Monday, February 21, 2011


The topic today is tracing. I will teach you all aspects of tracing a stencil.

Go and find your favorite picture on the internet. Now, from here we can do one of two things: print out the picture or not.

First we will discuss tracing when you print off the picture. So, first print the picture of your choosing. Then secondly we will put the poster board on top of the picture.

Now, go and get your tape because now you are going to tape the picture to the poster board. After, you have done that then all you have to do is put the combined poster board and picture on top of the light box and trace the picture.

Once you are done tracing then take off the tape and see how you did. If it looks like you want it to then the next step is to cut it out.

Now, I will tell you how to trace if you do not print out the picture. This works best with a laptop.

Choose your picture. Then go to full screen mode. Also, you may have to make the picture larger.

After you have done all of this then lay the poster board on the screen and make sure the picture's magnification fits how you want it to on the poster board. Then tape down the poster board to the laptop and trace.

Now, tracing gets easier with time. At first you may have trouble with tracing. You may have a shakey hand and because of that you may have trouble with straight lines. But no worries. I have a very simple way to be rid of such a problem.

To trace with a steady hand all you have to do is breathe out when you trace a line. So, trace a bit then stop and then take a breathe and blow it out, and then again and again until the picture is complete. This should take care of any shakey hands you may have while tracing.

For my next trick I will show you how to cut with the x-acto knife.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Welcome Back.

Welcome back! All right let's get down to business. In this blog I will be talking about the tools of the trade.

In the last blog I gave you a list of suggested tools that will help you create your stencil.

First and foremost there is the pencil. I use a black Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. Although, you do not have to use this particular one. I will suggest that you use a pencil with a great eraser. So, if you accidentally buy a pencil with a crappy eraser that just smears whatever it is you are trying to erase I suggest you toss it out the window and go try again.

Secondly, you will need poster board. Well, I use poster board but really you can just print off the image and go from there. I use poster board because I want to use my stencils more than once. If you have something better than posterboard, thicker than poster board then great stick with that.

Thirdly, an x-acto knife is a must have. If you didn't guess it this is the tool that will be used to cut out the stencil. Now, the x-acto knife comes in a variety of blades. For starting out just go and get the original x-acto knife. Just pop on over to Wal-Mart and head towards the craft section and there it is. They run about three bucks or so.

If you want to get fancy with your cutting then head over to you local hobby shop and browse the extensive selection that x-acto has to offer. But for the beginner the classic x-acto should do the job.

Fourthly, I suggested a cutting board. I would further recommend that you do not use a wooden cutting board or any other cutting board that allows you to feel a raised surface. You want one that will stay smooth. A smooth cutting board will allow you to rotate the paper on it without the fear of having a cut out section of you stencil snag on part of the raised surface. This could tear your stencil and all that work will have been for nothing. Especially, if you are cutting out a stencil from regular paper.

Lastly, get yourself a lightbox. The lightbox is the best thing when it comes to tracing. If you can't afford a lightbox then no worries  I'll tell you how to make one.

It's pretty simple. Just take a box and put a flash light inside of it. Then take a sheet of glass and put in on top of the box. And there you have it. A makeshift lightbox.

Do I still have your attention? Good, next time I think I'm going to talk a bit about...stencils. I would love for you to join me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Welcome all to my first blog! I am glad you can be apart of this experience with me.

Here I will teach you the tricks, tips and hints of making great stencils. I will also provide you with the stencil artist wish list of items that you will need.

I will not only show you how to make great stencils and I will also show you how to apply them to anything!

I will show you the various techniques of applying a stencil to an object. Again, I will make a shopping list of things you will need to make applying that stencil as easy as possible. Don't worry this is not a pricey hobby.

I will show you how to create a stencil from your favorite painting, picture, video game cover art, movie poster, really whatever you want. I will also show you how to create original stencils so you can impress your friends and family.

Here is a list of items you will need to start stenciling:
  • a pencil
  • poster board
  • an x-acto knife
  • a cutting board (if you don't want to mess up a desk or counter-top)
  • a lightbox (if you want to stencil a favorite picture or whatever)
Now, run out and get these items and we will start our first lesson in the second blog in this series.