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Make your own stencils

August 13, 2010

stencil.jpg

Stencils are great for many projects: jazzing up your kids walls, adding some whimsy to a piece of furniture, adding a favorite quotation above your front door, or creating your own wall paper. Stencils can be expensive as well but making your own is not very hard. All you need are a few supplies, some moxie and you are ready to go.

Materials needed:

       Plastic Quilting Template

       Sharp craft knife

       Printed clip art in the design of your choice

       Adirondack Dabbers or a Stippling brush

 

Start with the desired design for your stencil. You can choose a damask inspiration, words or animals(like the featured pictures) . Decide which design or shape is best for your room or project. You can use these stencils on walls, furniture, canvases or even fabric (great for curtains). If you need to resize your design, you can use your favorite photo program (Picasa is a free program) or take it to your local photo center and ask them to resize. Print your design on regular paper. Tape your print-out to the template plastic on all sides to prevent it from sliding around. With a cutting mat underneath and using a sharp craft knife (the sharper the knife, the more exact your cuts will be) cut around the design. Check your craft knife often to make sure it is still sharp otherwise you will have to go back over your cuts. Once you have completed your cuts, pop out the inside of your design. What remains is your completed stencil. If you are using words as your stencil, be sure to keep all pieces you cut out since you may need them to finish each letter (i.e. the letters 'e, d, o, etc will all need their insides). Use painters tape to apply your stencil to your projects; it provides a strong bond, presents paint seeping and peels away easily.

 

stencil 3.jpg

If your stencil is very large and open (see picture) then you may want to use a wall brush to fill in your stencil. Be careful of the edges, start dabbing the paint as you get within 1 in. of your edges. If you just brush your paint over the edge, it will seep under and blur your lines. Dabbing will preserve your sharp stencil edges. If your stencil features small details or tight areas, a small tight brush will work best for you and even better the Adirondack Dabbers. This is a brush and paint in one that comes in a wide variety of colors. They are easy to use and perfect for stencil work.  A few key techniques: keep your stencil clean and wipe off paint build-up, this will prevent marks on your work area and avoid seepage (dried paint can prevent a flush fit against the wall); don't put too much paint on your brush, work in light layers; test your stencil on craft paper or newspaper to make sure it gives a design you love. Clean and store your stencil flat between uses.

Designs that work well for stencils can be found by using coloring pages, clip art, etc... If you find a design idea that is not printable (wall paper, tablecloths or magazine images), just trace it onto paper instead of printing and follow the steps to complete. Anything works and you will be amazed with the finished project. 

 

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This page contains a single entry by published on August 13, 2010 8:39 AM.

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