Stencils can help anyone be an artist. With a reasonably steady hand and the right kind of paint or ink, even young children can create pretty, eye-catching designs.
- 1 A cutting mat
- 1 X-Acto knife
- 1 Appropriately sized blank stencil sheets
- 1 Tape
- 1 A pencil
- 1 Brushes or sponges
- 1 Paint or ink
- Find a design. The best stencil patterns will be relatively easy to cut out, so avoid images that have a lot of tight curves or detail. Fine details may be lost in the stenciling process, and won't look as good from a distance as larger designs. For example, geometric images tend to work better than complicated floral patterns.
- Print out your design and tape it to one side of the blank stencil sheet. Most stencil sheets are transparent to a degree, so you should be able to see your design through the plastic. If you're having trouble, open the image in an image editor, adjust the contrast, re-print it, and try again.
- Trace the design onto the stencil sheet, and cut out carefully using the knife. A cutting mat will help protect your surfaces from scratches and cuts as well as make it easier to follow the stencil pattern.
- Once your stencil is cut out, it's ready to use. Hold or tape in place on the surface you wish to decorate, and use a brush or sponge to apply colors. Most stencils can be cleaned with warm water after use.
- Use them with latex paint for areas like walls or fences, or Liquitex ink for arts and crafts applications. Even kids can exercise their creativity with a parent's help-- some fun, family friendly stencil on wall ideas including stenciling fences, garden sheds, playrooms, and more. Kids also love using stencils to create their own t-shirt or wrapping paper designs. Try using them with fabric paint or bleach on fabrics, or mix up some bright tempera colors for paper.
Stencils are a quick, easy way to dress up anything from plaster, to paper, to fabric. You can buy stencils at just about any craft store, but why buy expensive pre-made designs when it's so easy to craft your own? All it takes is an idea, a little browsing, and a few low-cost materials to be on your way to making your own stencil art.