A stencil is an indispensable tool in the hands of a novice designer, crafter, and any creative person who wants to decorate their crafts with original drawings or create unique souvenirs for loved ones. Let's find out how to create a stencil with your own hands using available tools.
How to make stencils:
1. Draw a sketch of the stencil on a piece of paper. The best way to make a stencil is to use a stock image: copy it with a pencil and carbon paper. If you find an image on the internet, just print it out.
2. Outline all the pattern you plan to cut with a medium paint pen. Remember that there should not be too many elements for a good result. Try to avoid a lot of sharp corners and small details.
If this is your first stencil, it is better to choose something simple to work with, consisting of literally 3-5 elements.
3. If you are making a stencil from acetate film or plastic, then attach your finished drawing to its surface using adhesive tape. If you are making a stencil from paper or cardboard, then just cut it out according to the pattern.
4. When cutting out elements of the stencil, use very sharp tools: a construction or stationery knife, scalpel, scissors.
Making stencils, do not forget about the underlay, otherwise you risk cutting the surface on which you cut the stencil. Use a cutting board, old magazine, or something similar as insurance.
5. Take extra care when trimming sharp corners and rounded surfaces. Such complex elements can be strengthened with tape, wrapping the surface with it on both sides.
How to paint with homemade stencils
1. Before painting, firmly fix the stencil on the surface. If the stencil is made of paper, cardboard, or laminate, use tape or adhesive tape to do this. There are also special sprays that allow you to attach the stencil to the surface.
2. If the stencil is loose from the surface in some places, put on a household glove and hold it with your hand.
3. The easiest painting option is to use acrylic paints. This gives the most clear and high-quality drawing result.
4. When choosing paints, it is not necessary to stick to traditional types. There is a huge assortment of colors and types of different paints, including paints with additional effects: metallic, fluorescent, pearlescent, textured and many others. These paints are great for those who are into graffiti and decorative crafts.
5. If you are applying any traditional paint, use a brush or sponge. Moreover, the sponge should be slightly damp; otherwise it will cause drips and blurring of the contour.
6. Remove the stencil as soon as you finish applying paint. It is important not to let the stencil dry out, because then it will stick to the surface.
A few tips to work effectively with DIY stencils
If you are stenciling on fabric, be sure to use only special paints.
If you are applying the same image in several different colors, it is recommended to have separate stencils for each color.
Laminate and plastic stencils should be washed after each use.
If you are applying different colors on a stencil within the same image, then before applying the next color, wait until the previous layer of paint is dry.
Max is a professional illustrator and a big fan of Victo Nagi's talent. Before finding his own style, he experimented with different techniques, from collage to acrylic strings. Max loves challenging projects and a bright palette, he prefers to do illustrations for fiction books.