Monday, September 22, 2008

How to Make a Stencil~ Cookie Cutter Version

Can't find a pre-made stencil that's the shape you need for your project? Use your favorite cookie cutter to make your own.

  • stencil blanks
  • pencil or pen
  • cookie cutters
  • piece of glass
  • heat tool with stencil/tapered point
A few notes before beginning:
  1. An 8 1/2 x 11 piece of glass from an unused picture frame makes a good sized work surface for this project. For safety's sake, be sure to tape the edges of your piece of glass so there's no chance of cutting yourself.
  2. Stencil blanks can be found at the craft store in the same area with home decor stencils.
  3. Look for heat tools in the wood working and wood burning supply section. There are a variety of heat tools; make sure the one you purchase gets hot enough for creating stencils, it should specify in the description.
Now you're ready to begin. Place your cookie cutter onto the stencil blank and trace around it with your pen or pencil. You may wish to put a sheet of blank paper under the stencil blank for contrast so that you can see your lines more easily as you draw them. Be sure to space your shapes far enough apart so that there will be room to cut them apart, with some room to spare, later.

Next, place your stencil blank on the piece of glass; the glass protects your work surface from being burned when you cut your your stencils with the heat tool. If you are using a blank piece of paper to help you see your pencil lines, place it UNDER the glass, not between the glass and the stencil blank.

Give your heat tool a few minutes to warm up. You may want to practice on a piece of stencil blank to get used to the speed with which you need to work. If you work too slow, you might melt too big of a section; too fast, you may not completely perforate the blank or you may accidentally slip past your reference lines, creating jagged lines.

When you are ready, firmly and carefully follow your pencil lines with the tapered point of the heat tool all the way around your shape. You may find it is easier to pull the tapered point towards your rather than push it away from you.

Turn off your tool and safely set aside. Remove the perforated shapes from your stencil sheet and cut your new stencils off the sheet. Be sure to leave an inch border (or more) around them for stability. Your new stencil is complete, easy as that!

Use your stencil for scrapbooking or art journaling. Or use it to create home decor projects like trinket boxes, seasonal "Welcome" signs, primatives, and more.

Here's how I used mine--

What will you create?


Nydia said...

You make things look sooo easy... and fun! :o) When my pocket allows me, I'll buy a set of things to try this. You leaves and acorns looks lovely!

Sacred Suzie said...

Very cool and I have all of those materials! When I recover from this silly cold I may give this a shot. Fantastic tutorial!

mrsb said...

Wow! What an amazing blog! I think I might actually be able to do this!

Dragonstar said...

I came here from Nydia to have a look - I could do this! I too will have to wait to buy the necessary equipment, but I'll keep my eye on what you're doing!

Janet said...

I came over from Nydia's and am so glad I did. This looks completely doable for me. Thank you so much for sharing your technique.

Bobbi said...

Wonderful post! This is an easy way to make stencils - thanks!

intothedawn said...

NYDIA~ It really is easy to do, and so many possibilities!

SACRED SUZIE~ I'd love to see what you create! Hope you are feeling better soon.

MRSB~ Thanks! It's just like using a pencil only with heat; you absolutely *can* do this.

DRAGONSTAR~ Thank you for visiting! More tutorials planned, hope you will come back.

JANET~ Glad you stopped by! This simple technique really *is* do-able, and so many items you can create with your stencils afterwards.

BOBBI~ Glad you enjoyed the post! Hope the technique will be of use to you.