How to make a stencil with your personal cutter and contact paper is an easy skill to learn! And I am here to show you how to do it in this next installment of #SilhouetteBasics.
Benefits of having a Silhouette or Cricut
Having a cutting machine like Silhouette or Cricut opens the doors for a lot of crafting possibilities. Making stencils to craft with is just the tip of the iceberg. I mainly use stencils to personalized signs and furniture.
You can click here to see some samples from earlier this year!
For a short time I offered Established SVG designs in my Etsy store. The customer who purchased this listing would provide me with the couples names and date. Within 24 to 48 hours, I would email their completed SVG design to them in a Zip Folder.
The client in turn, used my SVG design to make a stencil or vinyl decal for their own crafting projects.
I also offer cut files in the MPD Library for MPD Tribe members.
Be sure to sign up for access to my free library of SVG design you can craft with here!
Midwest Market Studio is an online store where I also offer reasonably priced SVG designs and cut files.
Supplies you will need to make your stencil
- Colored or patterned contact paper (or you can use Oramask 813). This will be your actual stencil material.
- Dental pik or tweezers. You will use this to weed the stencil. Weed is a term of removing stencil materials you do not want to use or keep.
- Clear contact paper (or you can use transfer tape).
- Small squeegee or credit card.
How to make a Stencil
I use a Silhouette Cameo 3 I purchased used from Ebay almost 3 years ago.
TIP: I keep my scraps of contact paper for smaller projects or to piece together larges projects. Or to fix mistakes!
I measure the length of contact paper needed for my stencil and then cut the width down to 13″. I use the lines on the backside to keep my cuts straight.
loading your contact paper to make a stencil
I check the contact paper with a light tug to make sure it is secure in the machine before I hit “Send”.
If you are using vinyl, this material is precut usually at 12″.
You will need to line up your vinyl or contact paper on the left side of the roller.
Then adjust the right white roller to where you need it to secure the vinyl in the Silhouette cutter.
For my projects I do not use a mat to make my stencils from contact paper and I have this defaulted on the “page setup” in my Silhouette design space.
To be on the safe side, I usually stay close by my Silhouette cutter. Just in case it jams I can press the “Pause” button.
tips on making a stencil
Tip: I have my own cut settings entered in the Silhouette program.
I have learned these settings sometimes have to be adjusted when using a new roll of contact paper, new cutting blade or if the blade is becoming dull.
time to weed your stencil
This is where you will need your dental pik or tweezers. The areas you want to paint are the areas you will want to remove. This is why it’s important as a beginner to start with basic designs.
As the designs become more complicated, figuring out which areas to weed takes time or hands on practice. Click here to see an example of a complicated stencil I was asked to use for a personalized sign.
Priming your stencil
I use Duck brand clear contact paper as my material for my transfer tape. I “prime” my clear contact paper material on a somewhat clean surface.
Priming is removing some of the stickiness from the contact paper.
Remove the backing of the contact paper (save this backing paper) and place the contact paper sticky side down on a clean surface.
You can use your pants or shirt. I apply mine on my kitchen counter.
If I didn’t have four fur-babies (3 dogs and a cat), I would probably apply it on my couch. That would be the fastest!
TIP: Be careful to not add wrinkles here. If you do it’s not the end of the world. Even with some wrinkles your clear contact paper is still useable.
Applying your stencil
When the backing of the clear contact paper is removed, apply the sticky side down onto your stencil.
Lightly rub over the with your hand, squeegee, or credit card.
I then turn this combination upside down and remove the backing from the stencil material.
If your stencil material starts to come up with the backing, I gently press that area back down and try again, each time this happens.
When the backing material of the stencil is removed, your stencil is ready to apply to your project.
Line it up your stencil and transfer tape over your project. Once you have it placed where you want it, use your squeegee or credit card over the material.
I work from the middle out to help prevent any bubble from forming between the stencil and the board.
When applying your stencil, do not press the stencil down on your project until you have it positioned where you want it. You can still reposition your stencil if you need to until you run your hand, squeegee, or credit card over it.
Final step; removing your transfer tape
Starting at a corner of your stencil, work diagonally and slowly pulling the transfer tape off the stencil on your board.
Once the transfer tape is all removed, I replace the backing (saved from earlier) glossy side down on the sticky side of the transfer tape so I can use it again for future projects.
You are now ready to use your stencil and craft away!
Watch my video and I’ll show you step by step how I use my Silhouette (and contact paper)
If you have an questions let me know so I can clear them up or if there are any future topics you would like me to discuss, drop me a note!
I have a private Facebook group for those who join my tribe, MPD Tribe.
Have a great week!
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