DIY Silhouettes and Stencils from Photos

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By Guest Blogger Bernadette from Gardening&Crafting with Bernadette

With advice, tutorials, and inspiration, Gardening&Crafting with Bernadette is a great source for anyone interested in crafting with nature and outdoor tips.


How to make a Silhouette Stencil from

Who doesn’t love delicate and elegant, even fun and funky silhouettes? I love to use them in my scrapbooking and as digital art on my website and blog; as well use them to make stencils for my many craft projects. I found a quick and easy way to make my own silhouettes using photos I took myself. I’ll show you step by step on exactly how I did it.

Mail Call– Stenciled Bag

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By Guest Blogger Cara

Stenciled Mail Bag at

Every time I leave the office to get the mail, I wish I had a bag. we usually have a pile of outgoing letters and even more incoming. The P.O. box is usually stuffed with catalogs and magazines, and I tend to drop ten things before I get back to my car, and I usually misplace the box key. I’ve been known to take it home for a long weekend every once in a while, wash it in my jeans, etc… well, no more! Behold, the mail bag.

I made it with a super easy stenciling method.

You’ll Need:

Read the Full Craft Tutorial After the Jump…

Ask the Expert: Stencils, Stamps, Die Cut Machines & More

Cardmaking, Crafts, Paper Crafts, Rubber Stamping, Scrapbooking 1 Comment

By Cardmaking & Scrapbook Layout Contributor, Peg from the blog Peg’s Crafting Corner.

Q1. How can I use stencils and templates on my pages?


A1. There are many ways to use these on a layout. They can be laid on the paper so the design can be traced with a marker. When used with an ink pad the image is transferred onto the paper by pressing the ink into the crevices. By using a light box the image can be embossed onto the page with an embossing tool to create a raised impression.

Q2. What’s the difference in die cut machines?


A2. There are only a few major differences in machines and which one you purchase greatly depends on what you want to do with it. Some of them are electronic and require the use of cartridges (carts) Others are used with electronic design cards ( sd cards) or can be hooked up to a computer to obtain additional images and others are manually operated through the use of a hand crank. These require the use of dies to cut the image. These machines will also emboss the item you have cut out. Many of them will cut various items such as paper, chipboard and even fabric.

Q3. My ink smears when I color my stamped image. Do I have the wrong markers or pencils?

A3. Once your ink has become permanent what you use to color the image can be anything of your choice. The most important key to good stamping and coloring is to choose the right ink. Dye inks are good as they dry quickly. Stazon Inks are good to use because they work on pretty much every surface.

Q4. What are the sizes for layouts?


A4. While it is a matter of preference, the basic layout sizes include 8 x 8″ and 12 x 12″. Some choose to do an 8 ½” x 11″ layout. There aren’t any “right choices” in what size you decide to do, but it helps in choosing to keep in mind the amount of time you want to spend on the layout (remember the bigger the layout the more it will need on it and the more time you will spend). If you have done a lot of one size, create a different one for a change. You may not like part of the paper design so cut it off! This will create a smaller paper for you to use and get rid of what it is you don’t like. That’s ok! Remember it’s all up to you.

Q5. There are so many tools out how do I decide what to buy?


A5. For me, I have a rule of thumb when I’m looking to buy something…I must be able to come up with 2 ideas for using it first. It doesn’t mean I won’t purchase it; it just means that I have to have those ideas first. If I can’t come up with those ideas I look online to see how others are using the tool.

Stencil Basics

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By Kid’s Craft Contributor, Gillian from the blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

My children, who happily share a room despite being different ages and sexes, also share a useless closet that has, up to now, just been filled with junk. It’s not really tall enough for a true closet, it wraps around in a snail shell shape which makes storage difficult, and it has no light, so it’s pretty dark in there. The only thing that it’s been really handy for is a fort. And periodically they will pull out all the stuff that they have shoved in there when they are supposed to be cleaning their rooms and set up house inside. So we’ve decided to make it official, it is no longer the closet, it’s the fort. And being the children of two parents who are constantly renovating their house, they wanted some improvements. Beginning with the walls. Together they decided it needed to be a cottage, like something out of a story book. After some discussion (“No, I’m not going to wallpaper in there!”) We settled on stenciling. They chose the pattern and colors, I did the work (typical!). I remember stenciling with my mom years ago but hadn’t tackled a true stenciling project since, so if you are like me and needed some tips, here are the basics to stenciling!

You’ll need:

Stencils – there are so many to choose from these days!

Stencil Paint - *Note – craft paint won’t work here, trust me, I found that out the hard way!

Stencil brush or sponge

Masking tape


1. Start by marking out your space. For this wall, we wanted to leave an opening in the stencil for a “window” that will be painted on next (with cows out in the grass and curtains it seems). Get a rough idea of how many repeats you’ll need both up and down and side to side so that your pattern is even.

2. Once you know where your pattern is going and what your spacing will be, tape your stencil in place at your starting point . For my spacing, it worked best to start in the center.

3. Tape off the parts of the stencil you are not painting in the first layer. Yes, you can try to avoid them with your brush, but taping off the unused parts makes life easier and the process faster.

4. Dab the end of your brush into the stencil paint. It’s very thick and slightly waxy, almost like lipstick, so you don’t need a lot. Blot as needed on a paper towel.

5. Apply the paint in a swirling motion onto the stencil, turning the brush in small circles to apply the paint evenly.

6. Work the entire surface in one color and then allow the paint to dry overnight before proceeding to the next color, being sure to remove any tape and clean your stencils between layers.

7. Remember that you don’t have to use all parts to the stencils, and you can combine different stencils to make a more complex pattern. Try a few ideas out on paper (or your wall if you’re really bold – or have leftover wall paint) and have fun!

Stenciled Tea Towels

Crafts, Home Decor 1 Comment

By Kid’s Craft Contributor, Gillian from the blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

Someday I will have the time and patience to embroider some cute flour sacking tea towels for my kitchen. I love the way they look and that you can vary them for the season, but alas, bad eyes and impatience has kept me away from most embroidery projects. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t have some fun tea towels this fall. A little freezer paper and paint and voila, cute, acorn towels to hang off my stove or drape over rising bread for those chilly fall evenings.

Here’s what you need!

Acorn Stencil
Freezer Paper
Fabric Paint
Foam Brushes
Flour sacking tea towels
Craft knife

1. Cut a piece of freezer paper to 8 1/2″ x 11″ and print the template directly onto the paper (plastic side down).

2. Cut out the stencil carefully with your craft knife.

3. Iron on the stencil, centered near the bottom of your tea towel.

4. Sponge on yoru fabric paint, making sure you get paint all the way to the edges. Allow the paint to dry.

5. Peel off the stencil and heat set the paint with your iron.

Ask the Experts: Winter Crafting

Crafts, Paper Crafts 1 Comment

By Card Making & Scrapbooking Contributor

Peg Rounds

From Peg’s Crafting Corner

Decoart Americana Cool White

Q: How can I create a snow effect?

A:  Place white paint onto a paint brush and lighting run your finger across it allowing the paint to splatter onto the surface.

Buttons Galore Plantation

Q:How do I adhere buttons to my project?

A:  There are quite a few choices that create a strong hold so the buttons don’t fall off.  Some of the choices are Glossy Accents, Aleene’s Tacky Glue or Tombow Mono Glue and for a dry adhesive Glue Dots work well.

DieCuts Pearl Stickers

Q: How can I easily pick up and place small gems?

A:   The Uchida Jewel Picker has a small end which allows you to grab those small pieces and move them onto your project.

Martha Stewart Embossing Stylus

Q:What are styluses used for?

A:  They can be used for a variety of projects.  They are handy tools for embossing with stencils, making small dots on paper by dipping into paint or ink, shaping flowers made from paper and even making eyes or dots  in clay pieces.

Lawn Fawn Weather Die Cuts

Q: What is making the creases on my die cuts?

A:  Creases and wrinkles in your die cut pieces often come from the cuts that are in your plates from using dies.  If you notice that they are really bad the best option is to replace the cutting plates.  Make sure they are the correct ones to go with your machine.


2014 Handmade Holidays Drawing!

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I’ve been so inspired to get crafting for the holidays after looking through this year’s Handmade Holidays entries. By the end of the month, my home will be a winter wonderland full of crafts inspired by you. After spending way too long oohing and aahing over all of your wonderful projects, I hunkered down and got to work selecting our winner. Congratulations to this year’s randomly selected winner… Brandy W. from Zanesville, OH!

Brandy W - Winner

“For this wall hanging I took a plain white canvas and painted it green and after it was dry I used a Tim Holtz layering stencil for the background. Next, I used Distress Inks on a piece of manila file folder and then embossed it using the Tim Holtz Christmas embossing folder. I then used the following Tim Holtz dies: Window, mini cardinal, garland, crescent moon and stars, stacked boxes. I cut the Christmas tree out with my Cricut.”

Here are some more wonderful entries, and because this blog post would otherwise be way too long, you can see even more on our Facebook.

Read the rest…

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