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SbS Make yer own Stencils

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SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by kicat on Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:00 am

I saw some requests on make it yourself stencils in this section... Erm, so here!

I've discovered that when working with children, sometimes I have to sacrifice a little quality to get the design done before they explode. (Especially the autistic children I work with.) I've always had reservations about using any kind of stencil (it seems like cheating!) so I decided to make my own (not cheating?).
This really helps out with bits and pieces of things, or for laying down a template to edit with a brush. I also let the kids use them on me sometimes, if they are worried about getting their face painted, and it seems to ease the tension.

Anyways, step by step, here we go:

Materials:
- Soft plastic file folders or dividers (I use the ones pictured below, just flexible/durable enough, and cheaper than material you can buy at an art store. They clean up well with soap and water or a wet nap)
- Sharp x-acto knife (new blades every other stencil or so helps a lot.)
- Scissors and hole puncher (optional.)


1. Start out by cutting the folder/material to the size you want. Remember, you are going to be using this on faces and hands, so you don't want it too large. Mine are about 3"x5". It's a good idea to round the edges, or cut in an oval shape to avoid poking. I get 3 per piece of material I use.
As you can see, I punch a hole in the top of each stencil so I can keep them held together with a longish piece of dog tag chain (got that idea from SillyFarm!)


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2. Time to draw your design. I sketch it out on paper first to make sure it's what I want. Here, I'm making a set of scales for foreheads. You only need to draw half of the design if it is going to be symmetrical (in fact, doing so ensures symmetry.)


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3. Finalize your sketch and trace over the design with a light colored marker, remember, you only need half if it is going to be symmetrical.


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4. Yay for symmetry! Ok, so if your design requires it, flip your stencil over and line up the half you have traced with the original sketch. Now you can trace the second half of the design, and it will be even to the first half.
(You end up drawing on both sides of the stencil for this. If you encounter smearing, you can trace the original sketch in black, then turn your sketch paper over and trace over the sketch that way.)


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5. Time to slice! You are probably going to go through a few sheets of your material before you get the hang of this (as did I.) The key is to move very slowly. You don't need to apply a lot of pressure if you use a fresh blade, which makes control easier.
It helps to move the stencil more than your blade, like a sewing machine.
I also find it helpful to hold the knife by the actual blade between your thumb and forefinger (Carefully, please!!!) for better control.


(I know, my markering is very sloppy... I usually clean things up by eye as I go along.)
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6. When you've finished a piece, you should be able to just pop it out with your finger. Sometimes you might need to cut tiny thread like pieces to do this. If your piece does not come out easily, do not push, this tends to cause tearing. Instead, gently go over your cuts again to make sure they are whole. (This can be a sign that you need a new blade.)
Make sure that the hole has no jagged edges. You can use the blade to clean these up, or even a small piece of fine sand paper/nail file.


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THE END! You have a stencil, yaaaay for you! Go eat some chocolate.


Here are a few I have made that seem to work well... (Caution, they get addictive! I have far too many.)




Tips: If you are going to make a design that needs to be reversed on the other side of the face, it's best to make the design twice in each needed direction on the same side of the stencil. If you try to flip it while you are working, things get messy.

Some of your stencils may be fragile, i.e. the ones with very thin strips between holes, so be gentle when thumbing through them.

To apply, use a sponge and stipple lightly. Usually, the less water, the easier application is. Sometime the designs bleed, the thin stripped ones again (Detailed flowers), so I usually use those as a base for lining over with a brush.

That should just about cover things... If I left something out, or you need clarification, please let me know! Sorry for the double posting in this section in a short amount of time, hehe. I haven't really had anyone to share face painty things with who would get remotely excited.

I could probably make some custom stencils for the swap shop, if anyone has requests. *wishful thinking* ... But I do hope you make your own =D

These images should show up for everyone, I used web safe file sizes. If not, I will fix when my noobie time is up!
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kicat

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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by michellesfantasyfaces on Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:14 am

thanks for this sbs..I'm going to give this a try sometime!
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by summers4seasons on Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:44 am

That looks like so much fun!
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by Geekophile on Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:12 am

The divider tabs are such a great idea. I have used the regular vynal notebooks and, though they are sturdy, they are a pain to cut! I can see how this will be so much better. Thanks!
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by Britty on Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:19 am

This is awesome!! Thank you for the great SBS!! cheers
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by 1HappyNut on Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:01 pm

What a great sbs! Thank you for sharing!

I LOVE the bubbles especially. What a great job you did! That must have been a pain though... all those tiny holes. I wonder if you'd completely ruin a hole-punch if you used that for various smaller bubble sizes (assuming you had craft hole-punches in different diameters)
Thanks again!
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by HappyVickery on Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:28 pm

OMG! I love this!!! I can't wait to try. . .next trip out I'm so buying an exacto knife! Thank you for this Smile
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by flopsietheclown on Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:57 pm

You rock Kicat! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by kicat on Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:35 pm

Yay! I hope whoever tries this will share some of your stencil designs!

Happynut: The bubbles took about 40 minutes, the big ones were actually harder than the smaller ones. I use that one A LOT... Usually not the whole thing at once, hehe. I've thought about getting a fancy hole punch, but I can't find one with enough hole sizes. Also, as you said, it would probably go dull pretty quickly.

Thanks everyone for the nice comments ^_^ !
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:06 pm

Make sure the bandaids and the polysporin is nearby... just sayin'

Guest
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by kicat on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:52 pm

Shannon Fennell wrote:Make sure the bandaids and the polysporin is nearby... just sayin'

LOL! I'm usually really clumbsy, but I have yet to cut myself doing this. I have, however, cut myself with a paint brush.

Pleeease be careful, whoever does this! Remember to work on a surface you don't mind getting cut up, and one that is not slippery. Self-healing cutting boards are awesome, but replaceable cardboard works too. If you need to move your blade, pull it away from you, not toward. Using a guide for lines, such as a ruler or the edge of cardboard helps, too.

*Ramble*
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Re: SbS Make yer own Stencils

Post by eviedejesus on Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:24 pm

wish I could see the pics : (
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