Thursday, March 21, 2013

Making Stencils

On my quest for authenticity - I have been wanting to make my own stencils for quite some time now but kept pushing it aside.  Actually, I've had the supplies for over 6 months and it was high time to dig them out and get with it.  After giving myself a huge nudge and getting over a few hiccups I do believe I am one step closer to having my authentic art voice singing in my work. 

I used a heat tool - or heat pen it is sometimes called.  I had purchased some stencil blanks and spent a long hour pushing that tool through the stencil material.  Yikes.  It was thick and gummed up the tool tip and kept leaving threads of plastic attached to the corners where I had cut. Frustrating to say the least.  But I did manage to cut out a flower shape and was quite pleased with the outcome.  On my second attempt I used a more complicated design and didn't even get a quarter of the way through - it was not worth the frustration. 

On Instagram I got the suggestion to use plastic folders for the stencil material and I remembered I had a pad of acetate hanging around.  The acetate is much easier to glide the heat pen through and away I went!!

I used a glass cutting board that I found cheap at the thrift store. I taped my design underneath the glass and taped the acetate to the top of the glass.  I find it's easier to pull the tool towards you rather than away from you.  It is also easier for me to do lines all running in the same direction to get a flow going - then flip the cutting board around and do another direction.

 It took a bit of time to get through drawing with the heat tool on this stencil but after I was done I pushed all the cut out pieces out and my stencil was ready to go.

A quick test with some spray inks -

And then spray inks on to a wood panel over top of some collage.  I blended the spray inks with some white acrylic and some watered down self leveling gel. Now the panel is ready for some Mandala drawing.

Have you made your own stencils? Try it - it's easy peasy once you get the hang of it!


  1. Great Job!! Emily!!!! Love it!! and the canvas as the end is turning out great:):) Hugs- my friend:):)

  2. Oh, you're such a brave one. The stencil turned out great! Thanks so much for sharing your technique. Who woulda thought... xx

  3. you did a wonderful job on the stencil, I to have that stencil cutter, but never thought of acetate, i am going to give a try

  4. I love making my own stencils! I tried the regular stencil making material as well, and had the same results: it was a pain in the butt to use! But with the plastic dividers I have had a great time, with happy results. I love the stencil that you made! And with making your own, you can have an stencil you can imagine, which is my favorite part :)

    Take care!

  5. Hi, Emily;
    I was going to email you about this, but I couldn't find an email address. Sorry for mucking up your comments! But when I share on my blog about someone else, I like to let them know. I just posted some goodness about you.
    Thanks for being fabulous!

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