Using Stencils

 Hello Get Messians, it’s Karen here. I’m going to talk to you a little bit today about how I use stencils in my art journals and other projects. I think that stencils can often be overlooked when it comes to design because people often associate them with bad home decor from the 90’s. Well they’ve certainly come a long way from there and with companies like Stencilgirl, Prima and even Donna Downey there is now a really great range out there to help bring your artwork to a totally new level.


Here you can see a few of my favorite stencils and also the stencil at the top is one that I cut out for myself. It’s really easy to make your own stencils at home as well and you can create some very cool designs which are uniquely you.


I love to use stencils in conjunction with my Gelli plate. Here you can see I’ve used it in the background for my handmade journal for Season of Music. They can create really interesting background for you to layer on top of.


I love to use stencils in my altered book journal. The blue stencil you see here is one I made for myself using an acetate sheet to cut out some shapes. With altered books you do need to be careful with the amount of layers and embellishments you use so using some stencils to create layers without the bulk can be a great solution.


I’ll often use a stencil as a focal point to start my background as you see in this page but then I will work over the top of the design. This stencil is one of my favorites and it’s by Prima.


Depending on the stencil you’re using you can totally make it the main feature of your page. The flowers and the squares are both stencils by Stencilgirl and after applying them to the page I knew it really did not need any more to complete this spread.


Anyone following my work knows that I really love to work with embroidery when ever I can. I love to use the stencil designs I have to hand to work into my embroidery. That’s what I love so much about using them. They are so versatile.

I hope this has inspired you to take another look at using some stencils in your artwork. They’re a great way to kick start a page when you’re unsure or short on inspiration. Happy Arting everyone!


Karen is an Artist. She arts like a boss and believes that you should too. Karen loves Poppies, triangles, colour and hand lettering. She’s all about the process and loves to complete pages that take days to make and ones that take minutes to make as well.

1 Comment

  1. TC Larson

    I love stencils too! And you have some gorgeous ones to use. I love using modeling paste with stencils but that works best with ones that are pretty durable (unless my modeling paste is brand new). For the ones that are finer, I like using spray inks, but you’ve inspired me to go try them out with a gelli plate. Super fun! It’s supposed to dump a lot of snow here this weekend so I’ll be snowed in and have lots of time to play with this!