ombre heart tee {freezer paper stencil}

Today’s project is a very simple freezer paper stencil shirt – just a heart with the word “love” in the middle. I kept the design simple because I wanted to see if by mixing colors of fabric paint I could get an ombre effect on the heart. I mixed up five different shades of red and pink using red and white fabric paint, then painted the heart light on top moving to dark on the bottom. Quick, easy, and cute.

I also mixed in a little bit of sparkle paint to give the shirt a tiny bit of shimmer.

Mixing up five shades of a color is easy – it’s like art time back in elementary school. The only thing you should remember is that a little bit of a dark color, like red, goes a LONG way when mixed with white, so use just the tiniest drop of red in your lightest shade or you’ll end up adding tons of white to lighten it up.

I used a toothpick to mix up my shades – I used to just use whatever foam paintbrush I was going to paint with, but so much of the paint gets stuck in the brush I found a toothpick was simpler.

I cut a heart out of freezer paper and then ironed the outside of the heart onto my shirt, shiny side down. Then I cut “love” our of freezer paper as well (font: Lobster 2) and ironed the letters into the middle of the shirt.

To get a seamless look in between my five different shades I started by filling in the top of the heart with the lightest color. Then, for each darker color, I tapped my brush about an inch below where the last color ended, then tapped the brush up from there to blend the darker color into the lighter one above it.

Note: As you can see in my photo above I used “Puffy Paint” fabric paint and it did turn out a little stiff. It’s still perfectly wearable, but it’s not as soft as I’d like. I know there is one brand of fabric paint that’s labeled “soft” but I couldn’t find it in town anywhere. Next time I’m at Hobby Lobby I’ll be looking for it. Anyone had success using a “soft” fabric paint? ***ETA: I now use fabric medium (affiliate link) mixed with acrylic craft paints and it works great!***


  1. 1

    Amber says

    There is a fabric paint medium you can buy to mix with acrylic paints. I like do this cause it’s a lot cheaper. Once washed it is fairly soft

  2. 4

    Eva Scott says

    Adorable! I love freezer paper stenciling and do it often. I’m always surprised by how many people have never heard of it or never tried it! Really cute!

  3. 6

    Amber says

    I searched high and low for a fabric paint that wasn’t so stiff. I started with regular fabric paint… next! I tried acrylic paint with fabric medium… nope! Then I tried tulip soft fabric paint… better, but still to stiff! I’m a sensitive girl. Lol. Then I finally found it! The holy grail of softness. Plaid simply screen. *sigh* It’s actually a screen print ink, but I apply it with sponges. It goes on beautifully with NO stiffness. I got it at Hobby Lobby in the same aisle as the other fabric paint. It cost 2.99 for a 2oz bottle. It so happy with how well it works that I’m thinking of buying quality screen print ink. It will be cheaper in the long run. Hope this helps! Love the T-shirt! Happy Valentine’s Day!


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