Reynolds Freezer Paper has a shiny plastic coating on one side that adheres temporarily to fabric when ironed and once removed it can be reattached several times before losing its gripping ability. Having discovered (via several discussions in Facebook groups) the existence of such a potentially useful product I was very keen to try it for myself.
Being Australian meant that I was not able to readily source the Reynolds Freezer Paper at a Grocery Store or Supermarket like people in the USA were able to. After reading Group discussions I learned that it was occasionally possible to locate it at Spotlight (large Australian Chain of Fabric Stores similar to the USA based Joanns). However the cost was quite high compared to what those overseas would pay to buy a product that was primarily designed to preserve the freshness of food placed in the Freezer.
It is possible to order Reynolds Freezer Paper online directly from the Reynolds website
or via an Australian based website http://www.usafoods.com.au/Other/Kitchen-Goods/Reynolds-Freezer-Paper
As it turned out I didn’t need to purchase it via any of these methods!
When I discovered that a member of one of my favourite Facebook sewing groups was planning a trip back to the USA to see family I asked her if she would purchase a roll for me while on Holiday/Vacation. She agreed and when she returned she mailed the precious roll to me. A huge “Thanks a Bunch” goes to Allison Dey of SweaterDoll
Yipee now I had my very own roll of this amazing product.
BTW I am no expert on the ‘use’ of Reynolds Freezer Paper. I learn by doing and am happy to pass on what I have discovered in the hope that it saves someone else some time & helps achieve success quicker.
Soooo what did I learn?
According the directions & suggestions on the box Reynolds Freezer Paper has many craft & sewing related uses including the creation of non slip stencils and templates for quilting, piecing & Appliqué.
I had read Online that it was possible make use of a regular Home Printer (see warning note regarding Laser Printers) to print pattern shape/templates directly onto the Freezer Paper. This idea appealed to me for several reasons including neatness, accuracy and the time saved by being able to print straight from a PDF Sewing Pattern directly onto the Freezer Paper rather than printing onto Regular Copy Paper then labouriously hand tracing onto the Freezer Paper!
Note: Taking into account that that heat from an iron is used to lightly adhere Reynolds (R) Freezer Paper to fabric plus the fact that Laser Printers use heat as a part of the printing process, the logical conclusion is that there could be dire consequences for the inner workings of a Laser Printer if it is used to print on Freezer Paper! Therefore Laser Printers are not recommended. Use an Inkjet Printer instead.
Printing directly onto the paper sounds quick & easy however a little preparation and planning is required. Because the paper comes on a roll it needs to be cut to size. I prefer to use A4 size but it is just as easy to cut out US Letter sized paper. Next the paper needs to be flattened (e.g. under a heavy book) to discourage it from rolling or curling. Some patient waiting would be required before I attempted to test my cut pages through a Home Inkjet Printer.
Because Freezer paper is matt on one side, shiny on the other & much thinner than Regular Copy Paper consideration needs to be given to the way that the paper will be fed into the Printer.
The Printers I am familiar with have had either a:
* Front and Rear paper feeding system (rear feed is for thick card or photo paper)
* Front feed only via a slide in tray or
* Front feed paper stack (no tray)
I suspect the Rear feed is probably the easiest to use (although I have not tried this option seeing as that printer “died” years ago). I have used the Front feed tray type variety (printed page photos will be shown in the next Post) plus the 3rd variety that has no tray.
No matter which type of ‘feed’ is used there may still be issues with potential curling of the paper to overcome. The paper may skew or not feed in straight, corners may curl, fold & crush and smudges may occur. Plus when printing a single page that is above a Regular Copy Paper page the page (Regular Copy Paper) below may start to feed in first followed part way by the Freezer Paper sheet meaning that only a portion of the required image is printed on the Freezer Paper! It is even possible to accidentally print on the wrong side of the Freezer paper!
Even though the use of Reynolds Freezer Paper appears to be problematic there are ways to avoid most of the Printing mistakes mentioned above.
To ensure best result it is essential to determine which way up the paper should face (non shiny/matt or shiny) when loaded into the Printer. Remember you need to print on the non shiny/matt side.
Using a sheet of Regular Copy Paper I wrote “This side up” on the lower portion of the page and placed it in the Printer (no tray variety) as shown.
Because I wanted to experiment with turning PDF Layers off & on as well as take photos for this Tutorial about the use of Freezer Paper I chose to print a page from a PDF containing a Starfish design I had been working on.
Note: You can choose to test print a page from any file you like, it can contain as much or as little Content as you wish.
Out came the page printed on Regular Copy Paper…..
But which side is the pencil writing on? Can you guess?
Hmmm….there was no writing in pencil on the side that had the printed image! The writing was on the other side of the page!
This means that for ‘this’ Printer in order to have the image printed on the non shiny/matt side I would need to have the shiny side facing up!! That might be a problem because I had noticed that even though the paper has been flattened there was a continuing tendency for it to curl when placed shiny side up.
I also needed to deal with the fact that Freezer Paper is much thinner than Regular Copy Paper. I anticipated that it would not feed properly into the Printer so I decided to tape the Freezer paper to a sheet of Regular Copy Paper to force it to stay flat & give it more stiffness.
After taping the short sides together I used the sticky tape like a hinge to fold the pages so that the shiny side of the Freezer Paper plus the sticky tape was on the inside.
Because I was still a little concerned about whether the paper would skew I added a small piece of tape on the inside to join the pages at one of the corners. I could have added tape to the other corner too but decided to see what would happen if I didn’t!
So now I had two pages joined together. I needed to print on the non shiny/matt side of the Freezer Paper so it needed to be facing downwards which meant that the Regular Copy Paper was facing up. I positioned the hinged pages on top of the stack of pages on the Printer with the hinge furthest away from me.
But before I started printing I ‘played’ with the visibility of the PDF Layers. To save ink I turned off the blue 0.25 inch Cutting Line, the dashed Stitching Line and the Title information. I left the 5 mm Cutting Line and the Test squares on.
Note: The PDF has to be created with useful Layers as the top Layers in order to be able to make use of this function. Many Indie Clothing designers will set up their PDFs so that the unneeded Clothing sizes can be turned off prior to printing. I am experimenting with this idea to see if it is suitable and useful for inclusion in my Sewing Pattern PDFs.
Just for interest sake here is a comparison of the Regular Copy Paper page that has all the Layers visible and the Reynolds Freezer Paper that has some Layers turned off.
Can you see the slight smudge?
So now it is just a matter of cutting through the sticky tape to separate the pages.
Tip: Any scrap Regular Copy Paper could have been used at the extra page I just used a blank one so as not to confuse things!
So far so good ….As I said earlier I am not an expert in the use of Reynolds Freezer Paper and as Printers vary results may also vary. If you are using a Printer that has a tray it may be possible to ‘cheat’ as I did (on a previous occasion before I thought of doing a photo documentation of the experiment) by placing a Regular Copy Paper page on top of the correct side up Reynolds Freezer Paper page in the tray & just select Print 2 copies. Because it all happened so quickly the Reynolds Freezer Paper didn’t have time to curl & it printed out perfectly. It should be noted that this is only a good method if you want a second copy or can print another page from the same file at the same time!
In summary here’s a quick list of the Steps:
1) Cut Freezer Paper to ‘size’ (e.g. A4 or US Letter )
2) Flatten Freezer Paper pages under heavy books (for a least a few days)
3) Test Print (Regular Copy Paper) to determine which way up the Freezer Paper needs to be
4) Stabilise the Freezer Paper by adding a Regular Copy Paper page to prevent curling
5) Position the page(s) correct side up in the Printer
6) Print out a page
7) Remove the Regular Copy Paper stabiliser
I hope you find my experiment helpful!
Keep your eyes peeled for the next Blog Post …….
Reynolds Freezer Paper Demonstration in 7 Steps