Earlier this year, both Jenny and I gave you our opinions on the undeniably wonderful stencils made by the great folks at The Crafter’s Workshop. Â We loved them so much that Jenny even gave them the “Craft Test Dummies stamp of approval.” Â Well…you may recall that during the summer, Jenny posted a brief update about some new stencils released by The Crafter’s Workshop. Â Not only did they release new stencils of their own design, but they had teamed up with mixed-media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, who designed several more stencils…leading to an incredibly well-rounded group of new stencils to play with! Â With each stencil available in either 12″x12″ or 6″x6″ size, there is sure to be one (or many) on your wish list!
To start off, I picked up where I had previously struggled in using the stencils…with spray inks. Â After watching a couple of You-tube video’s, I picked up a tip for using spray inks with stencils – the paper towel roll! Â So I set out to create some collage papers using my Adirondack Color Wash sprays (which I LOVE!).
You can see on my finished collage paper that each of the layers is visible, and that despite having used spray inks, there is not the runny-drippy-seepage that I had a problem with the last time I reviewed the stencils (before I knew about the paper towel trick).
This is another collage paper I created, using a combination of the Adirondack Color Wash Sprays and Ranger Distress Stain. Â Again you can see relatively clean lines, and each of the layers is clearly visible.
Next I tried using acrylic paint with the stencils – again making my own collage papers. Â (I’ve been on a kick lately with this making my own collage papers.) Â I used make-up sponges to apply the paint through the stencil, and was very happy with the result – nice, clean lines. Â The only time I had a problem is if I got too much paint on my sponge (look closely at the purple stars…you can see where some of the paint went under the stencil because I used too much paint).
Another medium to use with the stencils is Distress Ink – this is one of the best ways to get super clean lines, and because Distress Inks blend so easily, you can get some really cool color effects.
You can also use simple pens, pencils or markers with the stencils. Â I used the Circle Circle Dot stencil to create the journaling areas on this art journal page, with my Faber-Castell Big Brush Pens, and I also traced the Ava face stencil using my black Pitt Artist Pen. Â I then simply colored over the lines a bit with some oil pastels.
But the Ava face stencil (along with the 2 other face stencils made by The Crafter’s Workshop) are not limited to simple tracing, and they aren’t limited to what you see on the stencil. Â This blog post shows a variety of ways to use the stencils creatively. Â Here I used the Ava stencil, simply as a beginning structure, then painted over it and added hair as I wished, and painted in the lines when I was finished. Â I’ve actually never painted a face before this one, but the stencils truly do help you by giving you a structure to work with…then you just play around with color. Â To see the process from start to finish of how this face took form, check out the post on my own blog, My Crafty Friend Jen.
Finally, I used the stencils in one slightly less conventional way – to make a homemade stamp – from Styrofoam. Â I used one of the hands from the 12×12 Henna Hands stencil as my guide – and you can see my stamped image here on this art journal page. Â I love the results. Â (I also used the Punchinella stencil on this page – another of my favorites.)
I have to tell you – I rarely do any kind of project anymore without using these stencils. Â They are just that wonderful. Â And they are reasonably priced too. Â At a price of $6.99 for the 12″ ones and $4.39 for the 6″ ones, they are significantly less expensive than many other art stencils on the market…but fair warning, you won’t be able to stop at just one or two!
Disclosure: samples provided for review.
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