If you don’t have the money to invest into purchasing a cutting machine then today’s tutorial on how to make a stencil is the answer you’re looking for! You don’t have to own a fancy and expensive cutting machine to create beautiful stencils for your painting projects. All you need is a few basic supplies and some creativity.
I don’t paint furniture that often (though I would love to) and use stencils even less frequently but there are times when I do think up a project that requires a nice stencil on it and I’m faced with some obstacles. Take my DIY Lazy Susan I recently made for example. I knew what I wanted but I couldn’t find the right pre-made stencil and it was a last minute project so I had not time to order any stencil letters. Plus I knew exactly what font I wanted to use.
How To Make A Stencil
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Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to own a beautiful silhouette cutting machine, but unfortunately it just isn’t in my budget, nor is it a priority right now. I just can’t justify buying one for how often I would use it and let me be real, it wouldn’t be often.
If you own one of these gorgeous machines, you’re one lucky lady or lad! But this tutorial is for those of us who need a little help learning how to make a stencil without a machine 😉
I recently used this stencilling technique on my DIY Lazy Susan that I made from an old, unloved stool and I LOVE how it turned out. You can head over to that tutorial to download the Free “Tea, Coffee, Wine” printable that is pre-made and ready for you to cut out.
My method is simple, you just have to know what to do.
I’m using Photoshop CS4 in this tutorial (a total dinosaur I know, but it’s what I currently have!) haha. Note that if you don’t know photoshop it’s ok. You can still create your graphics in Word, PicMoney, Canva and a lot of other free online tools.
Let’s get started!
Open up photoshop, click on file and create a few file. It will bring you to a box like the one below. Name your file.
Choose the paper size you want. I chose international paper (A4) for my project as it was small but if you want to make a really large stensil just choose custom and enter the dimensions.
Once your file is open, choose T for Text as showed below. Choose your Font. I have chosen one of my favorite fonts for this tutorial called Stencil STD! This is a great font for creating industrial, rustic stensil writing. If you don’t have a great selection and would like some nice fonts you can download free fonts at DaFont or if you’re looking for something more specific or original you can purchase gorgeous fonts and graphics at one of my favorite places online Creative Market. I tell you, I can spend hours looking around on this website! It’s the best.
Add your words and play around with design. It’s fun and quite easy.
Once you have the words and font you want, print and get ready to make your stensil. My printer had run out of black ink and I didn’t realize, so this is the color my printed printed my words out, but it doesn’t matter.
Using an X-Acto knife, slowly cut out the letters on a cutting matt so you do not damage your table or work surface.
Once you have cut out your stencil you’re ready to start stencilling! It’s as simple as that!!! You can do this with so many words and you can also do this technique with images also! Find vectors you love, print them out and cut the outline out and start stenciling! This is my go to method when I do not have time to source stencils or when i can’t find what I want. See how my DIY Lazy Susan turned out after I stencilled it with the words “Tea, Coffee, Wine”!
I hope you found today’s quick tutorial helpful! Let me know what you think in comments and if you would use this technique?
Don’t have time or patience to make your own? Here are some stencils I recommend.
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