Learn the Basics of Stenciling

by Iris Rodriguez

Learn the Basics of Stenciling

Stencils are a great tool to use for creating images and effects on just about any creative project. You can decorate a  journal with them, create card backgrounds and textures, use in your paintings, or in home décor projects. Imagine’s inkpads, inks, sprays, and texture mediums can all be used with stencils. In addition, Imagine has you covered with applicators such as Sponge Daubers, Palette knives, and Stipple brushes. In this article, I’ll discuss some ways to organize, use with different products, proper care and cleaning your stencils.

Organizing Your Stencils

There many ways to organize your stencils. One excellent way is to search crafting, office and home goods stores for options on storage containers. Whichever you choose, it’s important to lay them flat. I think on of the best ways to keep them flat is to use dividers in storage bins or drawers. File folders can be found in office supply stores. Label your dividers by type, theme, or designer. Another way to store stencils in a three-ring binder book inside plastic page protectors. Place color cardstock paper so that you can see the stencil and maximize storage by storing two stencils on one sheet.

If you have an open crafting space then hang stencils with metal hook clips on a rack. I like the idea of hanging my stencils because I can easily go through them and find what I am looking for. I punch a hole in the corners of my stencils and place them in a binder ring.

I have an IKEA wooden shelving unit to store my crafting storage bins. I’ve attached long screws on the side to hang my stencils. Hanging them freed up space and I can easily access them. Some alternatives are to hang them on a clothes hanger with a metal hook or binder clips, store them flat in bins or drawer or hang them on revolving wire three-tier shoe rack with a metal hook or binder clips.

Stenciling with Imagine Inks

Imagine’s Inkblushers and Sponge Daubers work great with stencils because the soft sponge material presses ink down past the edges of the stencil’s details. The sponges produce sharp edges and finely detailed inking better than most other tool. If you have a highly detailed stencil, the sponge materials are especially handy for getting into small and intricate opening, or getting around the tight areas of the stencil.

Stenciling with All-Purpose Ink and Inkblushers. Add a couple of ink drops to your crafting mat and pounce the Inkblusher over the ink. Inkblushers are highly absorbent and work well with Imagine’s All-Purpose Inks.

Inkblushers can also be used to stencil with acrylic paints. Like with inks, you can get clean edges and good detail. Wash the Inkblusher under running water immediately. If you cannot get to the sink right away, wipe off as much paint as you can and then keep it in water, like your paintbrush water. If left out without being washed, the paint will dry and harden the Inkblusher. Unfortunately, the paint cannot be washed out. However, all is not lost; only the area that had the paint will harden, and not harden the entire sponge. Using your scissors, cut off the piece with the hardened paint and continue to use.

Imagine’s Jumbo Daubers provide fine detailed inking. The handle allows you to have great control and pressure over the stencils. Imagine’s Jumbo Daubers also work great Acrylic paints. Add a few drops of paint to your craft mat, pounce the Dauber on the paint, then pounce the Dauber onto a clean area on your mat. Get the paint evenly on the Dauber and avoid globs of paint. If you get too much paint on the Dauber, it will go under the stencil.

Imagine’s Creative Mediums are smooth acrylic pastes that provide yummy textures for any project. This is where stencils are very different from stamps because you can create an image with texture. Use Imagine’s palette knives and Squeegee to add the Creative Medium. Silver Metallic Creative Medium using a palette knife. Imagine’s Multi-purpose Squeegee has a wider surface; perfect for using with larger stencils with large openings. Use a palette knife to add the medium onto the Squeegee.

Imagine’s Fireworks Craft Spray makes stenciling a breeze. To get clean patterns, start spraying from the outside edges of the paper and spray inwards. Change up the starting point and spray. By starting from the outside, avoids harsh spray edges or heavy splotches of ink. Clean up is easy, simply wipe off your stencil and craft mat with a dry paper/cotton towel. To double down on the stencil effects you can “stamp” the wet ink from the stencil onto another piece of cardstock.

Create unique effects with Imagine Stipple brushes. These brushes have a flat, firm bristle head for stippling. It can be used on just about any surface. They are great for stenciling on fabric for getting into the grain. This creates patterns of fine dots by pouncing the brush onto the substrate. Scumble by brushing at a slight angle in a random fashion. This creates brushstrokes and because of brush’s firm bristles, it won’t get under the stencil.

Cleaning the Stencils

One of the hardest things about working with stencils is cleaning them. Even so, keeping your stencils clean will help to maintain clean edges, last longer and you’ll have a clean stencil for your next project. The key to success for keeping stencils clean, regardless of the medium, is to clean them immediately with a wet paper/cloth towel or baby wipe. Depending on the medium you will have ink/paint residue.

When using pigment inks, All-Purpose Ink, or dye inks, wipe the stencil immediately with a wet paper/cloth towel, or baby wipe. Since these inks are water-based the stencil will clean up quickly and completely. When using permanent inks, simply wiping the stencil off with water, will not get it clean. Use a stamp cleaner or Rubbing Alcohol to clean your stencil. Imagine’s StazOn All-Purpose Stamp Cleaner works well for cleaning ink off your stencils. Dab the cleaner on the stencil and wipe with a dry paper/cloth towel. The cleaner tends to leave a little bit of an oily residue. Simply wipe it off with a clean wet paper/cloth towel.

Acrylics paints are harder on stencils than inks. Acrylic paint can leave heavy buildup on your stencils and distort the edges. As with inks, clean the stencil immediately after using with a wet paper/cloth towel or baby wipe. Get as much paint off of it, as possible.

Use a cleaning or nail brush and soap to clean your stencils. Mix handwashing/dishwashing or Artist Painter’s type soap with water in a container. Dip the brush and scrub the paint off the stencil. Lay the stencil flat and rub gently, avoid bending the openings.

Sources

http://www.shellybailey.com/2014/03/project-life-2014-title-page-and.html

Source: https://www.sadieseasongoods.com/stencil-storage-magazine-rack/

Source: http://www.arthappy.me/paint-storage-display-idea/

Source: http://www.arthappy.me/paint-storage-display-idea/

Make These “Give Something Away Day” Friendship Rocks

by Roni Johnson

Make These "Give Something Away Day" Friendship Rocks

July 15th is “Give Something Away Day” so I thought it would be fun to participate and make something to give away. I have these lovely beach stones a friend sent me just waiting for the right project to come along and I think this is it! You’ll find this is a quick and easy crafty project to satisfy your artsy muse!

Skill: Beginner
Time: 30 minutes

Directions


Step 1

Wash and dry stones to be stamped. Let dry. Pounce desired color of VersaMagic DewDrop over the top portion of the stone to be stamped. VersaMagic will provide a good base for stamping.


Step 2

Heat the ink to set the ink.


Step 3

Stamp desired images onto the stone using VersaFine Clair ink.


Step 4

Continue to decorate each rock differently. In the photo above, I stamped “hello” on this rock. Heat set the inks so they become permanent.

 

These friendship rocks are so much fun to make…they are a bit like potato chips, you can’t make just one. I thought I’d make a couple but I ended up making a small pile of them so I’ll have lots to share with friends!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Rubber Stamp Tapestry – Image stamps
  • JFF Rubber Stamps – “Hello” sentiment stamp
  • Heat Tool
  • Rocks

Create Decorative Sand with All-Purpose Ink

by Iris Rodriguez

Create Decorative Sand with All-Purpose Ink

It’s summertime, time for that beach vacation. As you enjoy the sea breeze blowing on your face, the sand tickling your face, the sounds of kids playing, and the seagulls flocking in the distance, let the real world melt away. Much better, right? Before you leave though, pack some sand and bring it home for some fun craft projects, like a sand art terrarium using a glass jar and All-Purpose Inks to color the sand. If you are not going to the beach, it’s okay, you can get sand from the craft store…we won’t tell.

Skill: Beginner
Time: 1 hour

Directions


Step 1

Select a glass container. I used, what used to be a candle jar, measures 4 x 4 x 4 inches, 8 ounces.


Step 2

Cut a piece of foam to fits the center of the jar. Use at least one branch along with the foam to measure the foam’s height. Leave 1 to 2 inches gap from the rim. This will keep the sand from spilling over. The foam will be completely covered by the sand.


Step 3

Arrange the flowers on the foam. Add hot glue to the holes. Artificial succulents and plants will also work. Or you can make it a beach theme by adding seashells.


Step 4

Add hot glue to the bottom of the foam.


Step 5

Glue the foam with flowers in the center of the jar.


Step 6

Place sand in the bag. Fill about a third of the bag, which for the jar used in this project made ¼ to ½ inch layer.


Step 7

Drop in two to three drops of ink. Sand is very porous, a little goes a long way. Seal the bag, ensure to release the air inside.


Step 8

Smoosh the sand around with your fingers and shake so that it moves around. When all of the sand has been colored, you are done. The sand dries instantly. There is no dry wait time. However, if you use a little too much ink, the sand will stay wet. With the ink, it’s not easy to tell it’s wet as you can with water. To test out if the sand is wet, run the sand through your fingers, if it does not run through your fingers smoothly, then it’s wet. Visibly, it will look loosely clumped. Even if slightly wet, it will not go through the funnel or layer smoothly and will stain the layer below. In this case, leave the bag open and let the sand dry.


Step 9

Repeat step 8 for each color. Use a different bag for each color.


Step 10

Pour sand into the funnel and layer the sand. Pour a little bit of sand at a time. Rotate the jar and fill a different area. An alternative is to use a small measuring spoon.


Step 11

Continue to layer until you reach the top and have covered the foam. Use the Imagine’s Doodlestix to reach in and move the sand around.

 

Now you have a DIY home décor nice or cute gift for that special someone. Hope you give this project a try.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Sand
  • Glass jar or container
  • Artificial flowers or succulents
  • Snack size sealable plastic bags
  • Small funnel or measuring spoon
  • Foam
  • Hot glue

How to Draw the Eiffel Tower in Paris with Washi Tape

by Jennifer Vanderbeek

How to Draw the Eiffel Tower in Paris with Washi Tape

Whether you are able to travel this summer or are staying home, you can create this fun canvas commemorating one of the world’s most recognized landmarks –The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. After altering our canvas with tissue and Creative Medium, we’ll mask out or elements with washi tape and add layers of Delicata for a burnished patina. Once you’ve got the hang of it, try out more famous places that you’ve visited or only dreamed about.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • 10 x 10 Canvas
  • Tissue Paper
  • Paint Brush
  • Plastic Cup
  • Washi Tape in 3 widths

Create a Festive and Fun Fourth of July Banner

by Roni Johnson

Create a Festive and Fun Fourth of July Banner

Summer is the perfect time to be outdoors, throw a BBQ party or to show off your patriotism with the Fourth of July!  Luckily, Joy Clair has a perfect stamp set when it comes to American Flag themes. In this quick and easy crafting project, I used their 4 x 6-inch Grungy Flag background stamp paired with Memento Luxe ink to create this amazing looking banner.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1 – 2 hours

Directions


Step 1

Tear cotton or linen material into 4” x 8” pieces. The number of pieces will depend on how long you would like your finished banner.


Step 2

Place a strip of fabric on a stamp positioner at the 1” mark. Put the stamp directly over the area to be stamped. Close the positioner to affix the stamp to the lid.


Step 3

Ink the star area with Memento Luxe in Danube Blue and the stripe area of the stamp with Memento Luxe in Love Letter.


Step 4

Close the positioner and press the inked stamp onto the material. I wanted a vintage feel to my banner so I stamped the image once. For brighter, solid colors, reposition the material, re-ink the image and stamp a second time. Stamp each additional panel in the same fashion.


Step 5

Iron each stamped piece of material to set the inks. Once you heat set Memento Luxe it is permanent on the fabric!


Step 6

Adhere each stamped flag to a length of string or ribbon. Hang it up outdoors and enjoy!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Joy Clair StampsGrunge Flag Background
  • Cotton or Linen fabric
  • Material May Arts – Jute Ribbon
  • Stamp Positioner
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Iron

See How to Repurpose a Canvas

by Kassy Tousignant 

See How to Repurpose a Canvas with Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray - Bahama Blue, Paris Dusk, Bamboo Leaves

This Camper theme stamp set from Joy Clair is so fun and the pairing with the versatile Imagine and Tsukineko products made this project great! I love the clouds stencil and when I saw the stencil I ended up using for the grass, I couldn’t resist using this old pre-framed canvas for this fun project. Joy Clair also included an SVG file for the stamp set so I didn’t have to fussy cut the stamped images. Of course, I used VersaFine Clair ink to get the most vibrant, crisp images possible.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Joy Clair stamp – Happy Stamper
  • Joy Clair SVG file – Happy Stamper
  • Liquitex – Flexible modeling paste
  • Wooden frame
  • Daler Rowney – white gesso
  • Stencils
  • Cricut Maker
  • Neenah – white cardstock
  • Flat paintbrush