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How to create your own stencil

I get asked ALLLLLL the time how I make my stencils, what type of materials I use, how I cut them, etc. Well, I am here to fill you in on all the details! 

First things first, if you are an artist or a crafter (or even just a mom with kids) I can not recommend the Silhouette Cameo machine more. It is a definite must in my household. 

Before I had my own Silhouette Cameo I would go over to my husband’s aunt’s house and use her Cameo to make all my stencils, signs, and whatever I needed. She said I could come over whenever I wanted to use it but it got to the point where I needed to get my own! (I mean, when you are going over there 3-4 times a week, it is time.) I finally invested in the Cameo 3 and I loved it! Recently, I received the Silhouette Cameo 4 and I am here to report it lives up to all the hype. The number one thing I love the most about it is the bluetooth capabilities. I do not have to hook my computer up every single time I want to print something. 

Now, here is what you need to make your own stencils:

Silhouette Cameo (any number but I highly recommend getting the 4! It will last you years and years.) Use code POL for a 10% discount and free shipping.

Removable Vinyl

And any medium you would like to use in the vinyl (i.e. watercolors, markers, acrylic paint, etc.)

High quality paper (I recommend Crescent boards or for a more affordable option Canson watercolor paper works great - make sure it is 140lb paper 300 gsm)

First thing you are going to do is create your shape. Since I am targeting this blog post to beginners I am going to explain how to make a shape already in your Silhouette Studio.


Page Setup


Open your Silhouette Studio. Make sure the settings under your page setup are correct to the mat you use and the vinyl you will be using to cut. In my case, I am using a 12x12 cutting mat and 12x12 vinyl. If you are using a different mat size or vinyl size you will need to adjust your settings accordingly.






Adding Your Shape


On the left hand side of your Silhouette Studio hover over the rectangle icon. You will see that there are different shape options. For today’s tutorial we are going to use the eclypse. I want to make a perfect circle. In order to make a perfect circle you hold down your shift button then pull the circle to the size you would like. I cut out a piece of Canson Watercolor paper for this project that is 7x7in. So I am going to make my shape 4x4in.


Next, you will want to click the star on the top display bar. This will offset your shape so you will have a couple different circles to use. (The inside circle, the outline, and the exterior circle.)

If you would like the outline of the circle to be wider you can adjust the size in the offset bar that has now appeared on the right hand side of the studio.

Add whatever shapes you please to the rest of the vinyl and then get ready to cut.



Cutting Your Vinyl


On the top right hand corner of the studio click “Send”.

Select the vinyl type you are using. In my case I am using Matte Vinyl.

I like to adjust the force to 18 and the speed to 7 (since it does not have much detail it can cut faster without any problems.)

Load your mat into the machine and click send.


Make Your Design

I am going to use markers to make a fun watercolor galaxy design in the circle! Instead of explaining it in type I have uploaded a video for you to watch! Enjoy!

Oh, and one last pro tip! If you are afraid your vinyl will not pull away properly from your paper, you can dab your hand on it to remove a bit of the stickiness. 

Now, check out this video for creating something inside your very own stencil!



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