Thursday, January 9, 2020

Second Thursday Tutorial: quick, easy, and inexpensive stencil


I literally had twenty minutes to create this project.  I was on my way out the door yesterday (Wednesday) to meet friends when I realized today was the second Thursday of the month.  If you want a fast way to create a cheap stencil, I have this quick tutorial for you.

Materials (left to right):
Gift, hotel, or faux credit card OR ruler
Playing card
Pencil
Hand punch of your choice

If you want a pattern, draw lines on your playing card using a ruler or a faux credit card.   If you prefer a random look, skip this step.

Be aware that if you have a directional punch, like the heart above, some of the hearts will be upside down.

I started out trying to make even lines of punched holes, then realized the playing card was wider than half the width of the punch, which meant the throat of the punch couldn't reach the center of the card.  So much for trying to be precise.  It didn't take long until I realized these holes would have to be random.

Next it was time to test my stencil, but all I had on my table was my black dye ink pad and time was ticking away.

At first I didn't like how the circles were distorted.  However, after I saw them as I pulled the photos off my camera, I rather liked the raw edges.

I also tried the stencil using the red pencil I had used to draw lines on the playing card.  I didn't hold my stencil tightly in place when I filled in a couple of holes.  I really MUST get a makeup sponge if I'm going to play with stencils, homemade or purchased.

Ruminations:
1. In order to get aligned holes, I must cut the playing card so that the throat of the punch will fit through to the center of the playing card.
2. I will also need to remove the "catcher," that piece on the punch that keeps the punched holes from going everywhere.  With the catcher on, I couldn't see the punch, so had no idea where the holes were landing.

Thanks for joining me today for this very quick tutorial on making a cheap stencil.  Once this goes live, it will be on my tutorials page.

18 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Nice idea Elisabeth, it must be the quickest tutorial ever! Have a great day, Valerie

Iris Flavia said...

That sure is a quick one - I "expected" you use the card itself, though!

Let's Art Journal said...

What a fun post and that's such a quick and easy stencil to make 😁. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a wonderful day! Hugs, Jo x

My name is Erika. said...

That is a fabulous idea. I never thought of using playing cards. They are a great heavy duty material and would last a while. And if you got sick of the stencil, you can create another one easily and use the old one in your art too. Happy Thursday. Hugs-Erika

CJ Kennedy said...

That's certainly fast and easy! Thanks

Sami said...

You sure are a fast worker, great tutorial Elizabeth :)

Nancy said...

I'm thinking the weight of the playing card is just right for a stencil. Thanks for this tip! My biggest problem with stencils is that they shift and lift at the slightest provocation.

Mia said...

Fast and great idea, Elizabeth, for a handmade stencil. I do have a stencil with dots, but I will try this idea as I like it very much. Have a nice day, my dear friend.

Divers and Sundry said...

What a wonderful idea! I used to have some hole punches in different shapes but passed them along when the kids grew up.

kathyinozarks said...

such a fun way to make a stencil-thanks Elizabeth are you getting the storm that is coming in over the weekend? stay warm hugs Kathy

Jeanie said...

That's pretty cool, Elizabeth. And good tips at the end on the hole catcher and all. Amazing what one can come up with on a tight deadline!

Sandra said...

You think on your feet.

Rita said...

Clever idea!! :)

aussie aNNie said...

Brilliant idea.x

Meggymay said...

This is a great idea. I have used the waste from die cuts to make stencils but never a punch.
I will have a sort out for the few punches I own and try this sometime.
Yvonne xx

craftytrog said...

Cool idea!

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pearshapedcrafting said...

What a fun tutorial Elizabeth! Chrisx