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Create a stencil without using a cutting machine

Tips and tricks to create your own stencils!

Spending money on a cutting machine might not be something you are ready to commit to. Luckily crafting without a cutting machine is both easy and fun! In this tutorial, crafter LeeAnn will show us another amazing wood craft that you can create without a cutting machine! Can't get enough of wood crafting? Check out LeeAnn's tutorial to create Silhouette Ornaments here!

Fuzzy Cut Cat

Supplies needed:

  • A printer (preferably that is capable of poster printing)
  • A digital image (Check out crafts and graphics from Creative Fabrica)
  • Tape (Painters tape recommended)
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Wood of your choice
  • Fabric paint or dilute acrylic paint
In this project we will be working on a bigger project, so I recommend that you use a printer capable of poster printing. Pick your image, decide how big you want it, and print your pieces. My chart is for approximate sizing only. Lay out all of the pieces into their proper placement. You should be seeing your image with access white paper in between the pages.  Notice the lines in the corner of the pages? These lines tell you where to cut and join the two pages together. Access needs to be cut away in a straight line from one guide line to the next. Working one line at a time, cut away the access from one side of your page and tape the two pieces together. You will need to be very accurate when you join your pages or the next pages will not join properly. Once all of the pages are securely taped together, flip your design over. Working on the back, you will want to glue down all of the loose flaps. Make sure flaps are completely covered in a thin layer of glue. Allow glue to dry completely. Time to start cutting. We will be using an Exacto knife. Please use caution. These knifes can result in some nasty cuts. The goal is to remove all of the White Paper. Leaving you with a Black Stencil. I start with my Scissors removing the outside surrounding White. This piece you can just throw away. For the inside white pieces, start by removing the small pieces first. Set these pieces aside - you will want them later! Continue on until all white pieces have been cut out and set aside. On the larger pieces, I use the Exacto knife to start. As soon as the opening is large enough I switch to my scissors. Scissors are more accurate. We now have a stencil we can transfer to wood. Place your stencil flat on your board and tape down. The reason for keeping those white pieces is for accuracy. Some design will be very flimsy and by replacing the the white pieces you will get a more accurate shape. I use painters tape to tape the stencil onto the wood. I have had issues with other types leaving their sticky glue on the wood. Trace your stencil onto the board. When painting wood, I use a fabric paint or dilute acrylic paint. The goal is for the paint to soak into the wood, not just sit on top. Don't forget to do this outside. When you are done you can carefully remove the stencil. You can now seal the color using using 2 coats of Polyurethane. Done! Beautiful! The seal really brings out the wood grain. Happy crafting!

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