Thursday, 6 March 2014

7 Super Simple Homemade Stencils

Hey there!

Did you miss me? I have been busy making my own stencils for my art journaling and cardmaking. My pointy finger hurts so much I think I will need a surgery :) This happens when you are impatient and crazy like me and make them all at once, which you don't have to, of course. You can make one each day so you will have 7 at the end of the week, use them as you like and when you get bored you can make another one or just make a's up to you. I'm going to tell you how I made each one of them so you can do the same, should you choose to.
I'm not saying my way is the best way and there are probably other tutorials on how to make stencils, but this is how I made them and maybe you are like me and don't want to or cannot spend a huge amount of money on stencils, but still want to have some fun with them. These stencils cost me the couple of quids I spent on the acetate sheets (10), well, and my finger :) You can make quick stencils out of a paper and chuck them when finished using them, but I think, if you are going to go into all that effort of cutting them out then they might as well last you for a while, right? Also, it's a good idea to save any sturdier plastic from a food packaging and use it to make your stencils. You can also use your dies and your embossing machine (if you have them) to create stencils. I tried cutting out shapes with my punches in the acetate and it worked so you can try it too, but be warned, if using a flimsy acetate it will jam in the punch and you will need to take it apart to repair it or say goodbye to it. I nearly lost my small butterfly punch this way. This happened when I was making cut out and embossed card embellishments.

I would like to mention that I intend to use my stencils with some acrylics first and have no intention of washing them, because it will make them a bit sturdier. I love using stencils due to their versatility. You can use them with a pen/pencil, ink, acrylics, sprays, Inka Gold or any other shimmer paints, modeling pastes and glitter pastes or even a bleach and you can create some amazing art using some pretty basic shapes. I will be using my homemade stencils from now on and will be sharing my creations with you so you can see what can be done with them. Here's how you can make your own:

- A4 size acetate sheets - go for the sturdier ones
- self healing cutting mat with the grid
- Stenley cutting knife or an Exactor
- ruler
- permanent pen (that won't smudge on the acetate)
- tiny/small scissors (I used my manicure scissors)
- masking tape to hold down the sheet to stop it sliding on your mat

Optional - Stamps, Stazon (or any other permanent ink pad)

How To: 

1. small squares/stripes - super simple to make. Just tape A5 size acetate to your cutting board with the grid so you can follow the grid, it needs to be nicely lined up. To make the stripes, go over the grid line and then in between it so you end up with about 0.5cm wide stripes lengthwise, when done, turn the mat and then cut in between the lines on both sides leaving a gap (cut - gap - cut - gap etc) (pay attention so you cut on both sides of one line, not here and there). To make the small squares - just follow the grid on your cutting mat. This is simple!

2. irregular triangles - draw a large triangular shape and then fill it with small triangles fitting one in between another until you fill the space. Then just go over it with a knife to cut them out.

3. circles - draw random circles, small, medium and larger, all over the A5 sheet making sure you leave a decent gap in between them. Then cut the circles out with your knife. They might not be perfect and a bit coarse around the edges, but don't worry. This is where the tiny scissors come in. Just go over the edges with the small scissors of each circle to make it nice and round. You can skip the last step if you are not a perfectionist like me.

4. larger squares - I used the Hero Arts Background Stamp and my Stazon to stamp and use as my guide on an acetate sheet that came with some clear stamps (yes, you can use those acetate sheets too!) and then cut out the squares. I have kept the squares as they will be great to lay on a page in various shapes and places and spray over them.

5 - flower branch - I sketched a basic design of a branch with flowers. If you decide to go with this one you need to keep in mind that the lines of your branch, leaves etc need to be broken up into sections unless you want to simplify the branch and just cut one one silhouette of a branch. Mine is slightly more detailed and more of an outline, because I like to make my life hard :) My Dad used to tell me sarcastically "why would you do it the simple way when you can do it the hard way..." You don't have to go into all that trouble. Just draw a branch silhouette and cut it out. They are beautiful too. I used my manicure scissors to cut out the tiny clumps of circles. My advise to you is - start with the simple stencils to get used to the process and leave this one to the end.

6. - Harlequin/Diamond - I drew cc 1cm lines diagonally on one side and then the same across, starting from the middle. You can eyeball it, if you are like me :) Then you start cutting each diamond shape on the inside of the lines. This way you will naturally leave a small gap in between each diamond that is needed to achieve the look. You can help yourself using a ruler, but it is quite easy without it.

7. chevron arrow - this is a plastic cut out of the lid that comes on a soft cheese (I can hear you laughing now...!) Draw a line on the left, in the middle and on the right lengthwise. Then decide on an angle your arrows will be and draw the lines on each side meeting in the middle. Then cut the V shapes leaving a gap in between. Simple!

I actually used the last two stencils already and they worked beautifully. Don't worry about small irregularities.You won't notice them in your art journal or any other master piece of yours. It's all part of the fun!

If you have any questions then please email me, I'll be happy to answer any of your queries.

Thank you for stopping by and all the best,

Ingrid xxx


  1. Hello Ingrid, I use exactly the same technique for my stencils. I use to use the older L protector sheets for paper. That plastic is softer than acetate and for me easier to work. I am happy you have found me on YT, I see we do similar things without knowing each other. You just have much better English than I do :-D
    Happy crafting,
    Martina Huppertová

  2. Hi Martina! I'm glad I have found you too! I enjoy watching your videos and am looking forward to some more! Maybe you might like to join my blog so that you get updates when I post something... we'll keep in touch, if you like :)
    Thanks for popping in x
    p.s.: your English is perfect!
    Ingrid xx


Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment! Have a great day! Ingrid xxx
p.s.: Sorry, my comments are now moderated due to some low lives posting spam on my account.