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Today I’m going to show you how to make DIY reusable stencils with your Cricut cutting machine. If you want to know how to make vinyl stencils with your Cricut be sure to see my post here.
Reusable stencils are great for stenciling furniture, floors, walls, and anywhere you want to paint the same design multiple times.
But instead of being limited to stencils that are available for sale, you can make your very own. Which means the possibilities are endless!
Plus I have four designs you’re more than welcome to use. See the bottom of this post for all the details on swiping them.
Let’s get to it.
DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT
Supplies Needed To Make Reusable Stencils
Best Material For Reusable Stencils
So you can buy handy dandy reusable stencil sheets made out of mylar. They come in 6 mil thickness and worked very well with the Cricut and with painting.
Or you can try laminate sheets. I was on Pinterest one day and saw a Silhouette blogger made stencils with laminate sheets. I thought this was genius so I dug out my laminator and gave it a try for myself.
After I figured out the correct settings for Cricut it worked like a charm.
Using Laminate Sheets
If you have a laminator just load an empty laminate pocket into your machine and let it do its thing. I started with the 3 mil laminating sheets, they also come in 5 mil.
For the 3 mil size set your Cricut to cut cardstock. For the 5 mil you’ll want to set the dial to custom and choose posterboard from the menu.
Use the strong grip mat to cut the stencil.
Need help with Design Space and using your Cricut? If you’re feeling overwhelmed with it all check out Conquer your Cricut -The Ultimate Guide to using your Cricut Cutting Machine here. You’ll find step by step tutorials for both PC and iPhone/iPad including troubleshooting tips.
Using Mylar Stencil Sheets
If you don’t have a laminator no worries, you can order the blank stencil sheets on Amazon. They are 6 mil sheets so they will be more durable than laminating sheets anyway.
Set your Cricut cut dial to custom and choose posterboard from the custom menu. Be sure to use the strong grip cutting map or a standard grip that is still really sticky.
Using Your DIY Reusable Stencils
So after the stencils are cut, be sure to pull the mat off of the stencil so it doesn’t curl up. And now we’re ready to paint!
I used Elmers spray adhesive with my stencil. This really helps keep the stencil in place while you’re painting. And you can easily remove it when you are done. Plus you can reposition it to the next spot and stick it down again a few times before it needs re-sprayed.
So this is my mess up picture. I don’t recommend spraying with one hand while trying to take a picture with the other hand lol. I sprayed waaay too much adhesive here. The result was the adhesive glue stuck to my project and I had to scrape it off.
It all worked out, but I don’t want you to do that. It really does just take a very thin coat of the spray adhesive and it will stay put.
After the adhesive dries (it only takes a minute) position your stencil on your project and smooth it down. You want to make sure there aren’t any areas popped up where you are going to paint. I just went over once or twice with my hand and it was good to go.
Painting Reusable Stencils
So now we’re ready to paint! Painting is my favorite =)
The best way to paint with reusable stencils is to use a sponge. You don’t want a lot of paint on it either, so it’s probably going to take two coats.
Even though we have an adhesive on the back, reusable stencils will bleed easier than vinyl stencils. My favorite way to do this is with a makeup sponge. They don’t absorb too much paint and they are super easy to use. Just dab in the paint and dab onto your stencil.
After you paint the entire stencil, where you started should be dry so you can do the second coat right away. When you’re happy with the paint coverage simply pull the stencil up and place it in the next position.
You should be able to reposition about 5 times before needing to respray the back.
The project I am working on is a small table top. Here it is after I finished stenciling it.
Finding an Image to Make a Stencil
You can turn any SVG file into a stencil. Keep in mind when cutting a reusable stencil, the design is going to cut like it would on paper. And that’s a bit different than using vinyl.
That means centers of letters, windows, or anything that’s inside something else will not be there after its cut. That’s just something to think about when you are picking your design.
The easiest fastest way to make a reusable stencil with words is to use a font that’s made for it….. like this one.
If you are not sure how to change an image into a stencil in design space see my post here. All you really need to do is add the box around your image. I list all of the steps in that post if you need help with it.
And I have four designs you can totally use for your stencils! I used the yellow one for my table top.
I did not include the box around the images in these designs in case someone wants to use them for other purposes besides stenciling. But you can easily add it in your design software, see the post I linked above for instructions.
Swipe My Reusable Stencil Designs SVG File
I keep all of my SVG designs plus printables and plans in a resource library that I created exclusively for subscribers to my weekly newsletter. When you sign up for the newsletter you will be given the password and the link, plus it will be immediately emailed to you.
To join the tribe and grab your stencil designs plus all my other files simply fill out the form below.
Chris Butler has helped thousands of crafters learn how to use their Cricut machine without feeling overwhelmed. She is a best selling author and an up and coming designer. For fun Chris enjoys designing SVG Files, hanging out with her family (preferably at the lake), traveling, and volunteering at her church. She is a wife and mom of two crazy fun kids.