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As the trend to DIY and upcycle old furniture continues more and more does the popularity of stenciling furniture increase. If you’re wanting to stencil some furniture, take on an upcycle project or even stencil a feature wall, then today’s tutorial on how to make a stencil will help you make stencils of all sorts in no time and with minimal craft supplies!
You do not need to own a stencil cutting machine such as a Cricut machine to make your own stencil for your next project. In fact, designing and learning to create your own stencil will not only allow you full creative control but it can cost far less than purchasing individual stencils or a stencil cutting machine.
Read on to learn how to make stencils and some great and free online tools you can use to help make the process easier for you.
The benefits of owning a cutting machine are amazing. I’m not saying these machines aren’t fabulous, they truly are! But this tutorial is designed for you if you can’t afford to purchase a stencil machine or you simply want to try and learn how to create a stencil and this great technique.
How to make a stencil – DIY stencil letters
Let me start at the beginning. I recently embarked on an upcycle project that saw me turn an old unused stool that was ready for the dump into something totally different. To my own surprise, I put my creative hat on and converted this old useless stool into a beautiful, rustic/farmhouse DIY Lazy Susan.
I knew I wanted to create some diy stencil letters for it because after hours of searching and failing to find what I was looking for, I just knew I had to make them myself.
This made it very difficult for me to find something pre-made. So I decided to teach myself how to make letter stencils to save me time and get my project completed as soon as I could.
This DIY stencil method is very convenient, though it does require a little bit more work. I find it to be really fun and I think you will also once I teach you how to make your own stencil letters as well!
Read on to learn how to make your own stencil.
Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to own a beautiful silhouette cutting machine, but unfortunately, it just isn’t in my budget at the moment. So the next best thing is to make a stencil all on my own.
If you have one of these gorgeous machines, you’re very lucky! And this tutorial isn’t for you. But if you do not own a Cricut machine then this is the easiest way to make stencils that I have tried.
I recently used this stenciling technique on my DIY Lazy Susan. I made it from an old, unloved stool and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.
My stencil making method is simple, you just have to know what to do. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a text stencil in photoshop. You can also play around with patterns but for this tutorial, we are using text only.
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 make your own stencil no worries.
Let’s get started with our DIY stencil making tutorial!
How To Make Stencil Letters
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 shown 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 stencil 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 the design. It’s fun and quite easy.
Once you have the words and font you want, print and get ready to make your stencil. My printer had run out of black ink and I didn’t realize, so this is the color my 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. I love my X-Acto knife, I find this to be the best way to cut stencils manually as it is such a sharp little knife and you can get around all corners easily.
Once you have cut out your stencil you’re ready to start stenciling! And that’s how to make a letter stencil. It’s really as simple as that!
You can do this with so many words and you can also replicate this technique with images as well. Find vectors graphics 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 stenciled it with the words “Tea, Coffee, Wine”!
You can download a copy of the free stencil printable I made here.
I hope you found today’s quick stencil tutorial on how to make stencils 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 stencil? Here are some cheap letter stencils I recommend.
TOP STENCIL PICKS
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