Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stencil Making Tips (for Stenciling Fabric Paint)

I love embellishing things. I love stenciling, because its gives a really big "bang" for the time invested.

Recently, I stenciled the embellishment on the girls' elven dresses, a process I outlined here.
However, my hand was cramping up at the end of all that cutting. But now I have a solution!

BIG TIP: Use an old pane of glass as a cutting mat!

I spent wayyy too long laboriously cutting out stencils and my hand hurt for 2 days. It was because I cut them on wood (or layers of poster-board) as the cutting mat. The point of my utility knife cut through the plastic stencil into the soft wood/poster-board, giving it a lot more "drag" as I pressed and pulled the knife.This is what wore my hand out.
I have heard "self healing cutting mats" also give a lot of drag to the knife (because they are a kind of rubbery texture) and do this too.
I went through utility knife blades quickly, 1 edge per stencil, because cutting through all that matter was dulling the blades. I also had to pull really hard, resulting in parts where I accidentally jerked and cut more than I intended.

GLASS AS A CUTTING MAT IS SO MUCH BETTER!!!(An old picture frame works great)

I researched cutting mats, but from what I read about the "self healing" ones, it just would be the same problem. Then I read about glass ones. So I went to the thrift store (they sell them at the dollar store too, but you can get bigger ones at the thrift store) and got a big glass picture frame (with a picture of giraffes btw) for $2. Cutting on it was like a dream. The utility knife just cut through the stencil plastic, and barely scratched the glass (it will scratch the glass, so don't pull a picture frame off the wall). There was very little "drag." And so much less pressure on my hand.
If I had done this before, I probably would never have bothered buying the electric stencil cutter....

My analysis and tips of the 5 main methods I have tried of stencil making. I will be doing a post on each one.
  1. Freezer Paper cut with a Utility Knife
  2. Stencil Blanks (Showoffs at Hobby Lobby) cut with a Utility Knife
  3. Stencil Blanks cut/burned with an Electric (Heat) Stencil Cutter or Woodburning Tool
  4. Overhead Projector sheets cut/burned with and Electric (Heat) Stencil Cutter or Woodburning Tool.
  5. Cheap Screen Printing ideas

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