I will admit, I’m not a huge stencil girl, but I do like to use them occasionally. The walls in my home were textured by an evil plaster man, I’m convinced! Ninety percent of my walls are covered in a thick, sharp swirly texture that draws blood if your hand brushes against it! Evil I say, EVIL!!! I hear you laughing at us Mr. Textured Plaster Man. Anyhoo, the point is that I can not enjoy the artistic beauty that stencils can bring to a wall like some homeowners can. I do use stencils on projects though. My issue is that I know what stencils I like but I can’t find them for purchase. I’ve learned over the years how to make my own stencils two different ways without a cutting machine, therefore getting exactly the design I want and I pay nothing for them. Sound interesting?
The easiest way to make your own stencil is to find a royalty free clip art image online, download and paste it onto a word document. In the word document you can resize it to your desired size. Then print it out on to card stock paper. Card stock is a nice option and will hold up for a quick project. Simply print it out and cut it with an exact-o-knife. Easy-peasy, but if you will be needing the stencil for an extended period of time, I have a different option for you.
Now if you own a Cricut Expression or a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine, you might be wondering why such elementary methods are being discussed. Well, I own both machines and to this day they both are still in their boxes! (GASP!) I’m scared of them and haven’t had the time to research how to use them. (Note: one was a gift and the other I won on a blog giveaway… enter giveaways, you can win big!).
I have to introduce you all to the new Martha Stewart Multi Purpose Electric Cutting Tool by Plaid. The Martha Stewart peeps sent it to me to try out along with a whole bus load of products. You can see it all by clicking here. It’s her multi-purpose heating tool. Plug it in for about 10 minutes and you are good to go.
Instead of printing onto cardstock, this time print onto transparency film. You can find inkjet transparency film at any office supply store or at Amazon.com. Make sure you set your printer settings to “transparency” and allow it to sit untouched for a few minutes after printing to allow the ink to dry. Now it’s time to use Martha’s heat tool! I’ll admit, I was quite intimidated at first by this tool because I had never used anything hot besides a hot glue gun! Just use common sense with it and you’ll be fine. This tool comes with 3 different tips, one of which is made specifically for stencil cutting. Simply trace the tool around your design very slowly and watch it melt away the edges.
After cutting, lift out the pieces and you are left with a beautiful stencil. This tool is especially nice if you have an intricate design you are working with.
The advantage of using a transparency for making stencils is that they are reusable! You can see how I used this hibiscus stencil on my Surfboard Pallet Art I created for my boys’ room and the hibiscus in my daughter’s Roxy Surf Girl Room and her Roxy hibiscus lamp.
Keep your stencils in a folder and you will have them for life! No expensive, big cutting machine needed, just a printer, an exact-o knife, or Martha Stewart’s Multipurpose Heat Tool by Plaid. Save some money and get decorating people!
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