There are some amazing artists creating beautiful pieces with stencils. I’m not one of them.
I just recently tried my hand at stencils and have had some success and some not so much success. I think it’s like any tool – the more you use it the more success you have. My problem lies in the creative part: just what the heck am I supposed to do with it?
The Studio 490 stencils, Artful Words by Wendy Vecchi, arrived in the mail for my playing pleasure. My Stamp Club’s meeting was around the corner so I used the stencil to create some words for my ATC’s we were exchanging. The stencil was very easy to use and I was happy with the results I got to create my little word ‘fly.’
I like the font style Wendy chose for this stencil, and it worked well on my project. This was a quick and easy make. I simply laid the stencil over some scrap manilla tag pieces and squished black Archival Ink through the stencil with an ink applicator. There was need to tape the stencil in place for this type of use. I just held it in place with one hand and applied the ink with the other.
Next I thought I’d try my hand using the stencil with some gesso. This experiment failed. I often use gesso to create dimension on items so thought it would work but the letters are too close in the words and the gesso was too runny, so it blended together slightly. I did, however, have success when I switched to embossing paste which is thicker than gesso and so tends to stay put more.
For the embossing paste technique I did tape the stencil in place with painters tape (any re-positionable tape should work well for this). The stencil is taped to the tag as well as the table – I really didn’t want it to move!
After I finished taping off around the word I wanted to use, I put a small amount of embossing paste on my spatula. The paste is like a light, airy cream and doesn’t run at all. I got my best results with the embossing paste.
Then, with one pass, I dragged the pasty spatula across the area of the stencil that I wanted to use. The trick to good stenciling with paste is not to go back over the area because it tends to push paste under the stencil which makes it smear and come out not-so-pretty. I have also learned that when removing your tape, take it off in the reverse order that it was put on (so the last piece on is the first piece off). Your very first piece of tape will act as a hinge so you can gently lift and remove your stencil without messing up your nice image.
Overall I found this Studio 490 stencil very easy to use. It was a nice thickness, meaning that it gave just the right amount of dimension on the background. When I used the right product with it (embossing paste rather than gesso) I got really good results. The stencil cleaned up easily with a baby wipe but water would work just as well (always clean stencils immediately when using products such as embossing paste and gesso). There are plenty of words to use over and over again on this Artful Words stencil and they’re all in the same font style to give a cohesive look in something like an art journal. The size (slightly larger than 4″ X 6″) makes it easy to use on smaller projects and the price isn’t bad either – $4.95.
- Good thickness
- Same font style to give a cohesive look
- Great size for art journals & tags
- Easy clean-up
- Storage (stencils need to be stored flat so they don’t curl or bend)
Studio 490 Stencils for Art by Wendy Vecchi are produced by Stamper’s Anonymous, and are available at Simon Says Stamp and other papercrafting outlets for $4.95.
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