Artwork Stencil Methods

Author: Beccy Garvin


Revised: August 03, 2005


Stencils can be made by using many methods.  I am going to discuss two or three of them here.  The main thing to remember is that you can make a stencil or patterns using just about any type of copy write free art.  We are all aware of the copy write laws, as there have been so many discussions concerning this on the e group, so I will not go into that here.

You will need a lighted tracing box.  Take the picture you are working with, and you can use a pen to mark the lines you want to trace, or if you want to save the art in the original condition, mark on your tracing paper only.  I use regular copy paper as my tracing paper.  I draw the distinguishing lines from the picture, keeping in mind the “blasting process” that comes later.  You can trace accordingly, knowing you will be stage blasting, or you may trace with more detail knowing you will be using an airbrush blasting on the object.  I “attempt” to draw the lines as clean as I possibly can.  After I have finished the drawing, I scan the tracing and bring it into streamline.  In streamline I clean up the lines in the drawing and then convert and save.

Now you have the artwork, and you can make the type of stencil that you want to use.  I have included an outline with the steps of several different stencil methods.  I think everyone has there favorite method to use.  The concern that I have heard in the group is the where do you get your “artwork”?   I am sure there are some artists among us, but I like Jim, am not one of them.  I can trace though.  I have found that I can get more realistic artwork by tracing, than by using some of the clip art that is available out there. 


Contact Paper Method

a.  Trace Picture on tracing box

b.  Scan

c.  Clean up in streamline

d.  Print on repro film

e.  Use three layers of clear contact paper on glass.

f.   Put repro film over contact paper.

g.  Use stencil cuff er to cut out

h.  Stage blast


II.    Permanent Plastic Stencil Method

a.  Trace Picture on tracing box

b.  Put picture under glass with plastic stencil material on top.

c.  Cut out with stencil cuff er.

d.  Blast


III.   Photo Resist Method

a.  Trace Picture on tracing box

b.  Scan

c.  Clean up in Adobe Streamline

d.  Convert to vector format using Adobe Illustrator

e.  Print on film with laser printer

f.   Expose film

g.  Wash out

h.  Spray with adhesive

i.   Blast









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