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How to Create Your Own Stencil Template From Die-Cuts

Hello there! Thank you for joining me today to talk about how to create your own stencil from die-cuts. This technique can be used with every single die-cut you have on board.

I live in a 907 sf cottage and am a total minimalist. Shopping your stash to create your vision can seem overwhelming but, it’s really not.

I have used an atlas die-cut to create and customize an ice cream bowl that you can see HERE. Did that just pop into my mind to do that? Absolutely not. Papercrafting is a process and sometimes you have to take a break from a project to refresh and renew to come back with a clear mind OR you just go savage with no boundaries; both of which are completely normal.

We all have our preferred companies that we shop from and/or equal opportunity crafters. I’m more of a company person, but am able to step back and think with new releases to see how it’s going to work for my personal style. In other words, you do not need everything. I am fussy about clutter but, more fussy about not wanting to spend money when I always have what I need to personalize any project, and if I don’t have it, I go back to the stash and rethink.

I’m a huge fan of stencils because of their endless creative opportunities and you can make your own with your die-cuts from thick plastic or acetate sheets. You can even use card stock depending on how you’re going to ink up your stencils. The key is to be able to easy reuse and wipe off if you’re using multiple colors. If you’re using various shades of one color family, thick card stock will work as a stencil. 

I’m going to talk you through what I’ve done below and hope that you have new inspiration from this easy customized stencil technique.

Keep in mind the wreath templates we all know and love; and now you can make them yourself. I went basic today but, you know what I mean.


The majority of market stencils are 6 x 6 and that’s how I cut my acetate sheet. 

I pulled a balloon die-cut from my stash and cut it from the center of the acetate sheet. Acetate is also commonly referred to as Window Sheets. I ran the acetate and die-cut through a die-cutting machine. 

With this size template, it’s easy to move around on your card stock and easily rinsible using multiple rainbow colors, like I have today. 

Before you start to stencil, you want to secure your paper down with low-tack tape, place your stencil over the desired place where you want to add ink, and tape the stencil down over that. You want to make sure that you also have tape where the stencil and card stock meet so nothing wiggles around as you are inking up stenciled image. I used blending brushes for our balloons today. 

I started out with a mini blending brush to ink in a berry color round the parameters of the balloon. 

With ink blending, it’s all in the wrist applying pressure to get the result that you want. I always tap the blending brush off a few times after I load it with ink as a bit of an experiment before I take it to my card stock. 

I wanted and was after an ombre transition with the balloons.

This is how my first balloon turned out and you can see the ink to the right on our DIY acetate stencil. 

This is how I tape down my stencil to the card stock. Acetate is fantastic because you can have perfect placement. 

I added orange for this balloon and then moved on to complete my image panel. 

Move your stencil around to finish up your images. When I’m changing colors rinsing my stencil, it’s a trip to the sink to rinse, dry, and reuse … depending on the type of the ink that you use. I used water-based ink for today’s project. 

I added red, lime, and cabana colored inks to complete the image panel.

For final assembly, I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment in black ink and then used a black marker to draw the balloon strings and accent. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s technique and please let us know if you have any questions.