Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stenciling Tips and Tricks

I received a Hero Arts stencil from a prize on their flickr group (from Cindy, hi, Cindy!) and tried it out today. Here's what I learned just in case you're thinking of trying a stencil in your crafting.

The stencil I used is a number stencil and is plastic. I tried using Distress Stains at first, because I thought the application would be easy. It was...too easy. It leaked and smeared and looked like this.

I tried Distress Inks and pounced. This is my work in progress--remember to tape down your stencil to keep it from moving. I used washi.

This shows the pounced ink on the left and pounced acrylic paint on the right. Not bad, but still a bit smeary where I didn't pounce up and down and swiped instead with the finger dauber.

I had to try Stickles, as they are my favorite thing in the world...y'know besides the kids and husband. I used a lot of Stickles and just smeared it in with a finger. It's spotty coverage and you use a lot, but it's a cool effect.

The best effect was using the gel medium with acrylic paint imo. I used an old gift card to spread the gel medium first and then spread some paint on top. It's thick but not gloppy and came out a crisp image.

I tried just gel medium on the left, spray ink at the top and glitter paint on the right. You can see that my stencil was still a bit blue because the gold paint has some blue tinge to it.

I liked using the gel medium with paint and then stain too. The stain colored the paint a different blue but was thick enough with the gel and acrylic paint not to seep through the edges.

Last caveat: Don't touch the gel to see if it's dry yet. It's thick and takes awhile to set. Mine took a half-hour or more. See the dent in the 9 where I checked too early? :)

So try fooling around with the stencil and different media. If you want crisp and lovely, try the gel medium with acrylic paint as a second layer (while the gel is wet and the stencil is still taped down.) But, be prepared to spend a bit of time while you play around. I thought it'd go fast, but I kept wanting to try different things with it while it was still out. I tried some different papers too. I didn't see much difference, except that the thin paper buckles with too much media.

Oh, and clean the stencil periodically through the process. If you use Stickles, remember that's a glue. You can wash it in a regular sink and dry with a paper towel. Pat and don't rub the stencil, so you don't bend the pieces. 

Have fun! Hope this helps!