Turn any printed lettering into a stencil using wax paper and painters tape. Just layer the wax paper under the painters tape, cut out the lettering, and then peel back the wax paper to create a sticky stencil. Scroll down to see the step-by-step instructions and watch the video.
Difficulty: Easy. Print out the lettering, and then layer it with painters tape and wax paper to create a sticky stencil.
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Craft knife and cutting mat
Painters Tape (In this tutorial I used painter’s tape for “delicate surfaces”. In hindsight, I’d recommend using regular painter’s tape.)
Clear coat (regular or spray)
Paint (regular or spray)
1. Cut Out the Lettering
Using scissors, loosely cut out the printed lettering, leaving a border around the edges.
2. Place the Wax Paper and Tabs
Place a piece of wax paper below the lettering. Place tabs over a portion of the lettering at each end. This will act as a pull-tab for separating the wax paper from the tape once the stencil is complete.
3. Layer the Painters Tape
Remove the lettering and place a piece of painters tape across tabs and along the bottom edge of the wax paper. As I noted in the materials list, I used delicate painters tape for the tutorial, but in hindsight, would recommend regular painters tape.
4. Layer of Painters Tape
Overlap parallel strips of painters tape until the entire piece of wax paper is covered.
5. Position the Lettering
Place the lettering in the center of the painters tape. Position another piece of tape across the bottom of the lettering to hold it in place. Continue placing strips of painters tape across the lettering until it is completely covered.
6. Cut the Interior Parts
Working on the cutting mat, use a craft knife to cut through all the layers of the interior parts of the lettering.
7. Remove the Interior Parts
Using the tip of the craft knife, lift and remove the interior parts cut in Step 6.
8. Cut Out the Lettering
Using the craft knife or scissors, cut along the edges of the remainder of the lettering.
9. Separate the Layers
Once the lettering is completely cut out, the top layer (tape and paper) should separate from the bottom layer (tape and wax paper). The bottom layer is now a stencil with a removable wax paper backing, like a sticker.
10. Peel Back the Wax Paper
Flip the stencil over. Starting at the paper tab, separate the wax paper from the tape. Remove the tab as well.
11. Place the Stencil
To accurately space the lettering, cut a second printout of the lettering in half lengthwise. Position half of the printout in place. Carefully align the bottom half of the stencil with the printout. Remove the printout, and then smooth the lettering upward.
12. Paint Around the Stencil
Using spray paint or a stenciling sponge, coat the entire surface with a clear coat to seal the edges of the stencil. Allow the clear coat to dry. Coat the surface with the desired paint color. Typically I’d say to remove the stencil while the paint is still tacky, but, because of the clear coat, I have better allowing it to dry before removing. If you decide to let the paint dry first, just be sure to run along the edges of the painters tape with the craft knife to prevent the tape from pulling when the stencil comes up. Finish by protecting the entire surface with a clear coat.
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