Introduction: Photo to Stencil Without Photoshop

this instructable will show how to make a stencil out of any image. i know that you may have seen how to do this before on the make website or other places but all of those methods require you to buy Photoshop this method is similar but free and it only uses one stencil.

Step 1: Download the Gimpshop

the gimpshop is a free software alternative to photoshop go to gimp download and download the GTK first then gimp shop. i have down loaded this and its safe but i am not responsible for any computer damage that happens when after or before you down load this file.

Step 2: Select a Picture

now that you have the program install (this is easy so i won't devote a full step to it) so the next step is to pick a picture i chose president bush because whether or not he is a good president he takes a good picture.

Step 3: Contrast/brightness

now accent the lighter characteristics (use the draw tool in the tool bar) raise the contrast till he looks something like a red tomato raise or lower the brightness as needed then make it a gray scale image(go to the top bar hit the image menu item then view mode the first one then convert to gray scale) see picture 2

Step 4: Contrast Again

now that it is a gray scale image turn the contrast all the way up till he looks like the picture below.
now the last step is the hardest you cant have any pices that are not connected to the sides in some way.

Step 5: Cut

print the stencil then cutout the stencil so it looks like this.

Step 6: Spray

spray paint it spray from a distance and avoid spraying to much or it will pool under the paper and turn into a blob


SzczekS made it! (author)2016-06-15

good tutorial. thx.

my stencil was very large that's why i"ve used a poster printer to print.

Unfortunately i have only a4 printer at home....but despite everything it's looking very cool!

suhaibalghzawi8 made it! (author)2016-03-19


beebnick made it! (author)2012-04-02

Nice basic instruct, just downloaded Gimp and am going to try it when I get back from work, but because this has the layering option I suggest learning to make a multi-layered stencil. Here's a basic tutorial for it

mamajulian made it! (author)2009-03-02

and why exactly did you make a stencil of George Bush?

water rat made it! (author)water rat2011-09-18

Step 3:
"i chose president bush because whether or not he is a good president he takes a good picture."

fwjs28 made it! (author)2009-02-17

i would leave the picture at the drawing on Bush's head.....tehehehehe

hihoze made it! (author)2008-10-15

can anyone tell me what I need or how to take a photo and make a stencil that is 6" by 6" or 10" by 10" or larger?

TinaBoBina made it! (author)2007-11-16

You can download this program called The Gimp and it does basically the same thing as Photoshop but it's free. For the people who use Photoshop, I used a filter called Stamp to smooth out the edges. You have to tweak the settings on it a bit to get the look you're going for, but it will be nice clean edges to cut around.

DrCoolSanta made it! (author)DrCoolSanta2008-08-17

next time read the instructable.

maynard666 made it! (author)2008-04-15

i cant find the draw tool, where is it?

Self-Serving Martyr made it! (author)2007-12-20

How do you change the contrast?

nireves1 made it! (author)2007-11-11

I like your method but the end product is not very recognisable try using thick plastic it gives you more freedom to use thin lines and......... please don't spray images of the world's biggest moron anywhere!

mavis34 made it! (author)2007-06-24

I just stumbled across this instructable, and cant believe the retardedness of some people.... its oh so easy to act the big man when your not face to face with the person. If you cant be constructive shut the f**k up!

zuluboy made it! (author)2007-06-19

hey... i tried it out.. and it was perfect ;)

lucas_armarlio made it! (author)2007-06-15

wight! are you a dumb ass or something? "white"

baronvonbadguy made it! (author)2007-06-12

Yea, the steps aren't that great, and your final image is very bad. Sorry I'm not being constructive at all, but it's just kind of a bad Instructable IMO. (Even though it seems others appreciate it very much, so don't take this personally)

mrtools made it! (author)mrtools2007-06-12

what would you like changed to make it a better instuct? would screen shots help?

Eddbot made it! (author)2007-05-17

it's spelled "white" not "wight"

mrtools made it! (author)mrtools2007-05-18

thanks its great that people will tell me when i make a mistake

Eddbot made it! (author)Eddbot2007-05-19

no problem

mezzofornow made it! (author)2007-05-11

I actually thought it WAS lincoln at first glance...embarassing.

PackRat4448 made it! (author)2007-03-13

mrtools bush sucks. when he worked for the cia, bush had bolth sadam and osama traned in the cia. (this happend befor he was in office)

unbwogable made it! (author)unbwogable2007-03-20

Hey PackRat, maybe try checking into your story before you actually post them, that little tidbit never actually happened. Other than that, Mrtools, it's a sound idea.

mrtools made it! (author)mrtools2007-03-13

i know i should have done some one else.

scarebearmatt made it! (author)scarebearmatt2007-03-13

WOW, thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my entire life.

sundevil333 made it! (author)2007-03-15

hey PackRat4448, maybe you should learn how to spell and compose a sentence before you try to make your little social commentary. This is a site for sharing plans projects and this guy just happened to pick an image of President Bush for his example and you jump on him for no reason. And, by the way moron, your belief that Bush "had bolth sadam and osama traned in the cia" not only uses the non-existent words 'bolth, 'sadam,' and 'traned' but also is a bald-faced lie. Any support that the US government (and not G.W. Bush who was, in fact, NEVER in the CIA.... his father was it's director) gave to powers in the Middle East is a far cry from directly 'traning' these men. Then again, I have no clue what 'traning' is... I just assumed that you are a complete ignoramus and meant 'training.'

mrtools made it! (author)2007-03-13

who would you make a stencil of ? i'll post it on the site

CameronSS made it! (author)2007-03-12

He kind of looks like he has a Lincoln beard in a couple of B&W; images...

mrtools made it! (author)mrtools2007-03-13


spagettisticks made it! (author)2007-03-12

Wow! This is so cool. It really helps me for my GCSE Art course! Thanks!

pierow made it! (author)2007-03-11

Great job on the instructable. What material did you use for your stencil?

LasVegas made it! (author)2007-03-11

None (neither) of the Instructables that showed how to do this the exact same way, required that you purchase Photoshop. One did use Photoshop, but indicated that it could be done with any photo editing software with reasonable editing facilities. The other one showed how to do it with Gimp (a free photoshop alternative) and again indicated that any photo editing software could be used.

Weissensteinburg made it! (author)2007-03-11

Can we get a better finished photo? - Other than that, good job on the instructable. If you put the printed picture onto cardboard or something and cut that, you can spray from closer.

About This Instructable




Bio: im a maker
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