How to Crazy Easy Way to Make Your Own Reusable Stencils

by Aly Riot

DIY stencils for spray painting!


  • Laminating sheets ($5-$8)
  • Stencil cutter heat gun ($8-$10)
  • An Image in stencil form -next page has references
  • Spray adhesive ($4-$6)
  • Spray paint
  • Something to spray on
  • Ultra fine point sharpie (important!)
  • Metal cookie sheet at least 8"x11" in size
  • Optional: scrap poster board, blue painters tape
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    You can find these at most stores. If you go through a lot of them you can find bulk packs on eBay for crazy cheap.

    Step 2

    Where to buy: art shops, Walmart, amazon, eBay, etc...

    Step 3

    If you don't know how to convert your own image to stencil form check out for an easy way. OR,, are all awesome sites

    Step 4

    Find at any craft/art shop and places like target

    Step 5

    If you're just learning I'd just use the cheap as dirt no brand spray paint from like Walmart, otherwise get the good stuff! (Ironlak, Montana, etc... krylon can be pretty good too.

    Step 6

    Street art !

    Step 7

    Have at least two different colors.

    Step 8

    Canvas! Or ... cardboard, wood scraps, poster board, the street!- oh jk I so totally do not condone street art...

    Step 9

    This is for cutting your stencil. It is the best/easiest surface I discovered. Easily find one or something similar (just needs to be a metal flag surface) at a thrift store for cheap..

    Step 10

    First, find an area you can work that has an outlet that will allow your stencil cutter to reach the cookie sheet you will cut the stencils on- turn the cutter on so it heats up!

    Step 11

    Side note: usually stencil cutters come with a few extra screw on tip options (calligraphy, wide, thin, etc..) Using the thinnest, pointiest one works best in my experience, especially for detailing.

    Step 12

    Like so... (For me, my kitchen counter is the easiest since the outlets are level with the countertops)

    Step 13

    Okay, now take your image, which you should have printed out (use draft mode n save ink!), and place it underneath ONE laminating sheet or "1/2 a sheet"- (tear the sheets in half so you end up w/ 2)

    Step 14

    A laminating sheet fresh outta the package

    Step 15

    A laminating sheet "ripped" in half

    Step 16

    Chosen image underneath laminating sheet

    Step 17

    Now trace the stencil image onto the laminating sheet using your sharpie- if you mess up use the 2nd color sharpie to "re-do" that area so you know the right lines to cut.

    Step 18

    All black single layer stencils are easiest to trace/cut. If making a multilayer stencil, use ONE lam. sheet for each layer (grey area, black area, white area, etc..) and make sure to label each.

    Step 19

    Now put your finished traced image onto the cookie sheet and grab your stencil cutter and basically "cut" out the image. Go slow! Get a feel for how the cutter feels when you're cutting.

    Step 20

    When you're done cutting, carefully tear out the pieces of your image and examine closely to make sure you didn't miss a spot or if you need to touch up any areas.

    Step 21

    The pieces and the completely cut out stencil.

    Step 22

    Now choose what you are gonna spray the stencil on. Pick out your spray paint color. Go outside to spray! Using a moving box is very helpful- just place the stencil on chosen item in box and spray!

    Step 23

    Oh yeah... give a quick spray or two of the adhesive over area you place the stencil on BEFORE spraying.

    Step 24

    Optional: having scrap poster board and blue painters tape on hand can come in handy(if you are spraying multiple colors or don't want overspray) to block off areas you don't want paint on

    Step 25

    Now you're done! Hang up your new art piece and stare at it in admiration.

    Step 26

    Extra tip: if you plan on reusing your stencil, let it dry on a flat surface then use a cheap folder to store your stencils- I recommend placing them in-between sheets of wax paper!

    Step 27

    Punk and mum

    Step 28

    Screaming guy/patti smith

    Step 29

    Lil punk dude

    Step 30

    Triple skulled

    Step 31


    Step 32

    Thanks for checking out this guide!