By Tami Taylor
I recently made a canvas that had a sun on it, and every time I look at it, I wish I had a stencil for the sun so I could use it on other projects. With craft knife in hand, I set out on a mission to make my own stencil.
gather your supplies
- a craft knife: it’s very important that your craft knife is sharp
- transparency: these can be from your local office supply aisle
- paper: feel free to use the back of a scrap piece of paper it’s going to get cut up anyway right?
- pencil or marker
- masking tape
find a shape/design
Look for a shape that is simple to make the cutting with your craft knife easier. Some sources for your design:
- use an individual letter/shape from a dingbat font
- use a shape from drawing or photo-editing software
- draw a shape
I chose to handdraw my design: a sun. I traced the outline of my masking tape roll for the center of my sun. Then I started making the ‘rays’ until I found one I liked. I then cut that ray out and used it as a trace for the rest of the rays of my sun. I used a black marker to make the lines more noticeable as I cut.
cut your stencil
After I was happy with my sun design, I used masking tape to secure the transparency over it. This keeps the image from moving under the transparency. Three tips when cutting your design:
- make sure you protect your surface since your knife can ruin it (I used a glass cutting mat)
- make sure you cut all the way through the transparency
- don’t worry if it’s not perfect-no, really, don’t worry if it’s not perfect
After I’m finished cutting, I carefully remove the cut-out pieces. Be careful: if the cut-out pieces are not completely cut, they will tear the transparency. It’s best to snip any dangling chads with scissors or slice them with your craft knife.
Now I have a great sun stencil, which I immediately had to use!
What are you waiting for? Go make a stencil, and I hope you’ll share in the comments how you used it!