How to Freezer Paper Stencil (Harry Potter t-shirt)

Newt is not a moderate child. She does not do things half way. Instead she throws herself in to her passions with wild abandon. I am often enlisted to help bring her visions to pass.
Two summers ago, she asked me to help her become Luna Lovegood for Harry Potter 6.
When HP7.1 opened this fall, she decided that themed t-shirts would be the thing. We worked on the concept together and I used our printer and iron on paper… with less than stellar results.
HP 7.1 t-shirts
I have been instructed to come up with cool t-shirts for HP7.2. I was considering the issue in the shower yesterday morning (that’s where I do my best thinking, you know). Out of the blue, inspiration struck. After a quick dress and blow-dry I sat down at my laptop. Ten minutes on Publisher and this design was born.
harry potter stencil
You like? Here’s one for you: Harry Potter t shirt stencil PDF download.

harry potter freezer paper stencil
Newt and I model the finished product

Now it’s your turn

Note: I have linked to the needed items on amazon, though you should be able to find all of them at local craft and/or grocery stores (and possibly get better prices). If you do purchase through my links, I get a very small commission. Thanks.

t-shirt, prewashed (ours came from the children’s department of Target, $4 each)
freezer paper (check the grocery store near the tin-foil)
xacto knife
cutting mat (I like using a glass mat, but rubber/self healing mats are fine or even a piece of heavy cardboard will work in a pinch)
ironing board and iron
fabric paint or acrylic paint and textile medium (Amazon did not have any smaller bottles. Our 2 oz. bottle cost about $3.)
light cardboard or manilla folder

Another note: This was my first time using a freezer paper stencil, but it was very easy to work with.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Download and print design (or create your own).
Tear off a piece of freezer paper. Notice that it has a shiny side and a matte side. Place it shiny side down and cover it with your design. Tape together.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Get out your xacto knife, but remember, it’s sharp! Don’t cut your fingers. I like to use a new blade so it cuts really well. If you haven’t changed your blade in awhile, now might be a good time to do so.
Starting from the center of your design and working outward, cut around the black parts.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Go ahead and discard the freezer paper that was under the black parts of the design, but keep the ones that were under the white (the glasses “lenses”).
When finished, remove tape and trim your stencil. Mark the center with pencil or pen.
Find the center of your t-shirt and mark with a pin. Place stencil on t-shirt, lining up marks to ensure stencil is centered on t-shirt. (Just use the main part of the stencil for now; reserve the lenses for a few moments.)
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Note: to keep this design from looking like a Hooter’s t-shirt, we chose to place the stencil on the bottom third of the shirt.
Make sure that the stencil is shiny side down and iron in place with a hot iron.
Then place in lenses and iron them in as well.
harry potter freezer paper stencil

harry potter freezer paper stencil
Place a sheet of light cardboard between the layers of your shirt to keep paint from bleeding through to the back. (We used manilla folders.)
Get ready to paint.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
If you are using fabric paint, you are ready to get your brush wet. If you are using acrylic paint (my choice for all the color options), you will need to prepare it for textile use. This keeps it from washing out. This is simple to do with the use of a textile medium.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Follow the instructions on the bottle. Ours said to mix one part medium with two parts paint. We used a scrap of freezer paper for a palette. Eyeball the amounts, pour and mix.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Use a paintbrush to paint directly over the stencil making sure to cover evenly. If needed, do a second coat.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Wait until dry.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Peel away freezer paper. Be prepared to ooh and ahh over your cleverness.
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Ooh! Ahh!
We’re almost done. We just need to heat set the paint to keep it from disappearing in the wash.
Cover your design with a cloth and press for 20 seconds with a hot iron.
Take a blurry photo to celebrate your success. You are amazing!
harry potter freezer paper stencil
Have you ever worked with freezer paper? How did it go?


  1. I didn’t know something like this could be so simple! Wow! We won’t be doing the Harry Potter stencil, but I think this would be fun to do with my son! Thanks!

    • Thank you all for the kind words. It was really fun and simple to make. If you make one, I’d love to see pictures! ~Heidi

  2. I had no idea you could use paint like that on a shirt. Excellent tutorial. It looks like it has been silk screened by a professional.


  3. I found you on We Are That Family. My daughter, nephew, & I are going to a Harry Potter Movie Marathon starting today. They’ll show 1st three movies today and the last five tomorrow. My daughter & I made your shirts and they turned out SUPER CUTE!! Thank you so much for the idea.

  4. I like the stencil you made, it’s very appropriate.

  5. This is awesome! Seriously. Without the step by step I could never do it and I will probably mess it up… but I want to try it now.

  6. I got such a giggle out of your Hooter’s comment. I’d have never thought of that in time…and then, oh my.

    • Lori – I almost made the mistake myself. Glad I caught it. Hee!

  7. Thank you …using your design to make T shirts for my daughter’s harry potter birthday !

  8. This is so incredibly cool! What an AWESOME idea! I’m going to have to add it to the idea board I don’t have started yet on Pinterest because I have no time… ah, well…at least I can Stumble it for now! Hope you’re having a lovely spring!

    Smiles, Jenn

    • Thanks Jenn. We made some more over spring break. It really is a fun project. If you get around to making some, send me a picture!

    • I just went and looked at it. So cute!



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