Freezer Paper Quilting & Crafting

Freezer paper is the ideal tool for wrapping foods for freezing and for general household purposes. The thick paper gives the product strength and durability as well as an easy-to-write-on surface. The plastic coating provides a barrier to air and moisture to protect the quality, flavor and nutrition of foods during freezing. It is great in the kitchen for protecting counters or lining shelves and drawers. For crafting and quilting, use it as templates for appliques or kids painting, school banners and projects. The usages are endless.

Freezer paper is that wonderful stuff you can find in your grocers storage aisle alongside Ziploc bags and foil wrap. One side is paper and the other has a light coating of a plastic which melts like wax when you iron it.  To adhere it to fabric, place the waxy side down on the wrong side of the fabric, then use a medium iron to adhere it to the fabric.  Supposedly for wrapping meat, I suspect freezer paper is used far more often for quilting and crafting!!  Buy good quality freezer paper - Reynolds is far easier to use for freezer paper piecing than Costco brand, for example. I have found that the OLD freezer paper sticks a little better than the newer paper that I have purchased.

Appliqué

There are several methods of freezer paper appliqué:

  • Draw your motif on the dull side, cut it out and iron it to the top of the appliqué piece. As you are appliquéing, you tuck the fabric under the appliqué piece, then peel off the freezer paper. You can usually reuse this piece several times.
  • You can also draw your motif on the dull side in reverse. Iron the freezer paper to the wrong side of the appliqué piece. You appliqué as above, but just before you get to the end, you remove the freezer paper with a pair of tweezers.
  • Or, you can iron the freezer paper to the wrong side of the appliqué piece then iron the fabric over the edges, giving you a crisp edge to appliqué. Remove the paper before doing so. 

Paper Piecing

Freezer paper can also be used for paper piecing or templates for hand sewing. For example, you can use them to make Grandmothers Flower Garden blocks.  Print a sheet of hexagons on freezer paper, cut them apart and iron them to the wrong side of your fabric.  Iron the edges over the freezer paper.  Now you will have a nice sharp edge for whip stitching.  For stability, leave the freezer paper in until you are done but be careful not to catch the thread in the paper.

Printing on Freezer Paper

Freezer paper can be run through your ink jet printer (not a laser printer - those heat up!) if you would like to print several motifs at once. Set your printer to accept heavy paper, and feed the sheets one at a time.  To keep it from curling, you can cut it a day or two ahead of time and put it under something heavy to flatten it. If you are in a hurry, you can iron it flat (shiny side down) on a Teflon pressing sheet, or iron it to a piece of copy paper and put the combination through your printer. Ironing two pieces together may work, too.  It's best to pull them apart while they are warm.

Make Personallized Labels at Home

Freezer paper can also help you to print on fabric. For example, if you would like to personalize your labels, you can iron your freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric, cut it to just shy of 8 ½" x 11" so stray threads don’t get caught in the printer, and print your labels on the fabric. The freezer paper gives the fabric just enough body to go through the printer as if it were a piece of paper.