Stencils are Fun!

PART 1 – A Technique Post

Isn’t it amazing when a product can be used in just so many ways with a multitude of mediums? Wouldn’t it be even better if the utility of a product itself could be expanded so it could be used to achieve the results of another? I know I would love that! :D

STENCILS are one such product.
The ways in which stencils can be used with different mediums is amazing. You could use them with paints, inks, sprays, pens, texture pastes, other artist mediums and the list goes on. And not only that, but you can further divide these categories to achieve different effects for example with paint you could use them with paint daubers, with acrylic paints using a brush, with watercolors; with inks with distress inks, pigments inks or VersaMark for heat embossing to achieve totally different effects.

Now on to ‘expanding the utility to getting the results of another’.
Dry embossing is wonderful and when you could use steel dies with a pair of embossing pads, a metal stencil could be used for the same purpose too right? just as anything with a bit of dimension. But what about the more common stencils cut out from a thin sheet of acrylic?

I own four stencils and each of them are from a different brand, one of them is a metal stencil and the remaining three are acrylic ones. Can you tell which one I have used the most? :P The metal one is from Dreamweaver (thickest in dimension), the other three are from Dylusions by Ranger, Memory Box and Clear Scraps respectively in order of feel of thickness. So i decided to put each one to the dry embossing test.


For each of the stencils I cut pieces of white cardstock to have the pattern embossed all over without the edge of the stencil itself getting embossed. Three pieces I cut at 3.5″ x 5″ and one piece at 3.5″ x 6″ to fit the ‘criss-cross flower’ pattern on the Dylusions Stencil.


I taped the cardstock to the stencil after positioning it exactly where I wanted the pattern to be embossed and took out my bigshot. Now I don’t own a set of embossing pads (an important item as of now on my TO BUY list), so I decided to use a stack of craft foam sheets locally available to simulate one, you could also use a mouse pad I think, but I didn’t have that on hand either so. I decided to go with the metal stencil first so, in order my bigshot stack from lowest to the top most was: multipurpose platform all tabs closed, a cutting pad, stencil with piece of cardstock taped to it on top, 4 layered foam sheets and finally the second cutting pad. I ran this stack through my bigshot just once and checked the results. The embossing was perfect!


Now on to the next stencil, I passed this one and the embossing wasn’t as pronounced as I would have liked it to be so I doubled the foam sheets and realized that it became too thick to pass at all so I removed two sheets and passed it again. And there you have it! I must admit I wasn’t expecting that I would be able to get a pronounced result with the acrylic stencils and without proper embossing pads but I was really happy with the results. Now i proceeded with passing the remaining two stencils as well and you can see the results for yourself below.


There you have it, all four of the dry embossed pieces of white cardstock. I’m actually surprised that acrylic stencils work just as well! Loving the results and the fact that I can dry emboss a pattern of my favorite stencil without having to get hold of a similar embossing folder. Win Win!


My favorite one of them all is the embossing from the Dylusions Stencil, let me know what you all think. I hope this all inspired you to take out your stencils and experiment. And the best part is that you can get to enter your ‘stencil projects’ in the Artful Crafting Challenge which is live and is only a few days away from closing! Also to see how you can use paint daubers and make gorgeous backgrounds, check out this post and amazing project from Artful Crafting Design Team Member Amina.

AND to find out what was the outcome of these dry embossed cardstock pieces do lookout for part 2 of this blog post :)

Until then,

p.s. dont you just love the background paper in the last photograph? Its one of my favorites, have a thing for foil, lets just hope I use it soon and doesnt stay in my stash for another year :P


DreamWeaver Hexagon Stencil
Dylusions Small Alphabet Border Stencil
Clear Scraps Quatrefoil Stencil
Memory Box Chevron Stencil
Sizzix BigShot
White Cardstock
Paper Trimmer
– Embossing Pads
– Craft Foam Sheets (available in local stationary stores)
DCWV The Peachy Keen Stack (the background paper in the last photograph is from this beautiful stack)

Graphic designer, Paper Crafter, avid Photographer and a Foodie.
Loves all things handmade and things with clean, bold, graphic & minimalist styles. Lives in a beautiful valley north of Islamabad, Pakistan.

12 thoughts on “Stencils are Fun!

  1. Amina says:

    Ohhh emmm gee Amna… what a wonderful idea… we can now use our stencils for embossing … totally love it… waiting impatiently for part 2 now :)

  2. Anaum Janjua says:

    Love it! Makes me want to get more stencils now xD I think I’ll just try this technique for another mothers day card I’m trying to make. And between nothing compares to the peachy keen ;) xx really excited about the next part .

  3. Saba says:

    Amna!! Your tutorial is amazing! Mashallah. I cannot wait to try this with my stencils. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Just a question, did you sandwich the stencil and paper between the foam?
    And did the pressure bend the stencils in anyway?

    • Amna says:

      Thank you! :)
      Nope, i placed the stencil on the cutting plate and then had the paper on top of it and then the foam. And nope the stencils didnt budge at all :)

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