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Tutorial: Easy Heart Stencil Shirt

17 January 2012 7,584 views 4 Comments

by heather

valentine heart stencil shirt
Need a quick and easy wearable project to warm up the cold days of Winter? This simple stencil project is fun, and a perfect way to spread the love as we approach Valentine's Day. If you can cut a heart out of paper, you can make this fun Valentine's Day shirt! All you need to make this unique piece of wearable art are a few simple supplies and a plain t-shirt.

I love that I have been able to find $1 t-shirts at the dollar store lately. I always pick a few up if I see them in the right size, so I can make fun t-shirts whenever an idea strikes me. The secret ingredient for this project is freezer paper, which makes stenciling a snap! Freezer paper is waxed on one side, and plain paper on the other side, so it can be easily ironed to fabric (and just as easily removed). You can find freezer paper in the food wrap section of your local grocery store. A single roll will last you for years of fun DIY projects.

valentine stencil shirt
Project Materials:

  • 1 t-shirt, old or new, on hand or $1
  • Freezer paper, about $4 a roll
  • Fabric Spray Paint (I used Simply Spray Opaque White) or craft acrylic paint, on hand or $1 and up
  • Iron, on hand
  • Scissors, on hand
  • Drop cloth or large piece of scrap cardboard, on hand

Total: $5 and up

valentine shirt

To Make:

1. Cut hearts of different sizes out of freezer paper.

2. To easily make a heart, fold the paper in half, draw a half-heart shape and cut out. When you open the folded paper, you will have a heart and a piece of paper with a heart-shaped hole in it. You will be able to use both of these on the shirt.

valentine shirt
3. Turn iron on to medium setting and let it warm up.

4. Arrange the hearts shiny side DOWN onto the t-shirt. Remember, anything covered by a heart will show the t-shirt's original color when the project is done.

ironing freezer paper
5. If desired, cover with a piece of fabric or thin dish towel (although, this is not necessary). Iron over the hearts gently until they are stuck securely to the t-shirt.

valentine stencil shirt
6. Lay the t-shirt out on the drop cloth or scrap cardboard, and spray the fabric spray paint according to package instructions. Lay t-shirt flat for even spray coverage, or wrinkle it slightly for a tie dye effect. I allowed overspray around the edges of my stencils, but if you don't want them, you should cover over any exposed t-shirt with paper to protect it from getting painted.

7. Let paint dry according to package instructions.

peel off stencil
8. When paint is completely dry, peel freezer paper hearts off t-shirt

valentine heart stencil shirt


  • Heart-Shaped Hole: Iron the heart-shaped holes onto the t-shirt  to make a different kind of heart. I let my paint spray over the edges of the rectangular pieces of paper to add a graffiti feel to the shirt
  • No Freezer Paper? While I highly recommend freezer paper to make this project simple, you can still do this project if you don't have access to freezer paper. Regular paper can be adhered to fabric with adhesive spray (I use 3M77 spray glue). Spray the heart cut-outs with spray adhesive and stick them to the t-shirt, follow steps 6-8 as directed.
  • Revamp Stained Clothes: Use this technique to rescue hopelessly stained clothing. Make sure any stains are NOT covered by the ironed-on freezer paper. When you spray your paint, be sure to cover stains thoroughly. For another stained clothing revamp, check out the Tetris Hoodie.
  • Add Words: Use letter stickers you find at the dollar store to create wording on your shirt. Add your name, or any other fun words or phrases you want to. Remove stickers when paint is dry (just like you did with the freezer paper).

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  • Daly @ Write a Bio said:

    I love it, especially because it reminds me of the stuff we used to do with all T-shirts as teenagers.

    Stencils are so in again!

  • More Valentine Stenciling | Stencil Search said:

    […] T-Shirt Craft Heather, of Dollar Store Crafts, crafted this Valentine tshirt using freezer paper stencils and fabric spray paint. You may also […]

  • Blogger moms share easy, homemade Valentine's Day crafts for kids said:

    […] another fun shirt idea (this time, no-sew!) from the very resourceful Heather at Dollar Store Crafts. We think it would be […]

  • CarlaO said:

    No freezer paper? Contact paper alslo works and is safer (no hot iron needed).