Create Your Own Freeform Stencils

Hello all of you wonderfully artsy people!

I’m excited to share something new (to me) with you today!

I love stencils, all kinds of stencils, they’re a great way to add surface design and depth to my art journal pages and mixed media art. Sometimes, however, I’m looking for something just a little bit different or have the need for a stencil that I don’t have in my collection.

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Because of this, I decided to try my hand at stencil cutting. Today I’ll share with you my very first attempt at cutting my own freeform stencils, using the Plaid 2-n-1 Craft Tool and a Simply Stencil sheet, which is just a stencil blank, a clean sheet of plastic for you to cut your design into.

2015-05-24 12.22.52I started by plugging in my 2-n-1 Craft Tool, giving it a few minutes to warm up while I roughly sketched out my stencil design. My goal was a very freeform design. Because I do a lot of mixed media art, I knew that I wanted the printed stencil design to look rough, almost as if it was done by hand.

2015-05-24 12.45.35Working on a protected, heat-resistant surface, I began cutting the various design elements. This will take a few minutes, depending on how intricate your design is, but I encourage you to take your time and use caution; your craft tool will be extremely HOT.

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As you can see, my cuts aren’t pretty and I had a couple of ‘Oops” along the way, but I’m not bothered by that at all, It actually adds to the look that I’m going for.

If you want a crisper design, something a bit more structured, or maybe even a design that is just a bit beyond your current drawing ability, no problem! Simply print a design that you want to use from the internet, place the printed sheet of paper underneath your stencil blank, use a marker to trace the design onto your sheet of plastic, toss the printed paper and cut your design as I’ve explained above.

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Now that my freeform stencil was done it was time to PLAY! Taking a gelli print that I had previously pulled, I stamped on the various elements of my custom stencil, using acrylics, and added some random marks with pens and markers.

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The irregularities and “oops” of my roughly cut stencil only ads to the overall look, really giving it character. I’m pleased with the outcome of my first attempt at cutting freeform stencils and am excited to try my hand at a few more.

I hope that you’ve found this post informative and that you feel inspired to try it yourself. Using the Plaid 2-n-1 Craft Tool to create own distinctive stencils is a great way to make art that truly is uniquely your own. Have fun & Happy Arting!

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14 Comments on Create Your Own Freeform Stencils

  1. Arianne
    May 25, 2015 at 10:26 am (6 years ago)

    Could you also do this with a regular soldering iron?

    • Belen Sotelo
      May 25, 2015 at 11:01 am (6 years ago)

      I’ve not tried it, but I think it would. You may first want to check your soldering iron’s users manual first. Have fun experimenting!

  2. Laura / PA Pict
    May 25, 2015 at 11:03 am (6 years ago)

    This is a great idea because it’s allowed you to create a personalized element and because it looks hand made on your page too. I think you did a great job creating the stencil. I really love the design of it. I have some old OHP acetates and a craft knife. I wonder if I could use those to create my own stencils? See: you’ve inspired me!

    • Belen Sotelo
      May 25, 2015 at 11:23 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Laura. Yes, I would say you definitely can and I would love to see what you create!

  3. Susan Ringler
    May 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm (6 years ago)

    Amazing finish!!! Love the colors and design.

  4. Danielle
    May 26, 2015 at 10:04 am (6 years ago)

    Great tutorial and tips!

    • Belen Sotelo
      May 26, 2015 at 10:49 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Danielle, I appreciate the feedback!

  5. Anne May Samuelsen
    May 28, 2015 at 10:46 am (6 years ago)

    This is so cool and gelli printing plate is my favorite tool :-). But I have never seen a tool like that, must have I think since I love stencils 🙂

  6. Phuong
    October 22, 2015 at 5:07 pm (5 years ago)

    I luv this idea! Thanks for the idea.

    • Belen Sotelo
      October 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks for reading, Phuong. They’re fun and super easy to create.

  7. Suz
    October 22, 2015 at 6:34 pm (5 years ago)

    Those are wonderful!


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