Cardmaking Designs

Tips for Using Stencils in Your Cardmaking Designs

When it comes to making beautiful designs, stencils are one of the best crafty companions that you can have! From helping you color your stamps easily to creating unique textures for your cards, stencils are one of the most versatile tools to have in your creative arsenal. If you’re a beginner wondering what supplies you need to prioritize buying for your stash, then look no further than stencils!

Today, we will discuss stencils for crafting – how to use them for your cards and what other tricks you can do to stretch their use! So keep on reading for another creative adventure on the Cardmaking Hub blog! 

What Are Craft Stencils?

Stencils are thin, shaped tools that you can use to imprint a particular shape, outline, or pattern into a surface. They are usually made out of flexible materials, such as plastic or cardboard.

Simply put, stencils are like pre-cut molds or templates that come in different fun designs. There are many types of stencils for crafting: such as quilting stencils, scrapbooking stencils, lettering stencils, and more. In relation to cardmaking projects, here are the types of stencils that you can use:

  • Layering Stencils – Layering stencils are stencils that comprise different parts. They usually produce more detailed coloring and images, as they are layers that complement each other to create a single image or design. 
  • Builder Stencils – These are called “builder” stencils because you have to flip the stencils and color them side by side to complete the images. These types of stencil set usually only have one stencil that you can use to make different images and scenes. 
  • Standalone Stencils – True to their name, standalone stencils are simple stencils that feature one complete image. They only require one stencil, and you do not need to flip or layer them on top of each other to make a whole image. Standalone stencils also include simple coloring stencil sets that coordinate with stamp sets, so you can easily add color to images. 
  • Mask Stencils – Even though all stencils help you color, mask stencils are dubbed as one of the most helpful coloring stencils you can have. Mask stencils are like die-cut pieces that you can use to cover certain parts of your images. You can use these to prevent parts of your stamp from showing, so you can stamp images over one another without overlapping. 

No matter the use and type, craft stencils are fun tools for creativity that can be used in various applications to create precise and consistent designs for your projects!

How Do You Use Stencils for Crafting?

Now that you know the different types of stencils and their uses for crafting, it’s time to apply them to techniques! Stencils are a great way to spruce up your cards, and there are many ways that you can use them! Here are a few ideas on how stencils can upgrade your cardmaking game: 

Color Your Stamps With Ease

This goes without saying, but stencils can make your coloring much more convenient. Coloring your stamped images is quicker when you use coordinating stencils with their stamp sets. You don’t have to worry about where the darker colors or lighter colors should be, as you can use stencils as a guide. 

To easily add color to your stamped images, simply follow these steps: 

  1. Prepare your supplies: cardstock, stamps, low-tack tape, inks, blending brush, and stencils. PRO TIP: When you have the Stampwheel, you can skip using some low-tack tape to hold down your stencils!
  2. Stamp your images on your cardstock. 
  3. Then, secure your stencil onto your cardstock, making sure to align the stencil with the outlines of your stamped image.
  4. Using your blending brushes, gently start adding color to your card. You can blend two different colors if you’d like!
  5. Ta-da! Once you remove your stencil, you’ll have a perfectly blended, colorful image! 

Make Texture With Embossing Paste

Did you know you can also use your stencils to add embossed textures to cards? All you need are some inks in your favorite color, some embossing paste, stencils, and cardstock, and you’re good to go!

Embossing paste is a thick, white paste that you can apply to a surface through a stencil to create raised, textured designs. If you want to learn how to use your stencils to make embossed designs, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a stencil you would like to use and secure it onto your cardstock with low-tack tape. This will help keep the stencil in place while you apply the embossing paste.
  2. Using a palette knife or spatula, scoop up some embossing paste and spread it over the stencil. Make sure to apply the paste evenly and cover the entire design area. PRO TIP: You can color your embossing paste with a few drops of ink!
  3. Then, gently lift the stencil off the surface to reveal the embossed design. Be careful not to smudge the design while lifting the stencil.
  4. Afterward, let the embossing paste dry completely. This may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. You can use a heat gun to speed up the drying process. 
  5. Once the paste is dry, you can add color or other embellishments to your design using paint, markers, or other mediums.

Remember always to clean your stencils after use! Clean any leftover embossing paste and stencil by wiping it with a paper towel. 

Trace Fun Outlines of Images 

Have you ever traced fun patterns on paper when you were a kid? With stencils, you can do that again and make beautiful designs easily using a marker or a pencil! Using your favorite stencil designs, you can make even and consistent drawings easily, such as flowers, stars, patterns, mandalas, and more! 

Get Two Unique Images by Flipping

Another way to stretch the use of your stencils is to flip them and relayer them on top of the first image you did. This way, you can make unique patterns! You can play around with positioning and angles to create different looks. 

Create Colorful Backgrounds and Doodles 

You can also use stencils to make easy, colorful backgrounds! Whether you use watercolors, inks, markers, ink sprays, or other mediums, you can create bright blobs of color with stencils. These blobs can serve as your backgrounds, focal points, or even accents to your cards! 

Add Subtle Dimension Through Embossing

Have you ever tried using your stencils as a faux embossing folder? They can result in subtle embossing for when you want a more minimalist design! Just simply use them as you would a regular embossing folder, make a sandwich, and run it through your die cutting and embossing machine. 

Have Fun Using Stencils With These Crafty Tips and Tricks!

So there you have it! Have we convinced you to start using stencils for your cardmaking projects? From creating stunning patterns to adding colors to your images, stencils are a multi-purpose tool you can use for many attractive designs. If you want to learn more cardmaking ideas, find more inspiration in our other articles on washi tape, watercolors, and die-cuts

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