Thursday 13 April 2017

Inspirational Post ~ DIY Stencils

Hi everybody ! Toni here, it's my turn to put together an Inspirational Post and I'm hoping to inspire you to have a go at making your own stencils. Let's get started.........

I firstly wanted to find out which materials would be good to make stencils with. I wanted something that would be durable and easy to cut. I chose to experiment with, a plastic file divider, a piece of acetate, some plastic packaging, a clear plastic wallet and a piece of Mylar.

 First up was the plastic file divider. In order to make it a more manageable size, I cut the divider in half. I then used a craft knife to cut out a simple design.
I chose a simple shape, and repeated it, making it larger and smaller and reversing it from time to time. I tried to just go with the flow, not so much concerning myself with accuracy. I recommend using a good sharp blade and a cutting mat. Once finished, I sprayed the back of the stencil with re-positionable adhesive. I then used a cosmetic sponge to apply paint, onto a Distress Spray background, I'd prepared earlier....
I was quite pleased with the results. The stencil worked very well with no leakage of paint. I also had a go at die cutting another piece of the file divider, with one of Tim Holtz's Thinlits. It cut well with a couple of passes through my Big Shot.
Next up, I used the plastic packaging. This was thicker than the file divider, so I decided to die cut it with one of my Bigz Dies, Tim's Tattered Leaves. The die cut through the plastic very easily. These were the results...
The resulting stencil is very sturdy and I think it would be easy to use with modelling pastes. The edges of the leaves were nice and crisp, with no paint leakage.
I then decided to try something different. This time, I used a piece of the plastic wallet. I chose a picture of a woman from a magazine and used the plastic and a black pen, to trace around her outline.
I then used my craft knife to cut around the outline. I kept the inside pieces from her arms. Once again I used repositionable adhesive on all of the pieces. I then arranged the stencil on my background, and applied paint with a cosmetic sponge.
I think there's a lot of potential for making stencils with this method.
The next stencil I tried was made of Mylar. I slightly cheated with this one as I used a design I had cut on my Scan n Cut machine. I developed the design using a programme on my ipad called Brushes. It really is very simple. If anyone out there would like to know more about this, feel free to leave me a message on this post and I'll get back to you. Any way here are the results....
Mylar, comes in different thicknesses and can be bought quite easily on the internet. My last experiment was with a sheet of acetate. I firstly drew a design, onto a piece of white paper and placed it under the acetate sheet. I then used a craft knife, to cut around the design. The acetate cut quite easily, but was more flimsy than the other materials. I also made a short split in it, as I was removing one of the petals. After that, I used a pair of scissors to snip away any that were still attached.
So there you have it! I hope you've managed to last to the end of this post! If you have, then I hope you'll have a go at making some of your own, unique, stencils. Until next time, happy creating!x


  1. Super to see all the different materials in one post! TFS!

  2. Really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for the comparisons and the inspiration x

  3. I just love handmade stencils and haven't made any in a while. Thanks so much for the tutorial and variety of ideas, Toni!

  4. Fabulous experiments with different ways to make stencils Toni ! I love the outline of the woman, looks amazing stencilled ! Sue C x

  5. A really great inspirational post, Toni. I've done a bit of die-cutting to create stencils in the past, but it would never have occurred to me to cut my very own. The traced silhouette is a really clever idea. Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiments.
    Alison x