Instructables

Quick and Dirty 5-minute Laser Stencil

This is a pretty simple instructable, and many users have skills far beyond what is covered here, but I am making this instructable as a way to show a really quick, efficient method for doing rough screen printing. A lot of people might already know all this, but it took me some experimenting to get it down.


The steps are not that complex, but there is a few quick tips inside for when you just want a cool, repeatable stencil in 5 minutes. It may take you more than 5 minutes to read this, but once you got it down, you can really start cranking out stencils for all sorts of things! I have access to a nice silkscreen machine, but i still use this!

For quick overview the two main tips are:
  • Drag your eraser through your outlined text (for quick "stencil-ification")
  • Use two colors of spray paint for sharper edges

Materials:
  • Access to a laser cutter
  • Vector Software (I use Illustrator, you can use lots of free open-source alternatives too!)
  • Spray Paint (Two Colors! I'll explain later!)
  • Paper or really thin cardboard (like cereal-box thin)
  • Something to spray the stencil onto (A wall, a shirt, a millipede terrarium)
  • Tape (I found this nice 3 inch masking tape at Ace Hardware)
 
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Step 1: Create Image

Picture of Create Image
Put together the images or text you want to create a stencil from. In this example I am making a stencil to spray on the top of a terrarium for a millipede named "Konrad" (after Konrad Lorenz).

So I have text and a full color image that I got from the internet.

Arrange them how you want in the graphics editor.
newb8 months ago
I use construction paper for quick stencils all the time and what I found really helps is spraying it in sections and holding any loose edges down with a stick so that it comes out more defined
blorgggg (author)  newb8 months ago
Great idea!
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