How to Make a Sticker Stencil (without a Cricut)

how to cut a stencil without a cricut craft in style box

This DIY is Part 3 of the October 2019 Craft in Style Subscription Box. You can find Part 1: How to Make Monogram Glass Etched Pint Glasses here. Find Part 2: How to Make Art Stenciled Pint Glasses here. Part 4: Glass Etching Inspiration here.

Learning how to make a sticker stencil is a craft that will come in handy in so many different ways. Sticker stencils are perfect if you need the stencil to hold in place to the surface where you are working. They are perfect if you are stenciling a curved surface.

We used sticker stencils with materials like paint, gilding, and glass etching cream. You may need stencils when treating the outside of candle vessels, drinkware, or even touching up key details on a painting. It’s so versatile that you must perfect the art of making stencils!

Supplies to Make Your Own Sticker Stencil:

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Vinyl Sticker Paper
Pencil
Box Cutter
Cutting mat (or any safe surface to cut)

Optional: Scissors

You don’t need too many supplies, which is great! I recommend starting with a sticker paper that has a bit of color to it. For example, my sticker paper has a marbled pattern. The pattern will be easier to see, regardless of where you are working. For me, that makes a big difference.

sticker stencil drawing diy pop shop america

The Basics of a Stencil

1. A stencil is a silhouette. It 2 parts: negative space and positive space.
2. The negative space is what you remove from the sticker paper. The positive space is what’s left.
3. Any stencil you cut needs to have a strong, easy to understand graphic quality and a great relationship between negative space and positive space.
4. You also want your stencil to have clear crisp edges. The edges are what’s going to help people process and understand what the stencil image is.

How to Make a Stencil

Once you have your idea, use your pencil to sketch the image on the back side of the sticker paper (the front side is glossy and doesn’t take pencil or ink.) As far as what types of drawings to consider, geometric shapes are great because they are easy to cut. I’ve seen Yoshi Eggs, feathers, hearts, monogram letters, and other stencils too!

My best advice is to keep it minimal.

If you are drawing lettering or that has a right and left direction – flipping the stencil over will put the lettering in reverse. Here’s a great explanation of that concept.

unpeeling a finished diy sticker stencil pop shop america

Once your sketch is drawn, it’s time to cut! Place your stencil on a cutting mat or safe surface and use a box cutter. Any image that is a mirror – like a heart for example, fold the sticker paper in half and cut both sides at once. This will make both sides match each other.

Leave a large edge of sticker paper around the perimeter when you cut the stencil. You need a large border for when you apply your paint, gilding, or glass etching cream so that it doesn’t drip outside the stencil’s edges. Once your stencil is cut, viola! You have a finished sticker stencil.

finished sticker stencil diy pop shop america

How to Use Your Sticker Stencil

Keep your sticker stencil on the paper backing until you are ready to use it. In most cases, you will be able to use your stencil again and again so be sure to hold on to the paper backing!

When you are ready to apply it to a surface, start in the center. Before you stick the entire stencil, be sure it is lined up and angled just how you want it. Once it’s lined up, from the center lay the stencil down towards the edges smoothing out any air bubbles as you go.

make your own sticker stencil tutorial diy pop shop america

Here are some other cute stencils that were made in person at some Pop Shop America craft workshops! So cute right?! And these were all made by workshop attendees – not us!

If you love this DIY, don’t forget to grab the Craft in Style Subscription Box – October 2019 and make your own! Each month comes with unique craft supplies that are oh so much fun!

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