It's super quick, inexpensive, and easy!
Step 1: Step 1: Create a design for the stencil
First, you need to design your stencil in Illustrator. I wanted to make something that would make people smile on the street so I chose nice sayings, like a love poem to the city. But, really anything and everything is possible!
Just make sure to outline the text (Ctrl+Shift+O on a PC) and set the stroke to .001 pt so the laser cuts through your outline.
NOTE: I'd like to mention that if you do not have a laser cutter, you can simply print your design, lay it on top of a piece of cardboard, and use a blade to cut it out. This method will take more time and will not be as precise as a laser, but it's definitely still doable!
Step 2: Step 2: Laser cut your stencil
I'm using a laser with an 18x24in bed, so my cardboard (scraps of a box found outside TechShop) was approximately that size.
I used the following vector settings:
500 Hz frequency
Initially, I used 40% power but that was not high enough to cut through the whole piece of cardboard, so definitely make sure to test your settings.
Press print & watch your stencils come to life!