Tuesday, October 19, 2010


My tutorial. I don't buy posterboard or whatever to make these and i "borrow" spraypaint for them, so dont expect anything too fancy. If you've got money to blow go ahead and blow it.

Making Stencils - NT's Tutorial
1. Get cereal boxes (captain crunch son) for smaller stencils, and for larger ones scavenge for THIN cardboard (not the thick stuff boxes are made out of, the stuff thats only a bit thicker then cereal box thickness)
2. Get or "find" a good exacto blade. You want one that won't slip in your hand while cutting, and one where the blade doesn't just easily slip back into the handle.
3.Print out a stencil and use a glue stick to stick it to the cardboard. For a larger stencil, i just print out the image in multiple parts and piece it together.
4. Cut away the black part of the stencil. If its a simple stencil, see if you can leave the black part in one piece so that you can also paint a "negative" of the image if you feel like it.
You now have a stencil.

Now for some pretty important tips and tricks
1. Something important that i hope you already know is to not have any "islands". Islands are just random pieces of white that you have cut all around that are just "floating" in the middle of a whole. Thats bad. If you look at the stencils i just put up, you might notice that (with the exception of goodshowop's collar, but thats easy enough to fix) there are no islands.
2. BRIDGES. These are awesome and i use them constantly to ensure that my stencils (being made out of cheap cardboard) with hold together and maintain their form even when wet (with spray paint) Basically, i take a piece of rigid, thin wire (try the wire they use for electric fences; i found some of that and it works great) and tape it to both sides of a weak spot. For instance, imagine you have a "peninsula", a long white section with no supporting material that can't really hold itself up (example: the white line that creates the brim of goodshowop's hat). So you tape some wire in from the material on the left side and tape it to that peninsula and you are good to go. Honestly you can actually use this to hold "islands" in place, its just that stencils with islands are kind of a pain to create. 
3. Paper bag trick. Basically cut a hole in the bottom of a rigid paper bag and tape a stencil in there. Then set it down, and act like you're digging around in it or something and spray it. Great for doing a stencil in a busy street or on a sidewalk thats just never empty.
4. Gloves and a mask are cool. Latex gloves just cause paint can be hard to get off your hands and hard to explain. A mask is extremely important, and that cannot be stressed enough. If you can get a serious ventilator mask with replaceable air filters thats really good, but otherwise you can just get one of the cheap disposable filter masks from home depot or walmart. 
5. cant think of any more. feel free to add tips or yell at me for being stupid or forgetting something.

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