Stencil Altering

Stencils make great backgrounds on journal pages, collage, or fabric. Stencils can be used with spray ink or paint, pan pastels, or chalk. I have a bit of trouble using them with paint (the color slips under the stencil and smears), so I use spray inks.

While stencils work well and provide a lot of versatility, some of them create a problem. They are set in frames that shouldn’t be part of the stencil, but always wind up on the page.

This 6 x 6 TCW  (The Crafter’s Workshop) Stencil of a spirograph shows the edge on a 5 x 7 page. No matter how I turn it the frame is still on the page. The edge is useful, though. I use it to pick up the ink-sprayed stencil and make a positive print on another piece of watercolor paper.

While I love the incomplete, dots-and-dash look of the piece, the frame came out here, too, and the heaviness really takes away from the piece. (Yes, I should have purchased the larger version and there would have been no problem, but I did and there is.)

To alter the stencil, I took a pair of scissors and trimmed almost all of the edging off.

The upper left-hand corner still has the frame. Not only does it help stabilize this stencil, it also give me a handle to place the stencil steadily and evenly.

Now, the stencil is far more attractive on a page. I can adjust the corner frame to place it so it doesn’t show up on the page at all.

I’m careful when I choose stencils, looking to find those that don’t need or have a frame. (I just purchased two stencils with numbers–a positive and a negative, but that will be another post.) Sometimes the one I want has a frame, but it’s good to know it can be altered and put to good use.

Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach and an art journaler. She’s also the author of Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art.

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9 thoughts on “Stencil Altering

  1. I just deleted my email address and left my name. I can’t get emails when new comments are posted, but at least I can finally get my comments posted again! Hope that helps others who have had the same problem I did!

  2. I guess the other thing have been to just cover the frame and remainder of the page with some paper but then you wouldn’t get the spray around the stencil. Different look, but it would take care of the thin frame.

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