Stencil is defined as a thin sheet of material like paper with a design cut from it. It can produce a design on the underlying surface by applying a pigment through the cut-out holes from the paper. This is advantageous for you wouldn’t need to do the same design again. You merely have to transfer the stencil to a different area in order to repeat the design. The result of this kind of art is also called stencil. A stencil is composed of two parts, the island and the bridges. Islands are sections of the material that are inside cut-out holes while bridges are narrow sections that are not cut out.

In visual art, stencil technique is also known as pochoir. This kind of art started in cave paintings by blowing a pigment through a hollow bone around their hands. Today, stencil is widely used in various manners. In this post, we will show you how stencil can be used in designing.

1. Make an artwork on a canvass.

Make an artwork on a canvass
Image: wildstyle-artist

Create your own masterpiece using stencils. You could make your own name as a stencil artist not just by a t-shirt, a business card, furniture or a wall. You can still show your skills through a mere white canvass. Bring the emptiness to life by putting that magical touch of colors, paints and stencils. For sure, you’ll not only enjoy doing the work but you will also be able to earn form it.

2. Make unique business cards.

Make unique business cards
Image: cynicdesign

Business cards for artists could certainly have a different feel when made with stencil or a stencil effect. It would be eye-catching and its uniqueness will make the recipient easily remember you as the owner of the card. Only few cards use this type of art for some think it is informal and not professional. But the truth is, no matter what you do and what you use, it can still look professional depending on how the artist apply it in designing the business card. Consider the example above. Note how professionalism is retained despite its usage.

3. Make personalized greeting cards.

Make personalized greeting cards
Image: shutterstock

With or without an occasion, you can give greeting cards to friends just say hi and let them know you care. You can create unique cards with it. If you use various ways of putting paint, it will turn out beautifully. Aside from using spray paints, you may try using a screen over the paper and brush paint on it. For sure, the result will be very pretty especially if you make use of various colors that complement each other.

4. Make a distinct packaging design.

Make a distinct packaging design
Image: linkinpark

Packaging is important to secure and protect the products inside it but the appearance also matters for it could attract the people to purchase the product. CD packaging is included in this. There are some artists’ albums that use stencils in their covers like Linkin’ Parks’ album.

5. Make artistic borders.

Make artistic borders
Image: designinspiration

Stencils can make amazingly artistic borders wherever you may want to use it. You may use it in your graphic designs but it could also be applicable to walls, book covers, posters and even your furniture. You just have to think of a good border design and work on it through stencils. Some bedrooms actually have them in their walls and it certainly adds beauty to the room. You can play with colors, swirls, lines and curves as you make your stencil. Don’t worry because stencils can be done in Photoshop, hence, you can always give a stencil effect to your outputs with borders.

6. Make patterns for gift wrappers.

Make patterns for gift wrappers
Image: artfire

Most gift wrappers use patterns. You can personalize one by using a stencil. Create one design and repeat it all over the paper or cloth that you will use in wrapping your gift. You can also make a stencil effect in Photoshop and print it directly from your printer.

7. Make kick ass T-shirt prints.

Make kick ass T-shirt prints
Image: craftzine

T-shirts look great with stencils. You can make one with Photoshop and print it on the shirt. Many T-shirt designers use this technique and had been successful in making a name in the said industry. This surely shows that the use of stencils can add a different touch to their favourite outfits.

8. Make informative posters.

Make informative posters
Image: kylevalenti

Posters relay vital information to the people and you can do that by using stencils. Images look well in stencil when done rightly. It isn’t actually simple to make stencils out of images because you have to see to it that the spaces are right and all the other details are right. If not, the image will not look good and it might even look distorted. In Photoshop, you can make a stencil from the Filter tool using Cut Out. There are also other ways to transform your photo into stencil aside from what is mentioned.

9. Make excellent book covers.

Make excellent book covers
Image: designwallah

Book covers are important for it bears the name of the book and the author. Also, it could tell what type of book it is. The design of the cover should jive with the book’s theme and should be able to deliver the right message at first glance. Some books use stencil in their cover designs like those for arts, painting, stencilling, graffiti and others.

10. Make a graffiti wall.

 Make a graffiti wall
Image: Best-graffiti

This is widely used by graffiti artists. Along with sprays, unique typography and others, they make use of stencils to show images. The artistic manner of doing this and the messages the images deliver is indeed amazing. Once you see these along the streets, you’ll could surely stop and think of the message of the graffiti. Some even have humorous themes while others are expressing emotions.

11. Recycle and create new things.

Recycle and create new things
Image: shutterstock

With stencils, you could seemingly give a new life to your old things like furniture, pottery and others. You can paint them or wrap them before putting a stencil design. Once you do that, you will give a totally new touch to it making it suitable as a gift, a display and even a treasure. Let your imagination work.

12. Make stencils for other uses.

Make stencils for other uses
Image: Synapsys

Other than those mentioned, you can actually use stencil for decorating your shoes, for making bookmarks, for tattooing, for signs and many others. Use your creativity for you can use stencil in anything.

We cannot deny the fact that stencil has indeed became a vital part of art and designing not just in the old times but even in the modern trend of design. There are many use to use them and you can even alter images in Photoshop to give a stencil effect. How about you? Have you tried doing a stencil design?

Kareen Liez

About the author: A Civil Engineer who has a construction business and a youth volunteer for a civic organization. She also contributes for a local newspaper due to her unwavering passion to write.


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