Friday, April 6, 2012

How I make my stencils

So I'm not going to call this a tutorial really but I'll sort of got over some things I've learned after making quite a few. Here are the tutorials I used to get started:
the etsy team
so these are two great tutorials that I learned from so I'll show my process it's pretty much the same as these two.
So I find my image usually with an image search on google, copy and paist it onto gimp (or seashore when I had a mac) then make it black and white and make it the size that I want. You could use a color image out of a magazine or something to but a black and white image on a white back ground is ideal.
So I just used this ring to highlight the eye because I wanted to mention the shine, on this image its at the edge of the eye so it's easy to make sure you don't end up with an island but often the shine is in the middle of the eye and you just need to shift it to the edge using your discretion on where it will look best. Always remember you can't have anything in the middle of a piece you will be cutting away.
Start filling in the dark parts on you image making sure your not making any islands. I like to do this part with a jiffy so I can still fix mistakes before I start cutting. 
To get an idea of how my stencil is looking I flip it over to the back of the paper, this gives me a better idea of how things are going as it can be a bit difficult with all the gray bits on the front, I do this quite often as I'm working away to see where I need more detail or if anything needs to be taken away. You can erase mistakes with a white out pen if you need to.
and here it is the front of my stencil

and the back I think it looks like a bunny
So for the next step I use some re-positional spray adhesive, a regular old exacto knife and a cutting board that I picked up a while back at the dollar store
 Now your going to need to choose something to cut your stencil out on I'll say a little on that.
So the first thing I tried here is a page protector which was way to thin and tore when I removed it.

The second thing I tried was this thick page divider for a binder this was to thick and hard to cut out especially if you want a detailed stencil.

So finally I decided on these page dividers which fell right in the middle they are easily cut and hold up very well. Best of all they are very inexpensive at $0.97 Canadian at Walmart.

Here is the package you can find them in the office supply section. I was going to use the plastic transparent paper as was suggested in the Etsy video but it was very expensive so I opted for these instead.
Now I sprayed my bunny with easy tack re-positional adhesive and VERY IMPORTANTLY I waited about a minute before I stuck it to my plastic. If you don't wait it will be very hard to peel off the paper when your done cutting. I find for the larger sections it's easier to cut your pieces out in chunks.\I actually like to start with the smaller bits because they are easier to cut when your stencil is more stable if that makes sense. 

Now when you peel the paper off it will kind of tear, thats okay you just have to peel off the little bits carefully so as not to wreck your stencil. You can leave the paper on but I don't recommend it, it gets ratty as you use your stencil and comes off in wet painty chunks and gets on you image.
 Now if you do make a mistake it's not the end of the world I actually did make a mistake on this stencil, I didn't make an island but I pushed it a bit to far and didn't give this piece here enough to hang on to and it broke off when I peeled off the paper
the broken piece it was to important to the stencil to leave out so...

take some scotch tape and tape your piece back in place, a piece of tape on each side so there is no sticky bits.
Now cut off the excess tape.My problem was I had two whiskers to close together so I cut one of them back in in the tape and left the other out.
Now I hope that made sense and was useful to someone. I do have fun making these guys even though they can take a while to cut out. I made this one for my mum's Easter card which I just blogged about in my last post right here.
   I now have a whole new respect for people who make all the awesome tutorials, it is really hard to try and explain things and take good photographs of all the steps.
  Well anyways Happy Easter Everyone and I hope the weather is starting to get spring like wherever you are.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a useful craft project. I am making some handmade business cards and packaging. Now, am thinking stencils would be a smart way to go. Thanks for the inspiration!