Introduction: Stenciling

Picture of Stenciling

recently i have become addicted to stenciling and i think that it would make a great instructable. in this i will teach you how to transfer images from the internet or your mind onto a re-useable stencil sheet.

this is my first instructable hope you like it.

Step 1: What You Will Need

for this you will need:
1x scissors
1x sharp knife
1x transperrant paper (the kind you use on old projectors)
1x permanent marker
1x spray paint/normal paint (any colour)

and something to transfer your design onto

Step 2: Getting the Image

Picture of Getting the Image

all you need for this is a simple design other wise you will find it is hard to cut out. i used a design ive had on my computer for a long time and printed it. you can draw your own designs aswell.

Step 3: Transfering Design

Picture of Transfering Design

This is the second easiest step of the process i cant really explain it in more detail because all you have to do is place the transperant paper over the desicn and copy it onto it.

Step 4: Cutting It Out

Picture of Cutting It Out

the name says it all but this step is the most difficult because you need to take you time to cut it out. you can either cut it all out completly with your knife or you can cut it out with your knife and use scissors aswell so that you dont slip and destroy all your hard work. i find it easier to use just my knife because its sharper but it all depends on the degree of difficulty of your design.

Step 5: Spray and Wait.

Picture of Spray and Wait.

for this step all you have to do is paint your design onto something.

i would like to see what people come up with so if you finish this could you please post your final products thanks


FrozenIce (author)2011-11-03

haha like it alot :) might just try it!! but to find the right thing to stencil...

czintx (author)2010-03-29

Do you have any suggestions for doing a stencil for an object that is not flat? How might I get it to stay on? Thanks.

egadsman (author)czintx2010-03-30

well there is a way but the more intricate the shape the harder it will be. the only way i can think of is to go down to your local department store and buy some contact cover for books and cut your stencil out of that and stick it to your object and then paint and remove it when its dry.

czintx (author)egadsman2010-03-30

Thanks! I'll give that a try.

flytape8490 (author)2010-01-25

Cut out one step-
Don't transfer to the transparency sheet. Not only will your knife stay sharper longer when cutting, reducing the ammount of (expensive!) blades you go thru, you're honestly saving a lot of time.

Also, a hit of spray adhesive on the back of the stencil, and left to dry for 5 minutes or so, will make for a very clean image by almost completely eliminating any overspray. Don't use too much tho if you care about presentation (esp. on a black surface). It will leave a residue that is very visible.

lucille3830 (author)2009-04-03

do you think this method will work with etching products-or do you think it will dissolve the vinyl?

Potaterchip (author)2009-04-02

This is great! This is the only stencil instructabel that uses household items. No laser cutters or anything. Thanks a lot.

Father Christmas (author)2008-09-21

nice blade...

stkrzysiak (author)2007-08-24

How exactly would spray adhesive help? I saw that mentioned in the discharge paste instructable, and didn't get it. If you glue the stencil to something, how would you get the stencil off? Is the assumption that you can just pull it off since spray adhesive is not that stong?!?

eskimojo (author)stkrzysiak2008-09-12

If you use it correctly, spray adhesive is only temporary. So yes it has that "post-it effect." If you go liberal with it things can get hairy, literally and metaphorically.

ultrastatic (author)2008-08-23

Better to do it with tape as a stensil because there is less fog around the edges

enahs (author)2007-08-26

another option would be to just print the design strait to the transparent sheet with a laser printer.

noremakk (author)enahs2007-09-25

Or you could even just print the design on normal paper and make your stencil out of your standard printer-paper.

Esmagamus (author)noremakk2008-07-27

He probably choose to use the transparent sheet because: (a) it won't tear easily while it is being cut and (b) unlike paper, it won't stretch because paint can't soak it and (c) the same amount of work makes for a much tougher stencil that can be used endlessly. Even better, having a laser cut stainless steel sheet as a stencil. Sometimes the hard way is also the lazy way.

gonnesouth (author)2008-04-20

they sell printable transparent paper too, that would eliminate a step for you

Dr.Paj (author)2008-01-26

I'm wondering, would the lines of paint be more crisp if you put something like oil or vaseline under the stencil (not too much just enough to keep it from moving and remove any gaps) before placing it on something, say metal or concrete? Or do you think it would just create a larger mess?

Yes, definitely. I use double-sided tape.

egadsman (author)Dr.Paj2008-01-26

yeah that might work, but the vaseline and the oil would have their downsides because it would make the stencil slip more so it has both a positive and a negative effect. if you want the most optimum results you are best off using a spray adhesive.

Dr.Paj (author)egadsman2008-02-03

Spray adhesive would work the best hands down, but I was trying to think of ways to get a crisper look using things laying around the house without having to leave for the store to buy materials.

$ NAB $ (author)2008-02-10

I designed it myself.

cry_wolf (author)2007-12-14

Good stuff, stenciling is so much fun. Endless possibilities.. :D

ravenprints (author)2007-10-09

There is NO way around it...if you want to get the cleanest; brightest(islands no problem!)images on tees you will need to use the screen print method. Even if you invest in ONE screen and ONE squeegee(I build the tee risers if you want one...or YOU can build if handy)and some DECENT opacity inks. You can skip the emulsion (and so reclaiming and exposure)process and stay with stencils. but my attaching the stencil to the back of a screen and using a pro (not that tanish brown crappy 'squeegee')grade 70 durometer can get the right coverage of ink so your image will be brighter and crisper. Brushed images LOOK brushed and poor inks 'paints' fade quick. Screen printers use PLASTISOL which can be cured in about 30 seconds in an electric oven and will outlast the tee! If you are doing light inks on dark you REALLY gotta check that method out! Especially if you want consistent reproductions. One thing: SPEEDBALL SUCKS! It cost MORE to get the art store crap trying to pass itself off as 'screenprint' tools, than it does to get the stuff real shops/pros use! Weird irony but true, most of the time. ONLY pro squeegees(70 durometer; NYLON blade)work nice for tees. You guessed it...I am a pro. I have done everything there is TOO do in SP. I have a great DVD(4 hours)for cheap if you are even half way commited to decorating tees? Admitted...most don't want to mess with the emulsion of screens. though it is actualkly easy IF you learn it right. So that is why I say that even with a GOOD quality screen / squeegee and ink, you can take that 'Jethro method' of stenciling tees and make the results a lot better! Save the money you were going to(??) use to buy a 'how to computer' dvd from that whacked out T.V. dude...and buy MY DVD instead! I won't get rich off it, but YOU will be real glad you got it! Don't trip over NOT knowing what could make it easier for you. Zillions have and zillions more will waste lots of time and lose lots of opportunity struggling and wondering about the things they could do to make it better. You DON'T have to be a true screen printer or hugely invested in that...but by using some of i'ts tools and techniques you would be doing yourself a huge favor. If you only want to wank out a couple of sub standard (dressed up with the term 'underground' often!!!) tees once in awhile...great. But if you want to be better by learning and using even a FEW things /tools you don't know, this DVD will make you say 'WOW!!'

egadsman (author)ravenprints2007-10-09

sorry to burst your bubble but this Instructable was not meant for creating t-shirts. it was meant for 'decoration' I use this method all the time to create high quality images on canvas that I then either give away, put up in my room or throw away. but I do agree with what you are saying here, if you want to take shortcuts be prepared to pay the price but whenever I get around to doing some designs on t-shirts ill be doing it in a simplistic way by using some 'iron on' patches that I have cut into the stencil and use some 'controlled bleach' to get the desired effect and the wash and the patch comes off. but I will think about using the 'plastisol' you mentioned because that would mean I could do designs on light coloured t-shirts as well.

ravenprints (author)egadsman2007-10-10

Don't get me wrong...EVERY way of tee decorating has art value! Glad people are having fun. Many of the questions I read have the best 'fixes' and answers in the screen printing process. Info meant for those who might care. others?....stencil on...that is cool too.

amishjim (author)2007-08-24

A little spray adhesive on the back will kill the over-spray :D

benhudson (author)2007-08-23

Good, simple instructable. Not as much fun as the classic 'Think outside of the box. Then take a sharp knife to the box', but it's handy.

rikkdbomb (author)2007-08-21

i dont get it.. why dont you just cut out the first stencil design when you print it out, what's the point of the old projector paper.. and where do you get it? is there any replacement?

egadsman (author)rikkdbomb2007-08-23

you dont cut out the first stencil design because when you print it out the paper will bend and your stencil will become worse and worse but if you use transperancy paper its hold up much longer. the old projector paper is transperancy paper and you can get this in all colours at office supply shops. There is a replacement... you can laminate your design and the cut it out but this is a lot harder to do because you have to buy a laminator and the things to laminate with so its far easier to just use transperancy paper. but if you only want to use the stencil once you can just use the printer paper

WileECoyote (author)rikkdbomb2007-08-22

I'd guess that the transparency paper is so that the stencil can be used multiple times, if you use regular paper it probably won't hold up too well. You should be able to find that type of "paper" in an office supply store.

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