It is a little known fact that I actually bought my CAMEO for the sole purpose of creating custom stencils…but when I realized how powerful of a tool it could be, I quickly started using it for many other types of projects. Imagine my joy when this new sturdy, adhesive, reusable product showed up in my mailbox.
I opted for a relatively simple design to decorate my mason jar and trivet, but I still wanted to provide a mini tutorial using some common tools in the Studio software for any new Silhouette users out there. So to begin, I opened my shape in the software and resized it to fit on both my jar and my trivet using the Scale Tool. I changed the width of my shape and clicked the box for “Lock Aspect Ratio” before clicking “Apply” to ensure that my shape was scaled down appropriately with no distortion.
Next, I typed my last name initial using the Text Tool and this font. To center the initial perfectly within my wreath shape, I selected both my shape and letter and clicked “Center” in the Align Tool window.
In order to make my design into a reusable stencil (versus a mask), I needed to then add a larger outline shape to my design. I simply created a square using the drawing tools and centered my whole design within this square as explained above.
My stencil is ready to be cut, but if you happen to have an initial with an enclosed part (like an “R” has) you’ll need to perform one more step in order to create a one-piece stencil. There are several ways to connect these spaces to the rest of the stencil – if you have a steady hand, you can use the Eraser Tool or if you are comfortable with point-editing, you can use the Knife Tool. However, I find it quickest and easiest to create these “bridges” by just drawing a tiny rectangle, positioning it over my letter, and clicking the “Subtract” button in the Modify Tool window.
Once my stencil was cut (using the Cut Settings found in the latest Studio software update), I transferred it to a scrap of release paper that I had saved it from a previous vinyl project while I prepared my objects for stenciling. I also saved the cut shapes and letter to use as a mask on future projects. I started by applying several light coats of flat white spray paint to a smooth-sided mason jar and a ceramic trivet. Once dry, I pressed my stencil onto the trivet and began sponging several different colors of mixed media pigment ink over my stencil using a cosmetic sponge. You can use a variety of media with the stencil material, but I chose pigment ink for a soft, shaded look. Once my trivet was done, I simple pulled my stencil up, cleaned off the ink with a baby wipe, and pressed it right onto my jar. Adhesive stencil material is particularly useful for stenciling round objects and this material left no marks on my first project and stuck very well to the second project. Here are a few photos to show how I obtained that shaded look with my inks (I used three shades of red and two shades of green):
If you use pigment inks like I did, you may need to heat-set the ink on glass objects like the mason jar. The ceramic trivet dried pretty quickly for me without any help. You may also want to spray a coat or two of clear coat finish on your stenciled items before using.
What are you planning to make with the new stencil material?