In this instructable I share my tips and tricks for making a stencil or a sign using the following materials:

tube of cardboard from blick 15' (30" wide) for ~$2.00
vinyl cutter at Techshop SF
stencil cutting knife

The process that I am developing is to make it easier to create a lower cost stencil that gets better with use. Some stencils fall apart after a few uses and some get better with use as they harden up from the extra paint. 

Created in October 2013 by SFlettering
I made it at Techshop http://techshop.ws

Step 1: Test Cuts and Scoring the cardboard for manual cutting

For the first round  of experimental stencil making I used the vinyl cutter to "score" the cardboard and provide lines for later cutting manually. Although this technique worked I found that it duplicated the total effort and did not produce the crisp lines desired for a stencil. 

I also learned from this step that when cutting out the letters by hand they look better when they are spaced farther apart. 
<p>You can also use posterboard and replace the blade with a pen and make your letters with ink then cut them by hand with an exacto. </p>

About This Instructable


4 favorites


Bio: Based in San Francisco I strive to incorporate custom lettering in the art that I design, print, and make.
More by sflettering: Stencil Making On a Vinyl Cutter at Techshop SF CNC Embroidery Printing SF and SFlettering With Only The Menu Vinyl Cutter Tips After 30 Hours Of Experience
Add instructable to: