May Flaum’s 5-way stencil review

3825We are so lucky that May Flaum loves our stencils.  So lucky!! And we are equally lucky that Shimelle adores May too!! Shimelle actually asked May to write a guest blog post. She introduced May as her “dear friend and crafty wonderment”. Love that!  So without further introduction, here is a tidbit of May’s post listing 5 ways she recommends using stencils.  You can read the whole thing here.

1. As a Background
Perhaps the most obvious way to use a stencil is as a background. You can repeat the pattern, just make splotches of pattern, or even layer more than one stencil. It allows you to This works best on cardstock or a subtly patterned paper. In this layout I used Heidi Swapp color shine mist on my stencil for a subtle design to compliment my photos. 3819

2.Outline and Color

This is the most time consuming, and one I don’t do often. First I outline the stencil with a thin black pen, and then I go back and color with markers, watercolor pencils, or anything else that works for the design. In this layout featuring Amy Tangerine papers my title is stenciled, colored, and coated with glossy accents to really help it pop.

3821 38203.Partial Stencils to Finish or Accent a Page
This is fast becoming my favorite! I’ve always loved using flourish stamps to finish off my layouts, and now I can use stencils in this way too. In this layout (featuring Elle’s Studio papers and tags) I used two different stencils with ink (applied with a foam blending tool) to add little accents to my neutral background. I love all of the detail it adds – and with no bulk!

38224. Stencil onto a Die Cut
Whether it is a die cut, punched shape, alphabet sticker, or piece of chipboard don’t forget you can stencil onto more than just your layout directly. For this layout I knew I wanted to use my Webster’s Pages background paper but I didn’t really have much that went with it. I pulled out my flower stencil and colored a number of hearts and a butterfly punch that I then added to the page.


5. The Shaped Stencil
In the layout above you saw how I used a single heart (in a stencil that had many) on my layout by utilizing a good amount of tape. Another approach to doing something like this is to create a second stencil as I did in the video. For this card I did just that! I placed a heart shaped (homemade) stencil on top of a patterned stencil and colored a heart onto a blank card. The effect is stunning – and at first glance it looks a lot more complicated than it really is which always makes me smile.


Whether you go bold and finish layouts with a spritz of mist over your stencil or keep things more in control with a bit of ink on a stencil for a particular project element, know that there are a lot of ways that you can use those stencils. With intense techniques or simple applications, my stencils help me customize my projects and allow me the creative play that I always crave. I hope I’ve inspired you to try out a stencil on your next project. Oh, and one last note – if you have a punch, die cut, or electronic die cutting machine you can make stencils of your own! Oh yes, the possibilities are endless!





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