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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Stencil Savvy

Stencils are everywhere these days.  You can get a variety of patterns from abstract designs to intricate detailed images in stencils.  I love these easy tools as they are so versatile and can add easy flair to most inky projects....not to mention that they are very economical.


One of the easiest way to create some visual wow factor with a stencil and ink is to is to use them to create snazzy backgrounds with minimal effort.  For the most part, I use this simple technique with one-layer clean and simple cards.

To start, I stamp my focal image onto a white or neutral card base.

I will then mask off my image to create a frame.  You can do this with repositionable notes, either left whole or cut down to the shape of your focal image.  You can also make your own repositionable mask taking a piece of scrap paper and using a punch or die cut to achieve an interesting shape.   I've gone with a simple oval for this card.  Attach the scrap shape over your stamped design with repositionable adhesive such as repositionable Tombo.  When you create your own masks, you have an unlimited source of fabulous frames for your focal image.

Once my main image is masked off, I position my stencil over the card and attach it with repositionable adhesive to prevent slippage.  I then sponge color through the open areas of the stencils.  I actually use a pouncer but a cotton ball will do just as well.  You can use a single color or blend several colors.  Very easy!  For this card, I started with Tumbled Glass Distress ink and then added splashes of Broken China.  Finally, I added simple spots of Stormy Sky randomly through the stencil.  Most often if you use 3 close shades, the randomness of your shading will read as an aged look.

Stamps: Cheery Bear from Getting Grizzly and sentiment
from Christmas Cheer (Rogue Redhead Designs)
You can also use stencils to take the place of patterned paper in providing panels and shapes and edgings to cards to give them some fabulous one-layer pizzazz!

I like to create a strip or box of color with my stencils.  I start by masking off a section and then sponging the entire strip with a light color.  Once that was complete, I position my stencil over top, again using repositionable adhesive to keep it in place.  Then, I sponge through the stencil with one or more darker, complimentary colors.  You can also layer your stencil patterns in this way.

In this card, I've made a uniquely shaped block to offset my focal image.

Stamps: Rabbits and 3 snowflakes from Beatrix Potter's A Winter's Tale and
sentiment from Barkley - Festive Fun available from Rogue Redhead Designs

This same technique can be used to create a one-layer color block card.  I worked on each square separately.  The first box is the hardest to set up but after that you can use the edges of the inked boxes to assist you in properly placing your masks.  I used a bunch of repositionable notes for this project.

Stamp: Precious Pair from Christmas Cheer (Rogue Redhead Designs)

Don't have many stencils?  Your punches used inventively on a piece of waste cardstock can allow you to create some of your own stencil designs.  I like using some of my border punches for this effect.

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