Your artwork is one-of-a-kind, and that makes it priceless. Each of your creations represents a part of your own vision and an expression of your artistic self, and this is something to be celebrated! With this in mind, we’re here to show you how you can use one of our favorite stencil packs in your own artwork pieces, and how these seemingly static tools can be utilized for superb customization as you put your creative identity on the page! The stencils used in our showcased art today are from Stencil Pack 1, available in our 2022–2023 Core Products Catalog. Each of these stencils is used to great effect with an array of Distress Oxide™ ink pads, which can be applied in a variety of ways to beautify your artwork!
For those of you who may not be familiar with our stencils, let’s take a moment to go over some of the basics of what makes them great! To accommodate a wide variety of crafting interests, we create stencils in a variety of sizes, ranging from sizes to fit a standard card all the way up to 12” x 12” scrapbooking stencils! We manufacture all our stencils out of clear acetate material to ensure maximum visibility and control as you use them to apply colors and patterns to your artwork. With no guesswork involved, our transparent stencils are precise and easy to use, too! Stencils can be used not only to apply patterns, colors, or words over a large area, but they can be used to create smaller borders as well, which is a standout feature of our showcase artwork today.
We love to see all the amazing ways stencils can be used, and we’re excited to share a few of the incredible things stencils can do! One very specific detail we’ll be focused on today is how to layer stencils to achieve unbelievable effects! Let’s jump in and check it out!
Our first piece is a single 12” x 12” scrapbook page with a woodsy, exploration theme. One very unique aspect of this page is that all the details added to the background, borders, accents, and photo mats were done using stencils and Distress Oxide™ and Exclusive Inks™ ink pads. This page doesn’t use any stamps, stickers, and with the exception of one small tab at the top left corner of the page, there are no die-cuts, either! Each detail is unique and can easily be achieved with just a few applications of color through a couple of layered stencils.
To start off, we’ll take a look at the simpler elements of this “Explore” page. At either side, you’ll see a row of bold stacked arrows forming strong borders on either side. These borders help to frame the page and create a great foundation to build the page on. Moving in, we see that two photos form a major focal point of the page. One thing that really helps these photos stand out prominently from the background is the detailing on the photo mats behind the pictures.
These photos are mounted on Mink cardstock, and a wood grain pattern has been applied using one of the single layer stencils in Stencil Pack 1. This detail is subtle enough to not overwhelm the photos, but it still catches the eye and draws attention to the pictures. Just below the photos is a small section of stars applied using Salvaged Patina and Speckled Egg Distress Oxide™ ink pads. We love how this small and simple inclusion has helped to further offset our photos and round out this page.
In addition to these more simple elements, our “Explore” page plays host to a variety of more involved stenciling techniques; the first one we’ll pick apart is the line of aspen trees behind our main title (more on the title in just a minute!).
To create this incredibly lifelike background element, we applied our base layer of color with a Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad and our selection of Blending Brushes. Once this layer has dried, we’ve taken our secondary layering stencil and applied additional detailing with Charcoal ink. With this element, the transparent quality of our stencils comes in clutch, as the ability to see where the base layer is in relation to our secondary detailing layer allows for more precise alignment and a more polished end result!
Just in front of our treeline, we’ve got a gorgeous color-tiered “Explore” title, which is another primary focal point of the page! To create this title, we used a total of four layering stencils and ink pads to create this awesome effect! To start off, we applied the treeline you see along the bottom of the title, then layered in the rest of the title, using first the full letter stencil, then the half letter one, and finally the quarter letter stencil. Each layer was applied using a slightly darker color of ink to achieve the ultimate tiered look! To avoid smudging your artwork in progress, make sure to wait until each individual color layer has fully dried before applying your next layer.
The final standout feature we want to zero in on from the “Explore” page is the sunrise accent positioned along the right edge of the page. This piece was created using a single stencil, but rather than layering stenciled images, we’ve layered our colors using the masking technique. For this particular example, we used our 1” Masking Tape to block of ½” sections of color to prevent ink colors from bleeding into each other. Using this technique allows for a striped effect and a standout accent to finish this scrapbook page off! By combining so many beautiful stenciled elements, our “Explore” page is a great example of how a simple tool can be used to stunning effect!
Our second piece to review today is another travel-themed two-page layout, though this one is for more urban adventures!
Like our previous page, the photo mats on these pages have been detailed with stencil work, this time with a city-grid map pattern.
These photo mats were initially cut from Shortbread cardstock, with the pink coloration added by sponging Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ ink across the cardstock through the stencil. This stencil allows for a great deal of color to be applied through it, leaving thin lines of the original color to peek through. Once again, this unique appearance is a wonderful way to help draw attention to the photos without overpowering them.
As with our “Explore” page discussed above, this layout also incorporates a layered stencil border at the bottom edge of the pages, this time adding a city skyline to the page! To create this effect, we applied a light layer of Sapphire ink, and then used the two layers of the cityscape stencil with a combination of Pewter and Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads. With this combination, we are left with a well-defined, dimensional skyline border to tie the pages together.
In the spaces above and around the photos, we applied a handful of stenciled stars and bursts, along with a few dots of Silver Liquid Pearls™ to break up the open space. (While the Liquid Pearls were not applied with the stencils, they still add a cool dimensional effect to the page!)
The final stand-out features of this layout are the suitcase accent, the ”Live, Love, Travel” title, and the 3-D continent feature, all of which were created using various stencils.
For our well-traveled suitcase, we applied a base layer of color with our grid stencil, then added our tags and corner-pin accents with other layered pieces of our stencil set. Once we finished applying our color and accents, we carefully trimmed the suitcase from the larger White Daisy cardstock piece to create an accent we could add wherever it suited us! The presence of this piece is a great way to reinforce the theme of the layout and provides a playful touch to these pages.
For our 3-D continent feature, we selected the corresponding stencil and placed it over our base page, attaching it temporarily with washi tape to keep it in place. Once we secured our stencil, we turned to an old friend, Opaque Matte Texture Paste.
To apply the paste to our base page, we picked up small amounts with a palette knife and applied it to the base page, through the continents section of our stencil, which leaves us with a section of raised continents. We left the stencil in place until the paste had dried, after which we revisited it to add color over the top with a Shortbread ink pad and a sponge. This technique allows you to easily build and vary the color throughout for an even more unique experience!
The “Live, Love, Travel” title was created with a combination of texture paste and cardstock, with the addition of black ink sponged over the texture paste, and Shortbread ink applied to the cardstock lettering. Just like the continent feature, we applied our texture paste lettering through our selected title stencil, allowed it to dry, and then applied color with a Black Soot Distress Oxide™ ink pad to help it stand out. For additional flair, we then used our stencil and a pencil to lightly trace “TRAVEL” onto a piece of White Daisy cardstock, cut out the letters, and sponged Shortbread ink over them for a light color. (You could also trim the letters out of Shortbread cardstock for a similar effect.)
Once we had finished preparations for our cardstock letters, we placed them over the texture paste letters, placing them just off-center to give them a drop shadow effect. With all of these effects combined, the “Live, Love, Travel” layout becomes an unforgettable addition to this art piece!
Hungry for even more artwork examples featuring stencils? Check out another stencil technique on page 87 of our Core Products Catalog, with this vibrant 2-page “Love You” layout:
The bulk of this layout was detailed using a floral stencil option from Stencil Pack 2. By sponging and blending color from multiple Distress Oxide™ ink pads, we achieved a delicate ombre effect across both pages. Thanks to this ornate background, we were able to keep the remainder of this layout fairly simple, with just a few other pieces of layered cardstock and a handful of acrylic shapes, die-cuts, and clear sparkles making up the rest of this layout’s design. With the stenciled section covering such a large area, the “Love You” layout is another beautiful and unique example of what stenciling can do.
Whether you layer them, apply them to large areas, or use them to create small accents, stencils are a truly sensational way to add out-of-this-world detail to your artwork. We’re always excited to see all the amazing things crafters do with our stencils! Which stencil detail from today’s post was your favorite? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it!
12″ x 12″ Explore Page
X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, X5946 Linen Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2832 Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3834 Chipped Sapphire Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3833 Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z4598 Salvaged Patina Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z8014 Speckled Egg Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3726 Tags & Tabs Thin Cuts, Z4575 Black LePen™, Z4673 Journaling Strip Stickers, Z6091 Stencil Pack 1, Z4572 Blending Brushes, Z534 Micro-tip Scissors, Z4606 1″ Masking Tape, Z3372 Adhesive Runner, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine
12″ x 12″ Live, Love, Travel Layout
B1813 My Acrylix® Shooting Stars Stamp Set, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X6062 Harbour Cardstock, X6063 Papaya Cardstock, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6531 Mocha Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6537 Periwinkle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2832 Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6530 Shortbread Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3825 Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3838 Black Soot Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z8018 Silver Pearl Liquid Pearls™, Z4245 Opaque Matte Texture Paste, Z4575 Black LePen™, Z4578 Metallic Gel Pens, Z6091 Stencil Pack 1, Z4520 Palette Knives, Z4572 Blending Brushes, Z534 Micro-tip Scissors, Z3372 Adhesive Runner, Z3440 Dual-tip Permanent Glue Pen
12″ x 12″ Love You Layout
X6036 Ballerina Cardstock, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6038 Candy Apple Cardstock, X6063 Papaya Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3825 Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3826 Candied Apple Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z4599 Kitsch Flamingo Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z6035 White Acrylic Flowers, Z6042 Black Die-cut Hearts, Z4572 Blending Brushes, Z6092 Stencil Pack 2, Z341 Glue Dots® Micro Dots