Using Freezer Paper to make a Batgirl or Batman Shirt and Costume
Awhile back our local library had Batman Day. Both our kids wanted to dress up just like Batman (or Batgirl) with the black top and bottom, but we only had one traditional black and yellow Batman shirt. What to do, what to do? Time to finally attempt custom freezer paper shirts like the Star Wars ones I found on Ecletic Momsense! Stick with me here.
As luck would have it, Target had been selling some soft, short sleeve shirts this summer by Cherokee that we also used for another craft project at the library. I like the cut and fit of the shirts on my kids, so I bought two black shirts in case I goofed the project up. The shirts were $5 each (which then went on sale the follow week – go figure!)
Next, it was time to find freezer paper, which was easier said than done. It seems some Super Targets carry freezer paper in the store, but there were none nearby so I ended up at a local grocery store where it’s sold next to the aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
What is cool about freezer is that it has a plastic side, and then a matte, papery side. The plasticy side protects foods in the freezer, but when you apply heat to it with an iron the paper sticks to the fabric. I was a skeptic, but now I’m a believer and can’t wait to try this with more projects!
- Shirt – other item to paint. Wash, dry, and iron out the wrinkles first.
- Freezer Paper
- Fabric paint – I like the Tulip Soft brand (check out or buy* paints on Amazon-affiliate)
- Foam Brushes
- Piece of cardboard – to fit underneath the item to be painted
Find A Batman or Batgirl Logo
There’s 75 years worth of Batman logos to pick from, plus all sorts of fan generated logos to pick up. I found a cool looking Batgirl symbol on Devianart by Yurtigo. I liked the look of it, and it felt like a good blend of Batman and Batgirl (would work for whatever the kids wanted to be that day and beyond.)
You have a few options here. I downloaded the image and changed it to black and white so I could have just the outline of the image. I’ve read that people print directly onto the matte side of the paper, but my printer melted the plastic a bit.
- Print the image.
- Cut the entire logo out, or cut and fold the logo in half. I figured since both sides were symmetrical folding in half and cutting was my best option.
- Fold a piece of freezer paper in half and place the folded logo on the fold of the freezer paper. The plastic part should be on the inside.
- Trace the logo on the matte paper side. (Can also trace the whole logo onto the matte side without folding the paper.)
- Carefully cut out the INSIDE of the logo. This is the part you want to paint.
Prepare Your Item
- Wash and dry your item (ideally long before you get to printing and cutting your image) Remove any lint/hair/pet fur, and make sure the item is flat. Iron if needed
- Warm an iron and prepare a flat surface (an ironing board is perfect)
- Place the freezer paper on your item.
- Firmly press and lift the iron onto the freezer paper. Do not slide the iron.
- Place the iron in safe position, and gently check to see the the freezer paper is firmly attached to the shirt.
I bought some yellow Tulip Soft Matte fabric paint from Michael’s and some foam brushes from Target. The soft fabric paint said it would move with fabric, and I liked the idea of a matte-vintage look rather than a shiny finish for this shirt. Whatever paint you choose, read the instructions on how to set the paint if necessary. (Nothing was needed with mine.)
With regards to brushes, some tutorials suggest using a rounded foam brush to stamp the paint into the fabric, but I found the square brushes worked fine. If you’re doing a larger pattern you could even use a scrunched up bag for an even more vintagey look. Less is more when it comes to painting. I painted one layer on, and then we decided a light second coat would be better.
NOTE: Before painting, slide a piece of cardboard under the area to be painted so it does not bleed through.
I painted from left to right because I am right handed. I did not want to risk smudging the paint.
Here’s how it came together.
When you are done painting, carefully… CAREFULLY pull the paper away while the paint is still wet. I wish I had cut the paper tighter to the logo because I had quite a handful of paper to peel up, and I just barely kissed the fabric with some wet paint. (Which washed off because it was just barely grazed the fabric – thankfully.) I found it best to pull the paper towards the painted image to keep any loose paint fibers together. (I did have some paint fuzzies, but they easily came off in the washer and dryer.) The lines were nice and super crisp!
Dry flat for 72 hours, or as your paint suggests. I love this shirt, my daughter loves this shirt – we’ll be doing it again for sure!
Finish your outfit with your favorite bottoms. In our case, it’s a black jersey knit circle skirt with gold elastic. You can get the links for the circle skirt in this Supergirl and Superman costume post.
Pin It: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/77757531043778436/
(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a few cents if you make a purchase using this link, but I don’t know what super hero you are!)https://www.thesugarpixie.net/2015/09/06/using-freezer-paper-to-make-a-batgirl-or-batman-shirt/https://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/batgirl_batman_DIY.jpghttps://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/batgirl_batman_DIY-150x150.jpgHow-To / DIYclothing,cosplay,costume,crafts,DIY,halloween,kidsAwhile back our local library had Batman Day. Both our kids wanted to dress up just like Batman (or Batgirl) with the black top and bottom, but we only had one traditional black and yellow Batman shirt. What to do, what to do? Time to finally attempt custom freezer...thesugarpixie firstname.lastname@example.orgAdministratorThe Sugar Pixie