Much of this information was previously published on my street team blog, or my main blog, but I have gathered it all into one place to encourage you to make your own stencils or masks, or both! The July/August (2012) issue of Somerset Studio will have an article about stencils, see my column Make It Your Own.
Most recently I have been enjoying using Tyvek to cut stencils with a dual purpose. The material is easy to handle and is so thin it works very nicely with acrylic paint. It also retains the paint better than an acetate stencil which suits my purpose of employing the stencils to make marks, then incorporate the actual piece as a collage element. The layers of paint are so random and handsome - I have to use it! I can always cut another stencil.
Previously published material from GPP Street Team site.
So we spoke about tyvek and acetate, but you don't have to have all the specific supplies to make either a stencil or a mask. Make one out of plain paper, using a scissors. As I mention in the very first photo at the top, it is a cool trick to make and use a tool, then put it right on your page. See Crusade No. 36 ~ Braving the Elements (January 2010) where I explain a quick way to do this, then while you're there, scroll down and follow the links to see what the participants came up with.
I have purposely not covered "people" or "portrait" stencils because I don't do it alot. It's not the best route to go if you are new to stencil cutting. There are some great tutorials online for how to turn a photograph into a stencil. Refer to Google. Because faces are so detailed and you don't want to lose an eye (so to speak) try cutting from repositionable contact paper. It's a clear film with semi-sticky backing that will cut easily and stay in place, especially if you are spray painting. Here's a rare one I tried...
To be successful the main thing you have to wrap your head around (with more complicated images) is to watch for islands and alter a design with appropriately placed connectors. If you've been hanging around here a while you know I tend to use my stencils with spray paint. You can see some of my sprayed work with stencils and masks in my sidebar album "sprayed" HERE.
Now go try it!!
*NEW* In case you are interested, I have a line of stencils, stencil/mask sets, and coordinating stamps now available at GreenPepperPress.com