How to Make a Stencil

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Updated on Mar 1, 2013

Stencils are the fastest way to create a repeated pattern. They can be used on most surfaces including walls, furniture, gift wrap and fabric. Create a design as simple or as intricate as you like and turn it into a stencil that you can use over and over again.

What You Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Card stock paper
  • Tempera or acrylic paint
  • Paint brush or sponge
  • Craft knife
  • Pencil

What You Do:

  1. Have your child draw out a design onto a piece of card stock paper.
  2. Encourage him to carefully cut out his design using a craft knife. You might need to monitor your child to make sure he is using the knife correctly.
  3. Have him place his stencil how he wants it on a sheet of construction paper.
  4. Gently sponge paint, or brush paint over the cut-out sections of the stencil. Make sure he covers all areas while keeping the stencil as still as possible.
  5. Slowly lift the stencil off of the construction paper.  Have him repeat this process until he's happy with his final work of art.

Helpful Hint:  Creating a design from nature is a great way to begin. This allows your child to physically choose something in his surroundings and draw directly from observation.

Helpful Tip:  Allow the stencil to dry completely, or dab off wet paint before changing colors.  Alternatively, if you want a "mixed-color" look, mix wet paint into wet paint as you stencil.