Stenciled Cardigan by Less Cake More Frosting


Stenciled Cardigan by Less Cake More Frosting



Am I about to post something on ACTUAL UCREATE? Is this a dream? No. It can't be. If this was a dream I would be auditioning for American Idol, in my underwear, and not know what song I'm going to sing. So I guess this is FOR REAL!

Hi! My name is Ellie G and I blog at Less Cake {more frosting}.

I love to be honest about what's really going on. So here's some honesty for you. *Ellie G isn't my real name.  It's my initials (LG) My friends call me Lara. *I drink at least 4 Diet Cokes EVERY day. *I have 2 great kids, and I NEVER thought I wanted to be a Mom. *I can eat disgusting amounts of sugar.  Including frosting. *I rarely get dressed before noon. *I have an inch of dust in my closet. But everything in there has a labeled bin. It's a special kind of OCD. *I pretend I'm famous.  Or Scarlett O'Hara. *I want to move to Sesame Street and knock off Maria. *I would actually die without my iPod. *I would marry Mickey Mouse if some state would make it legal to marry cartoon characters.

There you go!  That's me!  In a nutshell.  Too much?  Oh dear!  There's so much more! 

Like, how I love to make things.  Not CRAFT just make things, and be creative.  I kind of have an aversion to the word "CRAFT".  But that's an issue I'm trying to deal with. Lately I've been in LOVE with fabric painting and freezer paper stenciling.  The possibilities for creativity and personalization are ENDLESS!  I may admit to staying up late at night envisioning ways to paint my kids shirts.


  • Freezer Paper can be found in most Grocery Stores.  It's usually kind of hidden on the bottom shelf by the aluminum foil and plastic wrap.  It's NOT wax paper.
  • It has one dull side, and one waxy side that adheres to fabric and makes a tight seal for stenciling.  Then, when you're done, it just peels away.
  • You can cut it with scissors, an exacto knife, or my favorite way....with a digital cutter.  I use my Silhouette (whom I've named Miss Scarlett).  The digital cutter opens a whole new level of detail into stenciling projects, and it's SO SUPER FUN!

The idea for this project came when I was watching some pre-teen show on the Disney Channel with my 8 year old.  Don't tell that super cute 15 year old girl from the show, that an old "MOMMY" thought her sweater was super cute. But I did. And I knew I could make one. I started with a plain cardigan. Hers was navy, mine is a deep plum.  But I really like the idea of a dark color to start.

I cut out my designs with Miss Scarlett.  Be aware that cutting freezer paper can be a bit of a trial and error.  Gratefully, it's SUPER cheap.  So if it gets torn, just try again.

  • Don't forget that you'll be using the "negative" space.  So you'll need to keep any tiny insert pieces that make the pattern work.  
  • It's also helpful to note that patterns with TONS of little pieces are super time consuming.  Not impossible.  Just time consuming.
  • Next, I cut out my individual designs, and placed them where I thought they'd look good.
  • Then iron the paper (waxy side down) steam OFF!

Note that for this sweater, the iron needed to be on a lower temp than I usually use for T-shirt or canvas material.  If it's too hot it will burn the fibers.  Don't ask how I know that.  Just take my word for it.

You can use regular fabric paints.  Or, you can purchase a fabric "medium".

  • It can be added to ANY acrylic paint to make it fabric safe, and washable.  It also makes the paint more pliable for fabric.  So it doesn't get "crusty".  
  • I would recommend a little extra for sweaters.  Particularly because you'll probably be using a LOT of coats.

Paint your stencils with a sponge brush.  Being careful not to pull.  More of a "dabbing" motion works. I also put some kind of paper or towel inside my item to make sure the paint doesn't bleed through to the back.

After the last coat, when you're happy with the color, peel off the freezer paper.

  • I like to use tweezers to help with little parts, and to avoid getting my hand in wet paint.

I really like how it turned out!  Particularly taking the design around to the back a little bit. .....Whatever, 15 year old children.....I'm cool!

I also ripped off the boring buttons and replaced them with buttons that match the painted area. They aren't even all the same size. Kind of ecclectic, and fun. Pair it with some fun long necklaces or some vintage-ee earrings, and you're suddenly hip like all the kids.

(this post officially brought to you by my aging.  And Depends!)

Come visit me ANYTIME.  I'd love to have you!  And don't tell me you can't because you don't like frosting.  Because you can give yours to me!  And those that give me their frosting are my best friends for life!  :) Thanks so much, Kari for letting me crash your amazing creative digs for today.  I kind of adore you.  Like, I'd drink Hot Chocolate into the wee hours of the morning with you.  Or eat rich desserts with you. Or share our life stories over Chips and Salsa.  Just sayin'.  I would.


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  1. I'm so there if there's hot chocolate on the menu...dark, rich, creamy...yup. I'll even bring it. Does this make us new best friends? I LOVE your craftiness! (thanks for introducing me to Lara!)

  2. Love it! and I love finding projects that call for everything I already have at home!! I'm going to have to try this out.


  3. Lara you're too cute! Love ya :)

  4. Ummmm... how fast can I add your blog to my Google reader? Apparently, 2.2 seconds. This was a FANTASTIC tutorial! I gotta do this. For reals. And hopefully my 11 yr old daughter won't notice that I knocked off the sweater of a 15 yr old Disney chicklet.

  5. Kari, this is just so exciting! I woke up, not sure if it was up, and here it is! YAY! You are truly the best. And to let me take over for a few hours? Man. I owe you something. I like to pay in food and treats. So just let me know....Sugar Cookies? They're good. I swear!

    Big hugs to you! Have a great day. And THANKS AGAIN!

  6. Love this! The purple and yellow are such a wonderful combination! They are the colors of my university, and high school even! hehe :) The sweater just looks beyond fab!

  7. So VERY cool!!!! I love your blog by the way!!

  8. SUPER cute!

    And you're probably already doing this on account of your awesome-ness, but I've discovered that cutting the freezer paper backwards (shiny side up) on the Silhouette works WAY better.

  9. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!! I know what I will be doing today. What speed/thickness do you set your Silhouette at to cut the freezer paper? I've been playing around, but would LOVE input from others :)

  10. Lara, raising a glass of Diet Coke in salute right now. Pure, delicious awesomeness.

  11. Love this! I finally did my first freezer paper stencil yesterday and had to stop myself from going out to buy 50 solid color tops to do more. =]

  12. I'm sitting here wondering what I will create today. Think I just had a moment of clarity! Thanks ladies, great stuff! And I am so glad to hear that others have a tedious time with detailed cuts on their silhouette.

  13. Perfect cardigan!! I will have to do that!! Thanks for commenting on my most recent project u-create blog! It means so much for me!

  14. I just have to say I love this!!! Super easy and a great explanation with the freezer paper. I had seen others say they use but no "how to" so thanks! And you can bet my Cricut will be meeting the freezer paper in the near future!

  15. I said it before and I'll say it again-- never seen a hotter haircut. Lara rocks!

  16. What a clever idea! You're one bold woman to do yellow on purple, such a vibrant combination!

    Sarah the Stylist

  17. What a great idea! Love it!

  18. my first thought was "How are we not friends already?!" and my second was "Maybe the universe knows we would fight over the side pieces on the cake" and then my third thought was "Didn't the universe know you can buy cakes at COSTCO?!"

  19. ADORABLE!!!! I just love Lara. It was so much fun seeing her on your blog!


  20. So cute. Love, love it!!! I've had an idea kind of like this bouncing around in my head for a while and this is so much better than anything I saw in my head!

  21. Ok - I'm way older than you are (although I also have and *almost* 8yr old) and I think that may be the cutest stinkin' sweater ever! Great job!

  22. OMG! Love it! so making one!

  23. Love it. Thanks for the tips. Explains why my freezer paper was SO hard to take off the one time I tried doing this-- I waited until the paint was dry. Bad idea.

  24. OOOOOHHHH! I LOVE it! I love how you can change any old sweater to something cool to wear. I love how you can choose your own colors, I love how you told me exactly where to get freezer paper - I've been wondering where to get this amazing creation necessity!
    Thanks for sharing!

  25. I've just decided I want a silhoutte machine for my bday....


  26. i love lara!! and her new sweater is just fabulous!!! and you are right... she is dang funny! :)

  27. Lara, this is gorgeous! You've got talent, girl.

  28. I love this project! So nice and LSU colors!


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