How to Make a Nephew-Approved Stenciled Sleepaway Pillowcase

comments (0) December 14th, 2008     

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susanstars Susan Beal, contributor
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The finished pillowcase has my stenciled initial and star designs, plus a handful of buttons as a fun extra.
Draw a simple design on the matte side of your paper.
Check your design before ironing.
Paint right onto the freezer-paper stencil.
The finished pillowcase has my stenciled initial and star designs, plus a handful of buttons as a fun extra.

The finished pillowcase has my stenciled initial and star designs, plus a handful of buttons as a fun extra.

Photo: Susan Beal

Like so many of us at CraftStylish have mentioned, I find crafting for guys to be my biggest holiday challenge. My nephew, Julian, is seven and just at the age to have sleepovers with friends, so I thought I'd make him a personalized pillowcase to go with his superhero sleeping bag. You can adapt this simple stencil technique to make a pillowcase (or anything else) for anyone on your list, of any age—I've included some spinoff suggestions at the end of the post.

And don't miss Lee's fantastic and very sophisticated three-color print project this week too—she takes freezer-paper stenciling to new heights!

For one embellished pillowcase, you'll need:

  • Plain pillowcase
  • Freezer paper (available at grocery stores)
  • Marker or pen
  • Small, sharp paper scissors or X-Acto knife
  • Iron
  • Fabric paint of your choice (I used red and yellow for a superhero feel) and one brush for each color
  • Optional: buttons, needle and thread

1. Cut a piece of freezer paper about the size of your pillowcase hem—my roll of paper was 18 inches wide, which was just shy of the pillowcase width. Freehand draw or trace a design of your choice onto the matte side of the freezer paper, arranging it so that your images or designs are spaced as you want them to look on the pillowcase. You can draw and redraw anything you like until you're pleased with the look of it—nothing is final until you cut.

2. Using your sharp scissors or X-Acto knife, cut away the shapes or initials you've come up with. If you cut too much or have any other problems, just trace or adapt the original design right onto a new piece of freezer paper. Once I've finished cutting, I like to turn my paper over so that the shiny side is up and the design is reversed to check that every little piece is neatly cut out (as shown in the photo).

3. Iron the freezer paper to the pillowcase fabric using the setting that works for your fabric. Once it's cooled, you can begin painting.

4. Paint one layer of each color onto the stencils as shown. Let it dry completely before adding a second layer and, if desired, a third. I did three layers on each stencil for my pillowcase project, but if your color looks rich and full with two layers, that's great, too.

5. Now you can heat-set the fabric paint according to the package instructions. Once you've heat-set it, it should be machine washable with no problems.

6. If you'd like to, hand-sew buttons as embellishments here and there—I added mine to the superhero stars to give them a three-dimensional feel.

7. Give the pillowcase to your favorite superhero, brother, husband, boyfriend, father, son, nephew, or buddy!

Other ideas:

• For an adult, you can adapt a favorite theme, design, or logo the same way I improvised my superhero images. A favorite team, a simple geometric or nature design, or a catchphrase or saying could be just the thing for the guy you're thinking of.

Stencil 101 is a fantastic new craft book with dozens of stencils that are ready to use for any project, fabric and beyond. Check out Diane's recent review to see more of the super-inspiring images Ed Roth has designed.

• Embellish a shirt, hoodie, canvas, bag, or anything else fabric-based for your lucky recipient!



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posted in: easy, stencil, quick, personalized, man, pillowcase, boy, freezer paper, embellished, guy

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