About: I'm a professional graphic designer and love to do diy stuff!

Hi, friends in this instructable i will  show you how I made my family gifts for this Holiday season, specially if you don’t have a lot to spend with all the prices going up, well, hope you like it and give it a try, and surprise your love ones with a hand made gift made by you ; ) well let's begin.

Step 1: First Thing Is the Tools and Materials:

You will need :
Clear Family, friend or a pet photograph, preferable a self-portrait
(but I will be demonstrating the instruction with a 3 person photograph  the steps will be the same  )
  Photo editing software, I use Photoshop 6.0 the old one because i'm using my old computer :( but the steps are the same in the new Photoshop
xacto knife with new sharp blades, JUST BE CAREFUL!!!
A self-healing mat is nice and makes cutting much easier (you don't have to have a huge one). I've also heard of using a piece of glass to cut on, but I'd cut my finger off for sure.
Cardstock  or other material for your template. You can  use a cereal box, just cut it to fit your printer
a Canvas frame.
Spray paint. (I will only use 2 color the black and gray in matte finish )
Computer whit a laser printer.

Step 2: Making the Stencil

Ok, now Making the Stencil.

The first thing you need to do is to select a good photograph. Not necessarily "good" as in flattering, but "good" as in the image makes a good stencil.
You're looking for clear definition and not too many details.

Once you find the right picture, you need to open Photoshop  and open your image

Now with the image open, click on image  now to adjustments and then scrow down to posterize, now when you click to posterize you will get a window asking what level do you what ? this is were you decide how many colors your image will have if you chose one  you will need to print and cut out  only one page if you choose 2 you will print and cut out 2 and so on . ( I WILL BE CHOOSING ONLY 2) and click OK

Now you select image again but now select mode and click on gray scale and it will ask you (if you will like to discard the color information ?)  click ok and it will turn all the photo to a black and white whit all the different tones like black grey dark grey etc. (this depend on the amount of levels that you choose)

Ok now to turn it to a stencil we will go to FILTER and scroll down to ARTISTIC
And click on CUT OUT  this will open a window showing

Number of Levels
(A high value will mean that more colors are used, which gives more detail. Low value is good for creating a more abstract effect.)

Edge Simplicity
This slider controls how detailed the edges are, and will help you keep a fairly realistic effect or let you go the other way and reduce your image to a series of jagged areas.
Edge Fidelity
This slider controls the edges of your image, it controls how closely they follow the original.

in this window you will have to tweak and play whit  until you have the image that you want, and now click ok and now have a picture ready for a stencil now just click print ( remember to print you’re image at 8.5x 11 if your using  cardstock paper or a cereal box cut to that size  and print it out the number of colors you have on your image  )


Cutting out the stencil
now in the first print cut out all the parts that are in black, using your xacto knife then repeat the  process with the other print but now only cut the gray color and so on .(note it is a good thing to place a letter or number to identified which stencil is the black , grey, etc.)

Once you finish cutting the pages  You will have the stencil ready for painting


OK now that we have our stencil we will place the lighter color first (in my case it is the gray) always work from the lighter color to the darker .

You can use masking tape or news paper to mask and protect your canvas from accidental painting

Note: Before you start painting make sure your spray can is well shaken this is important because if not the corner of the images will be blurry)

Well now that the spray paint is well shaken and your stencil are in place well pre mask your canvas its time to paint.



When painting the stencil they are three predominant reasons why paint will bleed under a stencil.

1. Gaps between the edge of the stencil and the surface of your canvas.
2. Excessively runny paint or too much paint is applied to the stencil
3. Spray can  is too close to the stencil  .

Ok to a void number one : to attach your stencil  to the canvas is to spray the back of the stencil with contact adhesive. After spraying the adhesive, allow it to go tacky. This takes around two minutes or so depending on the temperature of your local environment. Don't try attaching the stencil on to your surface while the glue is still wet. Doing so, will make the stencil difficult to remove and even worse, leave bits of glue.
Now, when the stencil is nice and tacky, place it in position on your canvas and pat it down "gently " Make sure that all of the edges of the stencil are all completely in contact with you canvas or painting surface.

To a void number two : Overloading your canvas with  paint is the next most common way to get bleeding. you will be less likely to get paint under the stencil material if you use stroke motion when applying the paint and let it dry before applying the next color .

And to a void number tree : use your spray can to measure the distance, place the spray can vertical facing the stencil ,and from that distance is were you will start painting

When finish painting one color repeat the same instructions with the other color


Once you finish applying the black color your art work is finish !!!!! now go ahead and find your gift wrapping paper : ) !!!!!!!!

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