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How to Cut a Stencil

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What You Need to Cut Your Own Stencils
Step-by-step instructions on how to cut your own stencils.

Cutting a stencil requires a few art supplies and a little patience.

Image © Marion Boddy-Evans

Cutting your own stencils does require a little patience, but is easy and rewarding. With a few simple supplies, you'll soon be building your own stencil library.

You Will Need:

  • A craft knife (one where you can easily snap off the blade to get a new sharp one is ideal).
  • A cutting board or piece of card on which to cut the stencil.
  • A piece of acetate or stiff plastic, see-through is easiest.
  • A printout of the stencil design (you can enlarge or reduce this on a photocopier).
  • Some tape (ideally low-tack so your stencil doesn't get sticky).

Preparation for Cutting a Stencil
Use a few pieces of tape to secure the printout of the stencil design to the piece of acetate along the edges so that it doesn't slip when you start cutting the stencil. Position the design so there is a border of acetate at least an inch (2.5cm) around the whole design.

Now you're ready to start cutting the stencil...

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