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Contact Paper Stencils

The Little Green Bean has found a terrific way to make stencils: cut them out of contact paper with a Cricut:

I made an amazing discovery today. Did you know that you can make your own stencils with your cricut using contact paper?? Why it took me this long to figure out, I have no idea, but at least now I know! Much cheaper than using the vinyl for the cricut or spraying your paper to make it sticky!

Now, for anyone who doesn’t know, the Cricut is a machine you can buy that will cut paper into shapes and letters. It doesn’t need a computer – you use their cartridges to do everything electronically. It’s a very neat device.

But if you don’t have one and don’t want to invest in one just yet, you could cut your stencils the old-fashioned way – with an X-Acto blade, knife or scissors. The Cricut gives you more exact results in less time, but to save money, you can certainly do something like this:

  • Print off the lettering you want on your computer, using a font size that’s the actual size you want on whatever you’re stenciling.
  • Cut the letters carefully out of the paper (jab scissors through the paper in the middle of a letter, then carefully cut up to the letter’s edge, then around). This leaves you with a piece of paper with the letters missing.
  • Stick that on top of your contact paper and trace the letters’ outlines with a pencil.
  • Carve them out of the contact paper – not too difficult, since contact paper’s easier to work with than traditional vinyl stenciling materials.
  • Now you have a stencil to paint through.