I love freezer paper. No really, I LOVE it! It’s cheap, easy to find, and has so many uses!
Regular rolls can be found in pretty much any grocery store, wider rolls can be found at warehouse stores (Costco, Sam's Club) and restaurant supply stores.
1. Pattern paper – I’ve used pretty much everything under the sun for pattern paper…the expensive gridded and dotted pattern paper, paper bags, newspapers, craft paper, painters paper; and freezer paper wins out as the best paper, in my opinion. It’s super easy to make a sheet as wide as you need buy running an iron along the seam to join sheets together, is slightly transparent so you can trace through it fairly easily, and is super-durable without being overly bulky.
2. Pattern stabilization – I can’t remember for the life of me where I first heard of this trick, but it has saved many a pattern. (If only I had heard of it sooner!!!) Now the first thing I do whenever I get a new commercial pattern is to stabilize it on freezer paper.
To do this, you’ll want to iron your pattern pieces so there are no wrinkles and puckers. Then, identify the plastic side of the freezer paper – this is pretty easy, one side is smooth and shiny, the other side is matte and has regular paper ‘tooth’. Lay the freezer paper shiny side up, and place the pattern on the freezer paper (face up). Iron with a medium-hot iron (no steam), and the pattern will stick to the paper and will last much, much, MUCH longer than the tissue paper alone.
Be warned, this is permanent, so be really careful about ironing the pattern to the freezer paper; any wrinkles or puckers will be there forever!
3. Appliqué – This tip is actually printed right on the freezer paper package – and works a charm. I’ve used this technique for a cross appliqué on hubby’s tunic, a banner, and various and sundry other pieces – it’s great!
4. Stencil – This is another tip from the good folks at Reynolds! Basically it’s the opposite of the applique technique; the area to be stenciled is cut out, and the remainder of the paper is ironed to the surface to be stenciled. I have fantasies of doing a set of tees with custom stencils. So far, it’s been a fantasy, but hopefully this tip post will motivate me to actually do it!
5. Stabilization – This one I’ve made up! (But after some googling just now, I’m not the only one who has thought of it!)
Thankfully, I’ve only had to use this technique a few times, but it’s a life saver! (I used it recently on my little nieces dress – the netting overlay was giving me fits when trying to cut fiddly little girl bodices!)
When working with slippery fabrics (chiffon, organza, netting, etc.), trace the pattern onto a piece of freezer paper. Lay out the fabric smoothly and make sure that grain lines are at right angles. Iron the freezer paper (with drawn pattern) to the fabric & cut. Depending on what you’re doing with the piece, sometimes you can keep the paper on until finished sewing and rip off the paper afterwards. (This doesn’t work if you’re gathering, surging or doing french seams, btw. Ask me how I know….)
Does anyone else have any great tips for uses of freezer paper? I’d love to know!