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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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About The Author

I'm a working mother with 2 kids and a lovely husband. I spend my free time after work with my family and always try new DIY crapbooking, cardmaking, embroidery, quilting and more!

Author's webpage/blog: Hobbysew Echuca Blog

Other posts by this author:

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