Create your own background using layered stencils!

How to Use Layered Stencils

Hello crafty friends! Today I want to share how to use layered stencils. If you aren't familiar with stencils, that's alright! That's why I wanted to share this topic with you. If you are familiar with stencils, I have a neat trick on how to keep your layered stencils lined up perfectly for less fuss! Let's take a look! 

Below is a full process video if seeing the process visually this way is easier for you:



To be quite honest, when I first started cardmaking, I wasn't too into inks or stencils. But now that I have seen how much fun it is, and how you can essentially create your own backgrounds & patterns, I couldn't get enough! And I want to share that with you! Today I used the colors Garden Party, Deck the Halls, It's A Girl & Samba to make these perfect watermelon colors!




The difference between a regular single stencil and layered stencils is that layered stencils just have 2, 3 or more separate stencils that you end up layering to create a more detailed look. I love this, because you can create your own background completely by using your own ink colors, but ALSO, the point of this is so that you can have different colors without blending into areas you don't want. Today, I am using a Watermelon Layered Stencil from Hero Arts. In general, I just love watermelons, haha! So I had to get this stencil. 

Here is the first stencil layer:


When you do get your stencils, they typically are in the correct order, the bottom being the first, the top being the last stencil you will use, in that order. I'd recommend taking a sharpie and just numbering each stencil so you always just know the order they are in. This stencil is pretty self explanatory, but there are others out there that have 5 or 6 layers, and can get confusing! You can even get coordinating layered stencils with stamps and die cuts! This one is more of a background stencils though. 

The hardest part of layered stencils in my opinion is keeping the stencils perfectly straight. Here is my trick!! Grab some washi and tape the edge of a corner of your stencil so you know EXACTLY where to place your next stencils. 

Now you can place your second layer down! Another good way to tell is if your first layer of colors that you just stenciled is completely covered by your second stencil. That way you know, you won't have a different color ink where you don't want it, and you can also tell that it's lined up perfectly if the images look correct. The other thing to note is that typically stencils have their logo or something in the corner so you know which was is up and down, this Hero Arts Stencil has their logo in the right corner, so I knew to put the stencil that way every time. Again, some stencils are easier to tell than others. Because this one is a repetitive pattern, it isn't as simple to see which was is up and which way is down! 

Here is our 3rd and final layer. My advice is to start the first 2 layers with lighter colors, and if you have a 3rd stencil that has more detail, use a darker color here. That way all the detail will show through! Here I used Deck The Halls for that nice dark green color. I even went through with some Midnight on some of the seeds to get those to be black! Some other tools I use that I love for stenciling are the Catherine Pooler blending brushes, the Misti Stamping Platform (check out my blog here on the Misti!) as well as the Misti Sticky Mats to help stick down the paper and stencil. 


And that's it! It's a simple technique but one I do think deserves attention all of it's own since there are so many little tips & tricks to share :) I hope this is helpful and please let me know if you try this! Also, stay tuned, my next blog post will show the card I ended up making with this beautiful background I created! 




With heart, 



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