Craft

How to Create a Homemade Stencil for Stamping By Hand

Learn to create a stencil out of homemade materials with Texture Factory

If you're looking for an easy activity you can do using materials you already have at home, or perhaps to carry out with the little artists you have running around, you've come to the right place!

Hi! I'm Gabriela Rodríguez, founder of the creative studio, Fábrica de Texturas (@fabricadetexturas), which specializes in DIY projects and recovers traditional and artisanal techniques to give them a unique, contemporary twist. In this blog post, I share a step-by-step process for making a template you can use to create hand-stamped pieces like this one:

How to Create a Homemade Stencil for Stamping By Hand 1
Manual stamping using a stencil. Texture Factory.

What project are we going to create?

We are going to make a stencil so that we can easily stamp patterns and designs. We will be able to stamp with almost any kind of paint on any surface: paper, wood, fabric, or whatever you can think of.

By following these instructions, you’ll be able to create a very basic stencil. If you keep practicing, you will be able to delve into creating more and more complex pieces over time. You will also see that even if you use a very simple shape, you can achieve impressive results by combining colors and repeating shapes.

How to Create a Homemade Stencil for Stamping By Hand 3
Manual stamping. Texture Factory.

Materials to create your stencil

For this activity, you can use any material you have lying around the house. For the stencil itself, I suggest choosing a durable material to get the most out of your work. Here are some recommendations.

Materials for your stencil

–The most basic material you can use is a sheet of paper, but it won’t last very long.
–Card or cardboard.
–Different types of plastic. These will be more durable. You could use something similar to what you’d use to cover school books.
–Polyester or acetate plastic. This has more elasticity and will last longer. You could use transparencies.
–Laminated magazine covers. Any magazine with a glossy, laminated cover will work.
–Old X-rays. These will last a long time, but because they are so thick, they can be difficult to cut.

Experiment with whatever material you have at home!

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Acetate or polyester plastic sheet from a stationery shop.

Materials for stamping

–Acrylic paint. You can use any small pots of paint you have at home. If you are going to work on fabric, it’s best to use textile paints.
–Brush. A stencil brush is preferable, which is designed for stamping on textiles. However, you can use any substitute.
–Paint sponge or roller. These will come in handy if you're planning to stamp on a wall in your house.
–Homemade sponge. This can be used to paint on different surfaces.

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Stencil brushes.

Other materials

–Scalpel or box cutter. Remember to use a new or sharp blade to achieve the best results.
Surface to stamp onto. You can use paper, fabric, cardboard, wood, or whatever you wish.
–Pencil, eraser.
–Markers.
–Cutting board. If you don't have one, you can use thick paper or a stack of magazines as a support and prevent damaging your table.
–Dish or container for paint.
–Adhesive spray. Optional material that can be used to temporarily glue the stencil to the surface. An alternative option is to use hairspray, which won’t leave any stains on your surface. Or you could use a children's glue stick.

How to Create a Homemade Stencil for Stamping By Hand 9
Cutter.

Let's get to work!

To start, draw a simple figure on a sheet of paper. This will be the figure of your template. In this case, I used the silhouette of an ordinary sheet of paper.

Using a marker, trace the figure on the plastic, paper, or material that you will use for the stencil.

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Examples of shapes you can trace onto your piece of paper. Texture Factory.

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Simple figure on paper. Texture Factory.

Cut

Now you need to cut inside the figure. You will want to remove the inside area of the figure, as this is where the paint will go. Pay attention to any corners, and remember not to cut continuously. Instead, do it bit by bit, turning the template and not your arm.

How to Create a Homemade Stencil for Stamping By Hand 15
Cutting process. Texture Factory.

I also did this exercise with a magazine cover, which will look like this after cutting:

How to Create a Homemade Stencil for Stamping By Hand 17
Paper stencil. Texture factory.

Time to start stamping

Place your surface on the table. Place some paint on a plate. In this case, I used two contrasting colors.

Apply your adhesive spray to the stencil, and let it sit for a few seconds. Then place the stencil on your surface and fix it by hand.

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Spray your stencil. Texture Factory.
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Press against the template to fix it to your surface. Texture factory.
How to Create a Homemade Stencil for Stamping By Hand 21
The template is fixed to the fabric. Texture Factory.

Take a small piece of the sponge (or brush or roller) and wet it with a little paint. Unload some paint onto the plate before applying it to the surface you will stamp onto.

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Don’t apply the paint before unloading some onto the plate. Texture Factory.

It's time to stamp! Apply the paint to the surface using small strokes. When you run out of paint, repeat the process. Apply the paint to the plate first. In this case, I applied the paint in lines to create a gradient effect.

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Time to stamp. Texture Factory.

You can use another color to finish filling in your figure with paint. Remember to unload some paint onto the plate before applying it to the surface. Now, you can experiment to create different effects with the colors.

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Use different colors. Texture Factory.

You can now remove the stencil and look at the result. You may decide to keep repeating the process to fill the entire surface to create a pattern or experiment with different stencils.

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Final stamped figure. Texture Factory.

After finishing your project, share it on social media, tagging Fábrica de Texturas.

This article was written by Fábrica de Texturas (@fabricadetexturas). If you want to learn more techniques, sign up for their courses Manual Printing for Photopolymer Stamps and Cyanotype: Printing with Light.

English version by @eloise_edgington.

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