Saturday, May 22, 2010

How to Make A Simple Stencil for Textile Art Embellishment

Here's a simple way to make your own small stencil design for painting, embroidery, or other embellishments. You can paint blue jeans, tee shirts and other art to wear, or use the stencil as a template for embroidery or applique designs.

I made a reverse applique, beaded and embroidered embellishment. It may become a wrist cuff or just an element in a grouping of lace patchwork on a garment. Make your own floral focal piece for a statement necklace, create a wrist cuff, or embellish a hand bag.

You'll Need

plastic deli container lid
sharpie or other permanent marker
scissors: preferably small sharp embroidery type scissors
razor or exacto knife for cutting plastic

scissor for cutting paper

Use a piece of notebook paper, fold in half four times as if making a snowflake paper cut out.
I just rounded the outside corners of the folded paper and cut a large hole in the center by cutting the folded point off in a curve.
For more inspiration and ideas see these instructions for making paper snowflakes

I ended up with a simple eight petal flower.

Put the paper flower under the plastic deli lid to use as a template for the stencil, and trace the flower on the lid with a sharpie or other permanent marker.

Cut the edges off the plastic lid to make it flat.

Now you can begin cutting the stencil.
I used a seam ripper to start the interior cut outs.
A seam ripper slides smoothly through the plastic but becomes a bit too jagged so I switched to a small sharp scissor to finish the cutting. A razor or exacto knife would be a lot easier and probably a lot less jagged.

I decided to refine the design because it was over simple. I used the paper template again and cut out a heart shape in the interior of the petals.

I traced the hearts on to the plastic

then cut them out as above using the seam ripper and small scissors.

Now you can test the stencil and play with the final design possibilities.

Here's one possibility
with no border and buttonhole stitch...

...and another possibility
with a border, button hole stitch, and running stitch.

Next I'll show how to use the stencil to make the reverse applique which can be used to embellish or create your own art to wear piece.

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