How to make a stencil the cheap and easy way

Learn how to make a custom stencil in any design you want the cheap and easy way. No Cricuit, Silhouette, or other expensive cutting machine required.
I love using stencils for DIY projects. They make it indeed easy to get perfect results whether you ’ ra stenciling a sign, stenciling a wall, or even stenciling a kitchen backsplash .
There are tons of gorgeous stencil designs available these days, but sometimes you just can ’ metric ton find the perfect stencil for the project you have in beware.

possibly you want to make a personalized stencil for making wedding interior decoration. possibly you want to recreate a gorgeous stencil floor you saw in a cartridge holder. Or possibly you have a super master mind in mind .
Whatever the visualize, making your own stencil precisely the manner you want it, is actually pretty easy .
Of class you can always make reclaimable stencils using a Cricuit or Silhouette cutting machine, but fortunately, even if you don ’ t have a cut machine, it ’ s even quite easy to make a DIY stencil. All you need are a few very cheap supplies. ( If you already have a Cricuit and want to use it, I found this tutorial for making a stencil using a Cricuit very thorough. )
In this mail I ’ thousand sharing simple bit-by-bit instructions, helpful tips and tricks, plus a video tutorial to make it incredibly easy to tackle this visualize on your own .
Before we get started, I do want to point out there are times when making a stencil may not be the best choice. If you are planning a DIY project that you are only going to make once, you ’ vitamin d be better off not using a stencil at all and just doing a simple transfer alternatively .
If you don ’ metric ton know how to do a pencil transfer, I have step-by-step pencil transfer instructions you can check out. It ’ s incredibly easy and all you need is a pencil or a while of chalk .
Using a transportation will be much faster than making a stencil to use merely one time. Stencils are best for when you are planning to use the lapp invention multiple times, like when you are making multiple signs with the lapp invention or when you are using one stencil to create a duplicate convention .
This mail contains consort links which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won ’ thyroxine price you a penny more. Click here to see my full moon disclosure policy .


  • Stencil blank – these are clear, thin sheets of plastic that you can cut your stencil from. I used this 12″x12″ set from Amazon which is super affordable. You can also get 12″x24″ sheets or even a 12″x48″ roll for making larger stencils.
  • Craft knife – for cutting out your stencil design
  • Cutting mat – this is a must when using a craft knife to protect your work suface
  • Marker – for tracing your stencil design onto the stencil blank. A super fine tip Sharpie is perfect for this.
  • Printout of your stencil design
  • Tape – to attach your design to your stencil blank

How to Make a Stencil

Choosing a stencil design

When you are choosing a invention for your stencil, it ’ randomness best to choose something that isn ’ thymine excessively detailed. Something with lots of clean lines will be easier to make into a stencil and besides easier to use as a stencil. very little details are often lost in the stencil process .
besides keep in mind that a stencil will only show the outline of your invention ; details inside the prototype will be very unmanageable to include .
once you ’ ve chosen your stencil design, you can print it out. Be certain to print it the like size you want your finished stencil to be .
( You can besides make stencils from all kinds of designs including things found in magazines, bible covers, even photos. )

Making a text stencil

There are a few supernumerary things to keep in mind when making give voice and letter stencils .
You will need to be careful with certain letters that have belittled circles and other shapes in the middle. typically stencil connect the inner shapes to the rest of the stencil with a small connect wrinkle .
If you fair cut the letters out without these lines, the humble inner shapes would be lost and your stencil text would be identical heavily to read. When you are planning your stencil design, wear ’ t forget to include these lines. You can see some examples below .
Letters that need special lines to be made into stencils including capital A, B, and O and lowercase a, b, and e. once you are finished stenciling your project, you can easily make those stencil lines disappear. Just use a humble paint brush or a toothpick and paint to fill in the modest gaps in the letters .

The best material for making stencils

I highly recommend using thinly, clear up plastic for making your stencil. You can buy stencil blanks on Amazon or in craft stores pretty affordably in many different sizes. And even though we aren ’ thymine using a Cricuit or Silhouette to make our stencil, their stencil blanks will however work fine .
You can besides make your own stencils using adhesive material vinyl, but mylar credit card works much better if you are planning to use your stencil more than once .
I do not recommend using cardboard or calling card stock to make stencils. I ’ m generally all about being economical and using what you have, but it ’ second very difficult to get dainty clean stencil lines with a cardboard stencil, specially if you are planning to use it multiple times .
Plastic lays more smoothly against the surface you are stenciling, it keeps paint from seeping underneath, and it never gets boggy. In general, it just gives a lot better results .

Cutting out your stencil

Place your fictile over your design. Try not to place your stencil design excessively close to the edge of the plastic. When you are stenciling, having a act of extra plastic around the edges will help keep you from unintentionally getting paint where you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want it .
tape the design to the fictile so that it doesn ’ metric ton move about as you are working and then carefully trace the invention onto the plastic .
Place your fictile on top of your cutting mat. ( Don ’ triiodothyronine forget the cutting entangle or you may end up with your stencil carved right into your tabletop ! )
Make sure your craft knife has a nice sharp cutting blade so you can cut through the credit card smoothly. This will help make sure you get decent clean stencil lines .
Using a super fine tip Sharpie to trace a patterned tile design onto a stencil blank. trace around the lines of your design very cautiously and slowly with your craft tongue. You might need to go over some areas doubly to cut all the way through the fictile ; good be certain to follow the lapp line precisely .
Using a craft knife to cut a stencil design from plastic. anywhere you ’ re cutting a straight line, it actually helps to use a rule to keep your lines perfectly straight .
Using a ruler to cut straight lines when cutting out a stencil.

Making a stencil with a repeating design

If you are making a stencil with a repeating pattern to be used on walls or floors, adding adjustment marks will make your stenciling visualize much, much easier .
registration marks are guides that will help you production line up your stencil absolutely for a seamless repeating design .
White board stenciled with DIY stencil showing the extra bits of the pattern that serve as the stencil registration marks. Adding them to your stencil is easy. once you have traced one complete stencil design onto your fictile, move your paper pattern to where the following reprise of the design would begin .
Plastic stencil with stencil registration marks next to a craft knife. decipher a few of the stencil elements/lines onto your fictile and cut them out. When you are stenciling, you can line these lines up with the previous section you have stenciled to keep everything evenly spaced and straight .
Stenciling a sample board with my DIY tile stencil and lining up the repeating design using the registration marks.

Completing the Stencil

When you are finished cutting your stencil, if you find any spots that aren ’ thyroxine perfectly smooth or precisely right, you can always go back with your craft knife and clean those parts astir .
now you ’ re ready to get stenciling !

Finished DIY stencil next to stenciled sample board. I ’ thousand hoping to use this stencil for an approaching project, but for now I fair stenciled a sample board to get an mind of how it would look .
Below is another exercise of a DIY stencil I made ; I used this one to make several DIY signs and it worked great .
DIY stencil of the words "This is the Life" and completed wooden sign made using this stencil. Stenciling itself is reasonably easy, but there are a few things you need to know to get dainty clean, perfect stencil lines. If you haven ’ metric ton done a distribute of stenciling before, I have another mail all about the materials and tricks to use for perfect stenciling .
Peeling back the stencil after painting to reveal the stenciled design on the sample board.

Video Tutorial

I besides put together a Youtube video of this project for those of you who prefer video recording. You can watch it below .

I ’ d love for you to subscribe to my Youtube channel !
Other stenciling ideas I think you’ll love:
I’d love for you to pin this post on Pinterest!

diy stencil in aqua

How to make a stencil the cheap and easy way

move over :

1 Stencil

homework clock :

10 minutes

active agent prison term :

20 minutes

sum clock time :

30 minutes

difficulty :


Estimated price :


Learn how to make your own stencil in whatever design you want is easier than you think with the include bit-by-bit tutorial. Think of the possibilities !


  • Stencil blank 
  • Cutting mat
  • Marker 
  • Printout of your stencil design
  • Tape


  • Craft knife 


  1. Choose a stencil design. Try to choose a design not overly detailed.
  2. Print out your design in the same size you want your finished stencil to be.
  3. Tape the design to your plastic stencil blank.  Trace your design onto the plastic with a marker.
  4. Place your plastic on top of your cutting mat and use your sharp craft knife to trace around the lines of your design very carefully.
  5. A ruler will help keep your lines perfectly straight.
  6. Clean up any cuts that are not smooth using your craft knife.
  7. Now you are ready to stencil!

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases .

  • BANLTRE 12 Pieces 6 mil Blank Template Material Stencils Mylar for Cutting Paper Clear Transparency Sheet 12 × 12 inch (12-6 mil)
    BANLTRE 12 Pieces 6 mil Blank Template Material Stencils Mylar for Cutting Paper clear Transparency Sheet 12 × 12 column inch ( 12-6 milliliter )

  • 1 Pieces Craft Knife Hobby Knife with 11 Pieces Stainless Steel Blades Kit for Cutting Carving Scrapbooking Art Creation (purple)
    1 Pieces Craft Knife Hobby Knife with 11 Pieces Stainless Steel Blades Kit for Cutting Carving Scrapbooking Art Creation ( purple )

Did you make this project?

I ‘d love for you to leave a comment on the blog or plowshare a photograph on Pinterest !

informant :
Category : How To

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.