Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tutorial - Make Your Own Stencils

Today I want to show you a fun way to make your own stencils so you can customise your pages and make them unique.

Stencilling is a really good technique to have up your sleeve as it's a quick way to add another dimension to your work without adding bulk. One of the scrapbooking masters of the stencil is Dina Wakley and if you aren't familiar with her work already then I highly recommend you check out her blog.

So the first thing you need to do is decide on your stencil design. I Googled a few of my ideas and then printed out the patterns I liked. Make sure you choose something that's not too intricate or you'll struggle to cut it out. The top pattern in my picture below I used as a guide only - I only cut out the inside 'windows', not the whole design.

Both of these are printed on the same A4 piece of paper. I knew I only needed them reasonably small for my purposes today (for my mini-album), but you can do them any size you like. I have done a 12x12" one before which is perfect for scrapbook layouts. You can see a couple of my pages I've done with this technique here and here.

Next you need to trace the designs onto a sheet of acetate (if you don't have acetate perhaps have a look at your packaging because really, any clear plastic will do. What I've used is in fact overhead transparency sheets). At a pinch you can just use cardstock. The only problem with that is it won't last very long once they start getting soggy with paint and mist and in. Trust me :-)

Then you need to get out your trusty craft-knife (or scalpel as the case may be!!) and cut away all the inside bits. Then it's a simple matter of laying your newly created stencil down on your page and misting (or painting, or inking.... whatever!)

Another advantage of using acetate is that you can then get another use out of the same application of mist. Once you've used your stencil the way it's intended, simply (but carefully!) flip the stencil over and lay it down on a second piece of cardstock and use it like a stamp. You'll end up with both the positive and negative image. Brilliant hey?! And you won't waste any of your precious Glimmermist :-)

In the end I used each of my stencils (and 'stamps') twice which was the perfect amount of pages for my mini-album. Once they've dried you can use them like you normally would. Add your photos, your embellishments and journalling, bind them all together and you're done!

Here's some of my completed (stencilled) pages.

I created this album using the July kit from Scapbooking from Scratch (all I added was the cardstock). All of the 12 tags are from a single piece of Fancy Pants Wishful Thinking paper called 'WT cards'. That made it so much easier to put this album together.

You'll also notice the fun tickets which are from My Mind's Eye Little Miss Muffet 'That's My Girl', and the occasional sticker from MME as well.

And of course, the most important part of a mini-album is the front cover right?!

In the kit you get this brilliant piece of chipboard from Twiddleybitz which is intended to be broken up into pieces and used as embellishments. But I decided to leave it just as it was because it was the perfect size to become my front cover. I mounted it onto the Fancy Pants Wishful Thinking 'Memories' paper and painted it with coordinating colours before adding a cluster of embellishments and my title. Even the gorgeous ribbon that I used as a closure is included in the kit.

Here's a couple more pages for good measure....

And even though I had run out of labels by then, I couldn't resist adding these photos of my cute little Munchy making some funny faces.

Alright, there you go.
Let me know what you think, and definitely let me know if you try this out. I would really love to see what you create :-)


  1. What a great idea - I will definitely have to give this a go. Your mini is gorgeous and you just gave me an idea about what to do with a cool piece of chipboard that came in a Studio Calico kit a few months back. Thank you for all of this inspiration!!

  2. Totally lovin' your stencil designs, awesome idea sweetie!! And I love the end result of the album too. Just checked out your CHA-S wish the studio calico goodies, I forgot about!! And the Maya Road ribbons, yummy!! Thanks for stopping by today xo

  3. A fun idea Natalie!!! Love this mini album :-)

  4. Do you sleep? How do you get SO much done? And with such fantastic flair, to boot! :)
    Great tutorial- and love the results! And the matching pages is soooo up my alley (with the stencil/stamped combo)!!!
    Hope you're all better!

  5. Thanks for the tutorial, and your results are lovely. I've tried this technique before, and I usually use paper or cardboard (cereal's packaging), works great as well. Of course it won't last that long, but it's a great solution when you don't have anything else at hand.
    xxx Peggy

  6. Thank you so much for the great tutorial, I love what you did with them too and I know what you mean about making stencils out of cardboard, they don't last long. This is brilliant, love that gorgeous mini book. Melxx

  7. thanks for the tips about the stencils , I'll surely wanna try them out.
    Love your album.

  8. What an Amazing Album!!!! And thank you so much for the tutorial!!!!! I will use it really soon!!!!! I love love your album!!!!

  9. Great tips, thank you! I love that you shared that you can save the mist.

  10. thanks for sharing...lots of good ideas here


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