Instructables

how do I cut out a stencil?

I have an idea for a Christmas present for someone. I have done this before but its been many years ago and I don't remember how I did it. Anyways I have a pair of sparrow birds I obtained from a search engine. I want to cut this stencil out but leave the birds on the printer paper if that makes any sense. Then that way I don't have to line them up even. I don't no, hope I'm confusing anyone!! the stencil is for a glass etch for on a mirror. any help would be awesome!!! do i cut out the white or the black I'm so confused.

Picture of how do I cut out a stencil?
canucksgirl2 years ago
Print your pattern on an adhesive backed vinyl sheet. Then clean your mirror with rubbing alcohol (or any solution recommended by the etching material), and dry thoroughly with a clean, lint free cloth. Then remove the backing and adhere the sheet directly to the mirror you wish to etch.

Then using a sharp arts & craft type blade, carefully cut away all the areas that are to be etched. Ensure you don't press too hard to scratch the mirror surface. You'll need to be patient and cut as cleanly as possible.

Once you have completed cutting out the design you'll need to clean the surface again with rubbing alcohol and dry with a lint free cloth. If you have any oils from your hands, or fingerprints on the mirror, they will show up after etching.

Once you have cleaned and dried the mirror, you will be ready to complete your project.

I hope this helps. I have done a few projects like this in the past, and this method works very well.
mattthomas992003 (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
I like the vinyl Idea and I have some but never thought about using it.
If you don't have the right kind, you can buy adhesive backed vinyl sheets meant for home printers in many office supply and craft type stores. Prices are fairly reasonable, plus you'll have more for other future projects.

Having done the same kind of thing, this was the easiest, fastest way, which produced the best results.

Good luck
frollard2 years ago
just to confirm, you want the white areas inside the birds to be etched, but leave the black relief lines?

print the pattern on adhesive backed cardstock, or vinyl, or the like

Use a sharp razor knife to carefully cut along all the white/black boundaries inside the birds, but not the outside of the birds, leaving only the black skeleton inside the birds.

adhere the sheet to the mirror

spray on your fake etch stuff...
OR
if you used vinyl from the start, acid etch the glass.
mattthomas992003 (author)  frollard2 years ago
I like the idea about the vinyl but I dont no how to print it on vinyl.
trace it with a sharpie
rickharris2 years ago
You need to cut away the black lines BUT you need to leave small lands to keep the white inside the black areas in place as in the attached picture - I have only done 1 but turn it over for the other.

you can make these lands thinner with care and a sharp craft knife.

To be truly successful as a stencil either make it from thin plastic or get soem real stencil paper from an art shop.
mattthomas992003 (author)  rickharris2 years ago
I really like your idea and deeply appreciate your time in cuting lines in the sparrow.
Your welcome.
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