeah. freezer paper. I found some in a cabinet the other day and wondered why I purchased I remember! Thanks for the tutorial. you did it well.

  4. Love this...pinned it for later...thanks so much for sharing!