PSA – Freezer paper and laser printers don't mix!

This is a bit of a Public Service Announcement, but as I couldn’t find this information easily myself, I thought it was really important to get it out there to save some other poor sod the frustration and money I just spent.

Freezer paper stencils are great – fast, fairly easy, you get good results, and you can reuse the stencils a few times. Search for freezer paper stencil tutorials online, and you’ll get tons of results, all saying you can either print directly onto the freezer paper, or lay your design on top of the freezer paper, and trace around it with an exacto knife.

The latter is what I’ve always done in the past, but for my upcoming RDC refashioning project, I have a ton of stencilling to do, so I thought if I could cut out the step of taping the paper layers together, it’d go a bit quicker.

Only thing is, clearly none of the well-meaning tutorials out there own a laser printer. Laser printers use heat to print. Freezer paper uses heat to bond to the fabric. You see where this is going…?

DO NOT PRINT DIRECTLY ONTO FREEZER PAPER WITH A LASER PRINTER!

The freezer paper will fuse to the roller inside, which is impossible to access, so you’ll be forced to buy an £80 replacement part to use your printer again.

Lucky for us, our printer is not vital to our life or business and can afford to be down for a week or two.

And for all of you ink-jet owners feeling smug right now – don’t. Our colour laser printer has lasted for five years now, withstanding an entire glass of wine poured down it at a party, printed all our wedding stuff, the leaflets for several conferences, and countless pdf sewing patterns. And we’ve bought ink cartridges once in those five years. Even with this ahem unforeseen maintenance, we’ve still ended up cheaper overall. I’ll end the laser printer cheerleading now.

If this has saved anyone the pain of ruining their printer, then my work here is done.

4 Comments

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  1. 1
    cornie

    there is a trick! cut your freezer paper to double the size and make a sandwich with the freezer paper and a regular piece of paper trimmed juuuuuuust enough so the freezer paper sticks to itself once ironed around the edge.

  2. 2
    Sara

    Phew…I was literally just going to try printing on freezer paper, with my laser printer. You really did save me!!! Thank-you!!! Thank-you!!! Thank-you!!!

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