Make a Custom Stencil

How to make a custom stencilMake a Custom Stencil

This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share some of the products I found to make reusable grocery bags.

I have been looking for a large stencil of a laurel wreath, to use as a graphic on some canvas grocery bags. Can’t find one to save my soul. So, as I was standing in the stencil aisle at Hobby Lobby, not finding the stencil I wanted,  I saw a “Show-offs Stencil Cutter.” It looked suspiciously like a solderingHow to make a custom stencil iron, but for only $15, I thought I would give it a try, so I also bought some Show-offs Stencil Blanks. If I can’t find the stencil I want, I’ll just make a custom stencil!

Next, I found a simple public domain graphic, and enlarged it using Paint Shop Pro (love PSP!).  

make a stencil

I taped the graphic to the back side of the stencil, and cut it out using the stencil cutter, with the beveled tip.  Now, I have to say that this takes a bit of getting used to. If you go too fast, the tip doesn’t cut all the way through the plastic. If you go too slow, the plastic melts away and messes up the shape of the stencil.
After a false start or two, I got the hang of it, and was able to cut out the stencil for the laurel leaves.  (Sadly, the attempt at cutting lettering didn’t go nearly as well. It would appear I am in need of a steadier hand or a bit more practice to do letters.) I should probably mention that the stencil cutter gets really hot, so use a piece scrap of lumber to work on.cut a stencil

At any rate, I used my new custom stencil to airbrush the laurel design onto my canvas bags, which was the point of this whole adventure. I then cut out another custom stencil in the shape of a star to put in the center, since the lettering I had hoped to use came out

rather crookedy.  I’m pretty happy with the results, and maybe with a bit of practice I can do some custom stencils that are more intricate, using some of the other tips that came with the stencil cutter.

This was pretty much an all day project, and I will call this an intermediate level, simply because getting the stencil cutter to cut smoothly is somewhat challenging. Ig you decide to give it a try, buy some extra stencil blanks to practice with. The best part of this day’s work is that I now have my grain-sack inspired canvas bags to use for grocery shopping! GO GREEN!

How to make a custom stencil