Halftone stencil ideas

Hey guys,

I was inspired by this instructable: www.instructables.com/id/Full-Color-Stencil-Art-with-Halftoning/ to do my own. I love the fact that up close the image makes no sense, but from a distance they are clear. For example, see the full colour image below full size; it's just semi-random dots, but the thumbnail of the same image is much clearer - you can make out people, trees etc. Of course the image of me+girlfriend is one of my favourites, so it's probably more recognisable to me.

I've done all the image processing, and got out some really nice results. You can see an example of the output below.


I don't have access to a laser cutter, which was used in the original instructable to make stencils with the halftone dots cutout. So my questions is...

What's the easiest way to make a template to be able to most easily paint the images?

I have tried printing them in black and white, placing them below a canvas, and shining a bright light from underneath. This works OK for the first colour, but it is very time consuming to paint the individual dots by hand, and becomes difficult to see for the later colours.

Anyone got any other ideas? I've thought of cutting the dots out by hand (seems just as painful) or taping the pdf's to MDF and drilling using a drill press (seems like it'd be painful, not only swapping out drill bits but even just drilling the many, many holes)

Obviously a laser cutter would be perfect, but not sure where I can go for this for a reasonable price in Australia.

Does anyone know if this would be suitable for a Cricut to cut? If so, anyone know someone in Australia that would be able to do it?

Thanks guys!


Picture of Halftone stencil ideas
Day 04 - 011 - Waiting for bus, Faga, Savai'i - CMYK size 20 halftone - black.jpg
crapflinger7 years ago

if you're doing this "small scale" and not super massive scale...you could print the image with only one color at a time visible (like one for black, one for red and one for blue, etc...) then use a hole punch to punch out each hole individually....then lay the sheet over the canvas and paint that sheet's color...starting from lightest and going to darkest (i would imagine)

or instead of painting it on canvas yourself...you could find a printing company that could print on canvas for you....or a sign making place, a lot of print shops can print on large format printers on just about any substance that they can jam in their printers

maybe a silk screening kit?

trialex (author)  crapflinger7 years ago
Thanks for the reply!

In my weaker moments I have thought about just getting it printed by a photo shop onto canvas, but I think the final result would mean a lot more if I was to paint it by hand.

I had thought about the hole punch technique, but the dots are all different sizes - and not just a set of values, they could all be unique sizes. Of course I guess I could round the sizes to some nearest value.

I would also need a set of different sized manual punches - the dots are of course too far from the edges to use a standard office-style hole punch.

Maybe I should try to generate the images using a single hole size.

Thanks for the suggestion though!