Some of the ways in which stencils can be
1) Heat Embossing- We can do heat embossing using a
stencil and essentially create a heat embossed pattern just like we do when we
heat emboss with stamps.
- Prep the cardstock with an
anti-static powder pouch (some corn flour or baby powder sewn into a cloth
pouch does the job) by dabbing it onto the cardstock
- Then use a blending tool and foam
to dab some versamark watermark ink or any other embossing ink you own (ranger/simon
says stamp etc) through the stencil
- Then sprinkle embossing powder over the design
and use a heat tool to melt it.
- Dabbing is to go in a soft up and
down motion with the blending tool and foam on the design instead of circular
motions which is what we usually do while ink blending, this is to get a
cleaner embossed image. If we use the mini ink pad directly onto the stencil,
often, too much ink transfers and in case of delicate patterned stencils, like
florals, the design is lost. So it is best to use a foam with embossing ink and
go over the design twice to ensure that the whole surface is inked up.
- Tape down the cardstock first and
then tape down the stencil over it, while inking, else one of them might shift
and ruin the design
- Medical Micropore Tape (easily
available at pharmacies) is a good and economical option to tape down cardstock
as it doesn’t tear paper
- Heat the heat tool for a few
seconds before you bring it to the paper to minimize warping and paper curling
- You could even use an embossing
pen (Ranger/Versamark) to trace through the design or a versamark refill bottle,
see what you have on hand and experiment!
- To clean the sticky ink off the
stencil, some warm soapy water helps or a little bit of some stamp cleaner, I
have tried rubber stamp cleaner and staz on cleaner (remember to gently wash
off the stencil with water after using any chemicals).
2) Dry Embossing- So this is when we use a stencil to emboss
the design onto the cardstock (similar to what we do with an embossing folder).
Here are a few youtube videos to help you
in case, you haven’t ever done it before:
make shift mouse pads--- here
Spellbinders tan pad----here
Sizzix Silicone and Impressions Pads---here
Just remember, to experiment and see what
works in your die cutting machine, since all machines are slightly different. Watching
a few video tutorials is always helpful and remember to never force anything
through your machines.
In my Sizzix Bigshot Plus Machine, this is
the sandwich I used.
Bottom to top: Platform+ Sizzix Impressions
Pad (this is a hard pad) + Sizzix Silicone Rubber Pad (this is a squishy pad) +
Cardstock + Stencil+ Cutting Plate (I did not use either of the 2 adapters A or
B because with the above sandwich I got the impression I was looking for, no
more pressure was required)
3) Sponging and Ink Blending
Usually done with Distress Oxide Inkpads and
Distress Inkpads. Distress Oxides blend very well and are very smooth. The only
thing to remember with these is that the color does lighten a bit over time.
Just use a blending tool and foams and blend over the design, it is one of the
easiest and prettiest ways of using stencils. Use a light touch and move in a
circular motion to get the best blend. In case, there is an intricate design
with many little projections, best to lightly dab over those parts, else the
foam may bend those areas in the stencil and spoil it.
4)Texture Paste/Modeling Paste/Impasto/Embossing
Paste/Crackle Paste/Heavy Body Acrylic Paints etc
Basically, one can use stencils with most
types of pastes, these vary in (viscosity) thickness, texture and final look. By
using a palette knife, it is fairly simple to apply any of these pastes through
a stencil. They give a textured 3-D look to the design. One can even color
these pastes to create customized pastes. For example with distress inks,
acrylic paints, ink sprays or markers.
Just scribble some color/spray some ink onto the craft sheet and mix in
some modeling paste. Then use a palette knife to spread the paste through the
stencil in a swooping motion much like applying icing to a cake.
Thinner acrylic paints don’t work so well
with stencils since they tend to run under the design and we tend not to get a
5) Gelli Printing
Gelli Printing is basically mono printing
without a press. In simple words, it is a way to get unexpected and fun designs
which are totally unique. We can use many texture tools (soft, so the plate
doesn’t get damaged) to create patterns onto the plate (like thread, feathers,
leaves, corrugated cardboard, net, fingers, rubber stamps which should be
cleaned immediately afterwards, cling wrap, scrunched up paper, bubble wrap,
bottle caps, lace etc) . The gelli plate itself is a soft gelatin like thing.
We apply acrylic paints on it with a brayer or roller and then apply paper over
top and pull it off to get a unique print. Now the fun actually happens when we
create patterns and designs onto the plate. Stencils are great to use for gelli
printing since we can get the negative as well as positive image from a stencil
along with layered patterns. So for example along with a stencil design, I can
add some thread and corrugated cardboard patterns for multiple layered designs
on one print. These prints are great to use in mixed media especially in art
Just remember to immerse the stencils in
soapy water (once you are done with each design) while gelli printing so that
it is easier to clean them once all the printing is done. Same holds true while
using stencils with any kind of pastes.
6) Ghosting/Faux Bleaching/Water Stamping
The actual design of the stencil
is bleached with water and the negative area of the stencil remains colored
- Blend some distress inks/distress
oxide inks onto a cardstock
- Apply a stencil over top and spray
it with water
- Remove the stencil carefully and
wait for a few seconds
- Then blot off the sprayed water
from the cardstock with a paper towel
- You will be left with a bleached design since distress inks react with water
7) Monoprinting with stencils- spray/smoosh inks
onto the stencil and then spray with some water. Then use the stencil to stamp onto some cardstock.
You can check out a beautiful tutorial on youtube for this technique.----Here
8) Some other Ideas:
- Using markers, pencils or pens to trace through
- Using the stencil creatively to make other
patterns than the ones it was originally intended for. To check out a previous blog
post where I did that, click here. I basically converted a christmas tree stencil into a venn diagram.
- Turning and shifting the stencil, we can get
some interesting patterns especially with geometrical designs by turning the
stencils at an angle or by shifting it slightly at each subsequent inking.
- Water coloring through a stencil. To check out a previous blog post where I did that, click here.
That's all the theory done :)
Today, I am Guest Designing for ICraft using their pretty stencils :) You can check out their Facebook page here and if you'd like to order any of their stencils, this is the link.
I have Eleven cards and a Mixed Media Layout to share today. I made these using icraft stencils.
These are the stencil designs I worked with.
You can check out my projects in my facebook album here.
(I will be blogging about each project separately in the next few days.)
Thanks a lot for your time :)
Hopefully, it wasn't too boring.
Love reading your sweet comments.
Stay Blessed and Happy Crafting.