Picture of Stencil Making On a Vinyl Cutter at Techshop SF
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

Picture of 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. 
myrrhmaid1 year ago

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.