Introduction: Photo to Stencil Without Photoshop

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Cut

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

Step 6: Spray

Picture of 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 (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 (author)2016-03-19


beebnick (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 (author)2009-03-02

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

water rat (author)mamajulian2011-09-18

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

fwjs28 (author)2009-02-17

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

hihoze (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 (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 (author)TinaBoBina2008-08-17

next time read the instructable.

maynard666 (author)2008-04-15

i cant find the draw tool, where is it?

Self-Serving Martyr (author)2007-12-20

How do you change the contrast?

nireves1 (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 (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 (author)2007-06-19

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

lucas_armarlio (author)2007-06-15

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

baronvonbadguy (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 (author)baronvonbadguy2007-06-12

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

Eddbot (author)2007-05-17

it's spelled "white" not "wight"

mrtools (author)Eddbot2007-05-18

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

Eddbot (author)mrtools2007-05-19

no problem

mezzofornow (author)2007-05-11

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

PackRat4448 (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 (author)PackRat44482007-03-20

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 (author)PackRat44482007-03-13

i know i should have done some one else.

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

sundevil333 (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 (author)2007-03-13

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

CameronSS (author)2007-03-12

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

mrtools (author)CameronSS2007-03-13


spagettisticks (author)2007-03-12

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

pierow (author)2007-03-11

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

LasVegas (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 (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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