With the right craft patterns, your creative abilities are unlimited! If you already have an idea in mind you can find the
free printable stencils here. If you are looking for ideas, you’ve come to the right place!
If you think stencils are for the alphabet than think again! I want to show you how much art you can create with them so prepare to be amazed and don’t miss the art project below to see a crisp
Chinese letters Harmony Symbol spray painted onto a black t shirt.
Have you ever noticed a string of ivy hanging on a wall and then realized that it was just painted there? That’s Trompe L’oeil. Well, you can create this sensation with stencils.
OK - I’m sure you’re onto the fact that the lion head door knockers are from Trompe Loeil Stencils, but did you think the lock plates behind the door pulls were real? They’re not. They are Trompe L’oeil painted with stencils too!
In fact, you can find these stencils in a book below.
Craft patterns fall under many different categories. For instance, if you searched for animal stencils, you would find anything from anteaters to zebras. Or you can seek craft patterns that represent a style such as Art Nouveau Stencils or Art Deco Stencils (you’ll find free stencils to print of each of these styles).
If you seek out very rare stencil designs then you will need to look for Toile Stencils. But, no need to go far because there is a free one waiting for you!
As you should see by now, there are so many
cool stencils and project ideas that you never have to go anyplace else.
Craft patterns are most commonly thought of for paper crafts and quilting stencil patterns. But you should consider using stencils to create your own custom art prints. You can find more ideas about this at Stencil Art Prints!
Below you’ll find the step by step plan to use a stencil craft pattern to spray paint on a black t shirt. Using stencils is a wonderful way to design your own clothes. Sure anyone can pick up a pair of jeans form the shelf but you can make yours stand apart with an image that means something to you. Check out how an
eagle stencil was used to transform a pair of jeans, a t shirt and a denim jacket.
The Holidays are the time of year for crafters like us and a few thrifty craft patterns can make life much easier. Take this pirate mask for instance. You can find it as at Printable Halloween Masks along with a few ideas about how to complete the costume with a few things you can find around the house.
OK! Let’s move on to spray paint stencils with a Harmony Symbol on a black t shirt!
Spray paints leave a clean, smooth finish that is free of paint brush lines and the splotches that sponges might create. But, as easy as it is to spray paint from a can, it’s not so easy to get good results. So, there are a number of tricks you need to know.
The challenge with spray paint is getting crisp edges and clean lines. Most commonly the end result is a fuzzy image. That’s just the nature of spray paint.
To get clean lines, you need to make sure that the stencil (or craft pattern) is as close to the surface as possible. If any part of the stencil is lifted it can allow paint to spray under (which is called “overspray”).
One way to make sure that your craft pattern is in good contact with the surface is for the stencil to have an adhesive backing. There are a couple of ways to do that. You can copy your stencil onto a piece of full page label paper and cut it out (or if you are using one of our free stencils, just print it out on full page label sheets). You can coat the back of the stencil with spray adhesive or a glue stick. Just make sure to read all instructions on any products you use and test before doing your project. You don’t want to find that after putting some effort into a project that the material is ruined by an adhesive you used.
Let’s say you want to work with a glue stick. It’s best to tap the glue around the islands and bridges of the stencil or whatever craft patterns you are working with. If you drag the glue stick you will likely get globs of glue around the edges of the islands. In order to get crisp edges on your painting the island have to be clear of glue.
Here are some of the things that you’ll need:
Of course, you’ll need paint. I’m not going to recommend any brands because what works for me may not be what works for you. All I can say is to experiment with different ones until you find a brand you can stick with. There are brands designed for use on fabrics and I would encourage you to use them because a generic spray paint may be stiffer when dried and make your garment uncomfortable to wear.
Some of the qualities you want to look for in a spray paint is truthfulness of color and a consistency that is not too thin. It just needs to spray on a nice color. Experiment with a few until you find the one you like.
You also want to find a brand that can offer some reliability of the nozzle. There is nothing worse than having a nozzle that clogs and sputters out large blobs of paint.
I’ve found that just because a paint is more expensive does not necessarily mean it is the better choice. A can of discount brand paint may not go as far as a more expensive brand. So, you need to buy more of the discount brand paint. However, you may still come out ahead in the long run. You be the judge.
And you’ll need stencils or craft patterns! The variety of stencils available to you is mind numbing. So, it’s next to impossible for me to recommend any one kind of stencil because I don’t know anything about your project. My best advice is to experiment and test different stencils and materials.
I would like to share with you a comparison of stencils made from thick and thin materials.
When using a stencil or craft pattern made of thick materials (like plastic) you need to spray at a perfect 90 degree angle especially around the edges. If you spray from a side angle, the edge closest to the sprayer will be fuzzy because the spray of paint is blocked by the thickness of the stencil. On the other hand, a thick stencil which is durable and heavy will cover your surface better and prevent over-spray.
A stencil or craft pattern made from a thin material (like paper) doesn’t have an edge thick enough to block the paint as it is sprayed. So the edges should be crisp even if you are not holding the can at an exact 90 degree angle from the surface. However, a thin material (like paper) might be flimsy allowing paint to get under the edges if it curls or gets blown by the spray. If you are using paper, you may want to consider an adhesive backing option as described above to keep this from happening.
Also, with paper craft patterns, I always cover the top with a thin protective cover like clear shelf liner before you cut out the image. It preserves your paper stencil for many uses and makes it easier to work with. I love working with paper stencils because they are so versatile. For more tips on this go to
If you want to design your own craft patterns check out How to Make a Stencil for some ideas and in depth discussions.
Get some safety gear like a face mask or respirator, eye protection and rubber gloves. You need to be aware that spray paint is very toxic and you don’t want to breathe it in especially over long periods of time. If you are spray painting inside, get a good respirator. Remember it’s always good to be safe than sorry!
Well, on to the spray painting!
Spray painting stencils on fabric is a little more of a challenge because fabric can move and stretch. I coated the back of the stencil with a glue stick. It kept the fabric from stretching and secured all of the stencil edges against the surface to reduce over-spray.
You should know that unless you are using a paint that is specifically for fabric, the finished image may be stiff and there is no guarantee as to how it will react in washing. Read all directions on the paint you are using and experiment.
I put a piece of cardboard inside the T-Shirt for a couple of reasons. First, is that it will keep the T-Shirt from sliding around or getting wrinkles. Second, it will help prevent paint from seeping through the fabric and leaving an image on the back of the T-Shirt. You want the cardboard to fit inside the T-Shirt without stretching it in any way.
I lined the edges of the stencil with some masking tape as an extra measure to keep the fabric or the stencil from moving.
You’ll also want to have some old newspaper to cover the areas around the stencil from overspray. Spray paint has a way of going everywhere. It gets carried in the wind and lands on any exposed surface. So it’s important to cover anything you don’t want to have a painted haze.
You’ll need some masking tape to secure the stencil and any newspaper that you use.
You’ll need a good place to apply the spray paint. Hopefully you have a room with good ventilation or an open area outdoors. However, you don’t want to be in an area where there is a breeze and dust is blowing around.
When spraying paint, hold the can 8 to 10 inches from the stencil. Use a gentle waving motion, spraying paint in horizontal lines from side to side. Release the nozzle at the end of each row and move down far enough so that when you start to paint your next line in the other direction, you are starting a new line and not repainting over the last line. You are looking for a slow and gradual build up of color with even coverage. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly after each thin layer.
Make sure to hold the can upright at all times and spray toward your surface at a 90-degree angle. Holding the can upright keeps the flow of paint consistent.
Allow the paint to dry completely before removing the stencil. Try to pull the stencil straight up or hold down at one end and roll it up carefully from the other end. That's it!
We are thrilled to introduce these downloadable and Printable Stencils. Instant gratification at its finest! You don't need a special printer - these designs are specially formatted to print straight from your home computer on standard letter sized paper. Once downloaded, you will have your complete stencil booklet with patterns and instructions. Just click, buy and print!
The books below include the craft patterns used as examples on this page and a couple of others that I think you might find interesting. Each book will come to you as a down-loadable pdf file in your e-mail. Just check your e-mail after purchase for the link to connect to your file and print or save. It's that easy!
Click on any Book Cover Image for Project Ideas.
All designs can be adjusted to fit your project size. Instructions are included. Pages are 8.5” x 11”.
If you'd rather get your Stencil Books in Print, just click the blue button below each book.
Oriental Designs: A Book of Stencils
This collection of craft patterns includes 16 designs- The Chinese Dragon, Bamboo, Oriental Figure with Coolie Hat, Ying Yang Koi, Bonsai Tree and 3 Cranes plus 10 Chinese Symbols (Eternity, Friendship, Happiness, Harmony, Long Life, Peace, Prosperity, Tranquility, Truth and Dragon).
This purchase is of a down-loadable PDF file with 63 pages. Instructions are included.
To get this book in print for just $19.95 click here:
Antique Door Hardware: A Book of Stencils
This collection includes 5 designs- Lion Head Door Knocker, Key Bow, Lock Plate and Mail Box Plaque (with two word options). These images should add a little fun and even some humor to the doors in your home while they introduce a touch of the past.
This purchase is of a PDF file with 25 pages.
To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:
If you’d rather get your Stencil Pattern Books in Print, then visit our Printer’s Book Shop for the same designs in book format that will be mailed to you. You’ll find all of the stencils used as examples throughout this site.
And hey! Don’t forget that I (and everyone else) want to see what you have done with your stencils and craft patterns. Just click on Stenciling Projects to get your masterpiece showcased here on this web site. Won’t that be exciting! Or if you have any questions or want to share information join in on the Stencil Blog. Well, I hope to hear from you soon.
P.S. Would you like to build a web site like this one and turn a passion into a business? Well, if I did it, you can too. Don't think that you have to be a web designer and know all about computer codes and complicated html stuff. I didn't. With Site Build It! it's easy and they have the tools in place to help you build pages and teach you how to create a successful web site. Want more information? Just click on Powered by Site Build It! and watch a cool video that will explain everything. I know you'll get excited like I did.
You'll be amazed at how many Free Stencils we have to offer to you! Just to make it easy, here are the links to all the freebies.
By the way, if you are looking for Free Christmas Stencils or Free Halloween Stencils, there were too many to list here so go to
Art Deco Stencil
Art Nouveau Stencil
Graffiti Art Stencils
Palm Tree Wall Stencils
Free Printable Stencils
Quilting Stencil Patterns
Skull and Crossbones Stencil
Teddy Bear Stencil
Trompe l oeil
Tropical Flower Stencil
I hope you truly enjoy these Free Stencils! Thank you so much for visiting and come back soon for more Stenciling Ideas!
For art supplies, books and much more please visit our Affiliates below.
MisterArt.com has a dedicated department for stencil supplies. Here you'll find stencil films, paints, books and tools plus and extensive selection of applicators including brushes and sponges. In these times, we're always looking for a bargain. CreateForLess has a good selection of plastic palettes for you to choose. Plus you'll find Delta Ceramacoat and DecoArt Paints, stencil brushes and applicators, a few pre-cut stencil designs, and many other items on your stencil supplies checklist. Joann.com carries a variety of high quality acrylic paints, great for stenciling. You'll find brands like Delta Ceramacoat, Folk Art, Americana and DecoArt. They also provide paint applicators and many other arts and crafts and stencil supplies.
MisterArt.com has a dedicated department for stencil supplies. Here you'll find stencil films, paints, books and tools plus and extensive selection of applicators including brushes and sponges.
In these times, we're always looking for a bargain. CreateForLess has a good selection of plastic palettes for you to choose. Plus you'll find Delta Ceramacoat and DecoArt Paints, stencil brushes and applicators, a few pre-cut stencil designs, and many other items on your stencil supplies checklist.
Joann.com carries a variety of high quality acrylic paints, great for stenciling. You'll find brands like Delta Ceramacoat, Folk Art, Americana and DecoArt. They also provide paint applicators and many other arts and crafts and stencil supplies.
If it's pre-cut stencil designs that you are looking for, then may I suggest Stencil Ease. They have decorative, alphabet and industrial designs or they can custom make one for you. You'll also find Americana Acrylic Paints and other stencil supplies.