Category: Stencil Tips and Tricks

  • text stencil reverse text

    Make a Text Stencil Using Any Font

    Stenciling images is cool, but often you want to add some text to give context to the thing you’re stenciling. Alphabet letter stencils and stencil fonts It used to be, the way to handle this was to take out your big set of letter stencils, like the parking lot painters, and just do one letter…

  • flying pig stencil light and dark layers, reproduced on midtone surface

    Mid-tone sidewalk chalk stencils

    Art students learn the art of ‘dark-light-dark-light’ (chiaroscuro) by drawing with dark and light chalk on mid-tone (typically brown or gray) paper. The mid-tone is the default, and the shadows are dark and the highlights are white. This technique works as well on concrete or asphalt as it does on brown paper. If we create…

  • bridging a stencil in cricut design space

    How to Bridge a Stencil

    I first started making stencils because I had a brand new laser cutter, and I wanted an excuse to watch the laser cut up a bunch of card stock. Without knowing too much about stencils, I used the ‘trace’ function of Adobe Illustrator to separate an image into light and dark. When I fed the…

  • Three stencils made from images generated by DALL-E

    Make stencils with DALL-E

    Let’s just jump in and say that the slickest-looking artwork is going to come from MidJourney, about which we’ve written pretty extensively: But MidJourney doesn’t do everything (yet!). So we’ll get right to the two things that DALL-E has on MidJourney that are super-useful: outpainting and inpainting. Outpainting in DALL-E Outpainting is when you want…

  • gradient background introduces jagged or speckled artifacts in stencil

    What to do when your Stencil is Grainy, Speckled, or has too much Detail

    Color separation is the process of reducing a full-color image to just a few colors. Having just a few colors is part of what makes a stencil look unique. Your original image usually has millions of colors in it, and when you reduce a rainbow of colors in a detailed image down to just four…

  • when to use traditional versus halftone cmyk stencil

    When To Use a Halftone CMYK Stencil versus a Traditional Stencil

    Halftone stencils are fun to make and paint, and they are surprisingly versatile for reproducing images that traditional stencils often can’t reproduce. Elsewhere we show how to make and use a CMYK halftone stencil. This article is all about knowing when to use a halftone stencil versus a traditional stencil. As you’ll see, sometimes you…

  • angry man with pop art tag shows rays of anger

    20 Midjourney Prompts to Generate Stencils

    When MidJourney first launched, we immediately wanted to come up with a stencil-friendlier version of Frida Kahlo. Interesting, and we eventually got what we came for. Now we’re back with more practice, and more experience getting a desirable stencil result. Why not go directly for what you want? Why beat around the bush if MidJourney…

  • dabbing stencil with sponge brushes

    What’s the difference between spray paint stencils and dabbing stencils?

    What is a dabbing stencil and what is a spray stencil? A dabbing stencil is one where you physically touch the surface with a brush or sponge or roller. On the contrary, with a spray paint stencil you never touch the surface because you are spraying the paint at the surface with a spray can…

  • sponge for cleaning stencils

    How to Clean and Care for your Mylar Stencils

    Mylar is polyester Mylar (polyester) stencils are lightweight and durable, but paint residue can build up over time, resulting in a blotchy or drippy application of paint. Fortunately, cleaning your mylar stencil is easy. Just follow these steps. What You’ll Need What you’ll need depends on what it is that you want to get off…

  • happy family stencil complete

    How to Paint an Oversize Stencil Using Registration Marks

    In a recent post, we painted a three-panel giraffe to warm you up to multi-panel stencils. Now we’re going to paint a four-panel stencil that uses registration marks on all the corners. It’s easy to follow the video example, but the key steps are shown here. Steps to paint a 3-layer, 4-panel stencil Assuming that…