Makin’ Lincoln

28 Dec


I saw this post by Dana of MADE and instantly knew I wanted to make a Lincoln shirt! She uses freezer paper and has the posterized stencil all ready for printing. She also has a tutorial on posterizing images, if you’re interested in someone else’s face.

I figured it would be a good second shirt for my foray into freezer paper stenciling (Here is my first, with a more thorough freezer paper tutorial). With Christmas on its way, I decided to make one as a gift for Tucker.


I printed the stencil on regular paper, then enlarged it and printed it directly onto freezer paper (print on non shiny side). I got out my cutting mat and Exacto knife and cut away at the photo until I had the above. I kept the original photo as a guide to what was positive and negative. The little pieces I stored away in a plastic baggie so I didn’t lose them. I had to do the project in increments between Molly naps and therapy, taking and getting Collin from school, and Tucker coming home for lunch and from work. Painting t-shirts is not the easiest thing to do in parts.


Iron on your freezer paper, shiny side down. The floating pieces just get laid where they belong. Use the original picture as a reference.

Make sure there are no gaps where paint could creep under the paper and ruin your meticulously cut out design and make you very sad…and mad.


I used black acrylic paint that my mom gave to me. It didn’t take many coats, 2-3. I dried the paint with a hair dryer on a low setting in between coats. I’m impatient, and time is of the essence! It dried very fast and I was soon able to peel off the paper and see Mr. Lincoln looking mighty fine!


Now Mr. Lincoln did not go entirely smooth for me. I ran into a very panicky moment that threatened to ruin it all. The freezer paper seemed to start to lift at some spots. I thought it would be smart (that was my first problem), to put paper down and run the iron over it again. Silly me hadn’t even let the paint dry yet, so the cardstock adhered to the wet paint. I started to take it off, but it was so stuck, and where pieces did let go, paper fuzz was left behind. I took a wet rag and dabbed at the paper, hoping it would release. For the most part it did, but plenty stayed glued. I scratched at it with my fingernails and got the majority of it off – THANK GOODNESS!!! Disaster avoided and lesson learned!

Now once the paint is completely dry, you will want to heat set the image. I used a thin cloth napkin laid over Mr. Lincoln and ironed over him thoroughly. Voila!!

This making shirts thing is very fun to do!! And the freezer paper makes it very user friendly. I’ll be sharing my second shirt for Tucker tomorrow. It had a whole mess of issues!


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