So I needed a stencil but I refused to pay anything for it. Because basically I wanted to try something and I wasn’t too sure on if I was going to even like it. Rather than spend good money on a stencil and wait for it to arrive via the mail I decided to make my own.
And guess what? It was really stinking easy. At least it was because I have a Silhouette machine. Don’t get me wrong, you can totally do this with an x-acto knife and some good old fashioned patience but I have to say, I was super glad to have my cutting machine for this DIY!
For this project you will need:
- Silhouette Cutting Machine
- X-acto Knife
- Plastic Quilting Templates
- Peoni Patterns Font (free)
- Silhouette Cut File (not necessary but providing it anyway :)
Grab the free font Peoni Patterns and get it installed on your machine. Flick through the letters and find the dingbat you like for a stencil. This is the letter “S”. Size to fit for a 12×12 inch surface and get ready to cut this sucker out. Well, at least partially.
Set the blade to 10 and set the machine for a double cut. When the Silhouette runs through the process DON’T UNLOAD IT. Run it with the exact same specs one more time.
We’re going to run the cut on 12×12 inch Quilter’s plastic. These are used to make patterns that will be sewn onto quilts. They run about $7 for 3 which makes them way cheaper than any 12×12 inch stencil I’ve ever found. Gotta love a bargain!
Your Silhouette can’t cut completely through the material. The blade just isn’t long enough so you’re going to have to bust out an X-acto knife and finish this puppy up by hand. It’s no big, truly, because you put the blade down and follow the groove to finish the cut. If you go slowly your blade will never pop out of the groove and you’ll have perfect cuts every time! To hand finish this stencil took me about 20 minutes. Not bad!
Oh, and pay attention. See how there are areas that have been “cut” by the Silhouette that I didn’t actually finish the cut on? That’s because if I did the stencil would have no definition. It’ would just be a big shape of the outer edge. Pay attention and figure out what areas you need to keep BEFORE you start in with the knife. If needed, run the first go on paper and piece things together to see what you need and what you don’t.
To use spray the back side of the stencil and get after it like you would any other.
The end result is a super cheap and totally awesome stencil. I mean, look at those crisp edges! Because you’re cutting thick plastic you’ve got a stencil that can weather a lot of use unlike paper stencils or even really thin plastic ones you buy in stores and online. And for about $2.33 – this stencil is a steal even with the extra bit of effort required!