Contact Paper Stencils





Introduction: Contact Paper Stencils

Last year I had the urge to print my own T-shirt. I couldn't find photo emulsion locally and I didn't want to pay to have a large quantity shipped. Instead, I made a stencil (with an island) as a cheap substitute.

Yes, that's a check engine light. I now own a VW and was told that I'd have check engine lights every 1000 miles.... It's been a little bit less than 10,000 miles now... no light. I'm still amused by the low washer fluid light and alarm :)

My apologies for the low quality pictures....

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Contact Paper (the stuff with a sticky back) -- shelf paper works too.
Fabric Paint
A bit of cardboard or plastic or something to prevent the paint from bleeding through the back
Something to push paint around evenly (a scrip bit of cardboard will work)
Razor knife and cutting board

Step 2: Find an Image and Cut Stencil

The image I'll be making is a common check engine light. Carefully and patiently cut your stencil.

Once the stencil is cut to your liking, remove the paper backing and stick the contact paper on your shirt.

Step 3: Apply Paint

Apply a line of paint above the stencil. Using a straight bit of cardboard (or in my case a plastic ruler) - drag the paint over your stencil.

Ideally, you only want one coat of paint. But due to my lack of experience, I think I applied too much pressure and didn't leave enough paint behind. So I went for a second coat.

Step 4: Dry and Remove Stencil

Allow the paint to dry a little. Then pull the stencil off and allow to dry completely. I used a blow dryer to quicken the process. They say good things come to those that wait.... But Lincoln said that the good things come, but only things left by those who hustle (who knows, maybe I'm just justifying my impatient tendencies at the time) :P

Contact paper is not the best solution for crisp clean edges. But it gives fair results as a cheap and quick method to make a design.



    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018
    • Epilog Challenge 9

      Epilog Challenge 9

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Where do I get this "Fabric Paint" I tried some iron on heat transfers, but they crack and look like poo after going through the wash.

    wally world, or any craft store. usualy comes in a little bottle with a pointy tip so you can draw with it.

    Does it crack?

    Mine cracked a little. I think that's from having a coat of paint that's too thick. It doesn't bother me too much though -- it's been through the wash 4 or 5 times already :)

    ive used Acrylic to mixed results. it cracks, but stays forever

    My best solution for stenciling with fabric paint is to use a foam brush to put it on. Just a thin layer will usually do the trick, and despite what others say of putting it on thick, that increases your chances of it cracking and flaking off. Nice thin layer, enough to be seen, will work into the fabric and be thin enough to move with the fabric instead of cracking. I have a few shirts I've stenciled and washed ~20 times and they still look good.

    depends on how thick. very thin and worked into the fabric doesn't, thin on top of the fabric does crack, thick on top of the fabric doesn't. ymmv, my experience is with young children and the clothing going threw many wash cycles.

    Depends on the paint and how thick you put it on. You can get fabric paint in squeeze bottles, but that's usually more for crafty needs, touching up a fabric with some color.

    Fabric paint is what's used in silkscreens and has lots of flavors. My favorite resource, Dharma Trading, has agood page to check.

    Oh trust me, I've tried EVERYTHING. This is the best one so far

    ravenprints, I'm sorry, but why is it that you're on a website that promotes the free sharing of knowledge and yet you're encouraging people to buy your dvd? Why don't you make your own instructable instead?