Stencil, or stencil plate is a sheet of waterproof material – most often plastic, but can also be paper, cardboard, rubber, metal, or wood – of which, certain patterns or designs are cut out from.

Once the sheet is laid flat on the surface of the item we wish to decorate, using acrylic paint, paint spray, or different pastes, to pain over. The colour or paste will pass through the perforations, leaving the desired patterns behind, after carefully removing the stencil plate.

As stencils can me made from a number of different materials, they also vary in their thickness. From simple thin, paper based stencils using paint, creating flat surfaces, to thicker stencils using thicker pastes, that will create 3D effect patterns that stick out from the surface.

Apart from the actual material, and thickness of the stencil plate itself, it is also possible to transfer the designs on a variety of different materials, such as, wood, paper, metal, wall, and even textile. Here is a great example and wonderful design on textile.

A great advantage of stencils, is that the plates can be reused on the same surface to extend on the repeating patterns, for example as a lace pattern would repeat itself. It can of course also be reused endlessly from time to time on different craft projects, as long as the plates are kept clean after every use, and the patterns remain intact.

The number of pre-cut stencil patterns and designs available is simply staggering. Thus, are proud to have an impressive variety available here at NapkinShop to browse from, for those who like to use this technique, or are fairly new to. However, with plenty of time and patience, and quite a bit of handicraft, it is also possible to create own designs. Using some sort of resilient & fairly transparent sheet, the desired design can be drawn over, and the accurately cut out with a sharp blade.

Here is a Youtube video, demonstrating the stencil technique, whilst up-cycling an old kitchen furniture. (Try adding on subtitles under the cog icon, in the bottom right-hand corner of the video)

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