Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stencil Tutorial

I make my own stencils for band logos, or just a cool looking logo quite a bit. There are websites where you can download and print off drawings specific for stencils. is the one I use quite a bit. For band logos that he doesn’t have, I use the Google Image search.

Finding a picture you want to stencil out is tricky. You have to make sure that the lines you’re cutting out, don’t cut out most of the whole picture.

This won’t work because the lines are all connected, her eyes and mouth get cut out. There’d be a lot of different pieces.

This will work because there are little pieces all throughout. If you notice on the skull, the eyeholes and nose are going to be cut out. Something smaller like that will be easy to paint in or around.

What do I need?
1. A picture that you’d like. You can easily print off one online, cut out what you want painted in, and then layer that over the blank stencil and cut that. I found it’s easier to cut the paper out first and then cut out the stencil blank
2. An Exacto knife. These are relatively cheap and work WAYYYY better than scissors.
3. Stencil blanks. Found at any craft store.
4. Something hard so you can lay the picture and stencil blank flat and not cut a table or something you don’t want scratched.
5. Fabric paint- I suggest Scribbles or Tulip brands.
6. Fabric or a garment.
7. Newspaper or something to put under the garment just incase the fabric bleeds through.
8. Brushes.

Take the picture you’ve printed out or copied and exacto knife out what you’d like to color in on the fabric. Then place the paper over the actual stencil blank and the trace what you’ve cut out in the paper. Once all the slicing and dicing is done you’re ready to start painting. Place the finished stencil over the part of fabric you’d like to fill in. You’ll get your fingers covered in paint, but the two brands I recommended won’t be permanent, it peels off easily from skin. You’ll have to hold down the stencils and may have to go over the paint a couple times depending on how dark the fabric is and absorbent it is. Once you get the stencil done, remove the homemade stencil. Do NOT leave it on the fabric, they do stick once the paint dries and it’s just a pain.

You won’t have to go over the paint with heat or anything. Just wash the garment in cold water and hang it dry.

One main reason why I cut out the paper copy is to make sure I’ll get be able to stencil what I want out. It saves time and money on blank stencils. Some art supply stores have Vellum that is thick enough to work as a stencil, but be sure you don’t get it too thick or you’ll kill your hands using the exacto knife on it.

If you want to stencil letters out, it’s a lot easier to buy those at the craft store. It’s not that expensive and saves a TON of time. You can get different type and sizes from ½” to 2”.
If you're really good at drawing, who needs stencils? Just get the fabric paint and brushes and go for it.

I hope this helps someone out there and saves them some time and mistakes!


Liz said...

You have wonderful information. I enjoyed your lessons