For best results, you can forgo the paper tabs entirely and bend the wire into a handle shape and float the island on wires that won't even appear when you go to spray paint your image. I did this for the islands where it mattered most, like in one of the logos where it would matter most that it look clean and professional.
I found the paper tabs to be acceptable and a time saver on the letters and numbers since the eye is more accustomed to seeing stencil tabs in fonts.
More info on making floating islands in stencils can be found in Fungus Amungus' classic Stencils with Islands - Pt. 2 Instructable.
Step 1: Start With an Image
Take a look at it, does it have floating islands? Like the white circle inside the "a's", "o" and "g"?
If it does, proceed.
Step 2: Draw Rectangles to Create Tabs
The width is up to you, pick a value that's both structural, but not so wide that you'd notice it at first. 3/32" is around what I used.
This creates tabs which will hold the island in place. Two tabs are sufficient for small islands, but if the island is really big, make more.
Step 3: Save .jpg
Step 4: Live Trace in Illustrator
You'll have to mess the settings. For best results I find adjusting the blur a bit can help.
Additionally, set the max stroke width to 1 pixel and set the output to "no fills" but "yes strokes".
You want just the outlines as the tracing result.
Step 5: Save As Legacy .eps
I like to go all the way back to .eps 8,9 or 10 in the Illustrator save dialogue that comes up.
I find that the images and vectors are preserved perfectly and have the greatest chance of opening in Corel Draw (where we're going next) when saved as the legacy version. One day all versions and file formats will play nicely, but until then, the legacy has been a great workaround for me.
Step 6: Open Files in Corel Draw, Layout, and Laser Cut
Be sure to check all settings, making sure you've got no fills, and just strokes that are set to either "hairline" or "1 pixel".
Send the document to the lasercutter and cut into your material of choice.
Vector cut your outlines into your material.
I'm using a heavy oaktag like material that will hold up for at least a few sprayings.
Cardboard works, as well as other plastics, and of course, the classic manilla folder.
Step 7: Reinforce Island Tabs With Piano Wire
Place piano wire across your paper tabs to help reinforce the islands and hold them in place.
Tape the wire into place and repeat for all of your islands that need reinforcement.
Step 8: Without Tabs
The bend of the handle will allow the paint to be sprayed completely through the cut in your stencil while still holding the island in position.