Hi everyone! If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, then you know I enjoy stenciling. I also get a kick out of developing my own projects and making my crafts unique and my “own” in some way. So sometimes, I like to make my own stencils. Recently, I fashioned one shaped like a bird and used it as part of a spring bunting made with vintage music paper. (NOTE: This post has been updated.)
It fits right in with my neutral mantel. [Read more about this Winter Mantel, and how I painted the vintage mirror and used an antique French door for the backdrop.]
Over the years, I’ve experimented with making stencils out of various materials. When I taught art for several years, I had my classes make them out of paper plates (elementary school) and acetate, available on rolls in hardware stores, (middle school). Today, I’m going to show you how to make them out of the thin, clear plastic that you can find as packaging, often for baked goods or strawberries in the grocery store. I also have several pieces cut from containers that once held Christmas decorations.
Here you see a piece of the plastic cut from the container, along with my exacto knife, sitting on a self-healing mat. (Wish I was self-healing…)
Next, I began to work on a sketch/stencil of a bird. He’s a bit on the porky side, I know. (He’s also not the one I ultimately used, as I’m sure you can tell. But the process is the same no matter what shape or size your bird!)
I outlined it with a Sharpie, making some [slimming] modifications as I went.
When I had completed the drawing, I taped the plastic to my mat to hold it in place.
Then I cut out each part of the stencil with my exacto knife.
Next, I taped the stencil to a sheet of vintage music paper, and applied some paint. I use plain, old acrylic craft paint and apply it with the flat end of a makeup sponge. (Remember, tap off excess paint before applying because stenciling is a “dry brush” technique.)
Here’s the stencil I ultimately went with. You can right click and Save As a photo if you’d like to use my little design. He’s just a simple kind of bird, really.
The finished product.
I added him, as you can see, to a simple spring bunting.
The original stencil was a touch bigger than I bargained for, so that’s why I made the new one. He’s smaller and cuter (I think anyway!).
We are enjoying a lovely spring day here in the Northeast–sunny and 60°. Hope you’re having a nice day, not matter where you are. Happy spring everyone!
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