Creating Stencil Artwork!

A stencil is designed to create an exact image every time. So it’s up to you to give your stencil artwork that one of a kind look.

Koi Art Print from

This page is going to introduce you to the many ways to produce art easily with stencils. We'll talk about how to add special details to a stencil after it has been painted to give it that hand painted look and we'll also talk about using special stencils to create unique paintings. Let's get started!

If you are new to stencil artwork I'd like to suggest two great videos. First is a video on the basic stenciling techniques. It's short and simple but with great tips for a good painting.

Then at Stenciling Instructions you can watch as one artist covers the basics and also adds some shading for a more custom look.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

Baby Tiger Stencil from

Adding highlights and shadows is the best way to make any stencil artwork!

Using two colors can help you create shadows with a slightly darker color along some edges and blending into the lighter color at the opposite side of the opening. See how this was done to create shadows along the tigers belly and tail.

Make sure to use two paint colors that are similar in tone and have just a subtle difference. It’s best to do this while you still have the stencil in place to keep your edges clean.

Don’t forget to blend shadowed parts together for a smoother finish to your stencil artwork.

That same technique of using two colors has been applied on the Zebra below. However this time a lighter color was used to add a highlight. Notice the lighter edges near the hoof for the feet in the background. Again, it’s best to do this while you still have the stencil in place to keep your edges clean.

Zebra Stencil from

Another way to show the effect of light is to add a small amount of white paint to your original color. See how the Zebra's nose has a wet look. Use a thin bristle brush to run lines where you want highlights. Do this sparingly and of course don’t add too much white. You are only looking for a subtle difference in color. This is best done when the stencil is removed and your picture is completed.

Maybe you want an area that is lighter in color instead of a thin line. In this case, use the stippling technique (pouncing motion) with a small stenciling brush. Add a small amount of white to your original color and bounce paint on the finished painting in the area you want lightened. This can be done with or without the stencil in place but if you have removed the stencil be careful not to smudge paint past the outside edges.

You can add highlights or shadows while you are stenciling, wait until the picture is complete or both. Remember it is your stencil artwork so do whatever feels right!

If you are wondering how to add life to the eyes on your decorative paintings, then check out this stenciling tip.

Lion Head Door Knocker Stencil from

Now! You're ready to awe them with your stencil artwork. So, here are some other stencil applications you have to try.

Can you tell that the Lion Head Door Knocker is a stencil? Well, that's Trompe L'oeil (paintings that look like the real thing). It's an exciting way to fool guests or add ornate details to your home without the expense. You can learn more about this at Trompe Loeil Stencils and get the full details for this project. The stencils are available below.

Toile is a design familiar to French Country. It normally a very ornate and complex design which is not good for a stencil design. However, I have created Toile Stencils Toile Stencils Design for you to work up some French Country stencil artwork. Best yet this is one of many free printable stencils that you can find on this site (just check out the list in the right column).

We're not done yet! There are more ideas at Stenciling Art like creating raised art with stencils and making art prints to frame.

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 stencil artwork featured on this page. 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.

Solution Graphics

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Zoo Babies Stencil Book from

Zoo Babies: Stencils for a Nursery

This collection includes 7 designs- an Elephant, a Giraffe, a Hippo, a Lion, a Monkey, a Tiger and a Zebra.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 40 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

On the Farm Stencil Book from

On the Farm

With these stencils you can create the perfect barn yard setting for your little one. This collection includes 9 designs- a Cow, a Chicken, a Pig, a Sheep, a Lamb, a Horse, Fence, a Barn and a Tractor.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 40 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Antique Door Hardware Stencil Book from

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.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Princess Stencils Book from

For a Princess

This collection includes 7 designs- Royal Carriage, Knight in Shining Armor, Castle, Dragon, Sceptre, Tiara and Pillow plus the word "Princess."

This purchase is of a PDF file with 40 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Fleur de lis Stencil Book from

Fleur de lis: Book of Stencils

This collection includes 22 designs. Ten are easy single overlay. Six have 2 overlays and six have 3 overlays.

This purchase is of a PDF file which has 63 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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Stencil Books from

If you’d rather get your Stencil Pattern Books in Print (like these or the ones above), then visit our Printer’s Book Shop for a large variety of stencil collections. You’ll find all of the stencil designs used as samples throughout this site.

Stencil Artwork used as examples on this page are courtesy of Designs From Penny.

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Please share your ideas and any variations to this project you have!

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 Holiday Crafts!

Airbrush Stencils

Angel Stencil

Animal Stencils

Art Deco Stencil

Art Nouveau Stencil

Butterfly Stencils

Cat Stencils

Celtic Stencils

Cool Stencils

Cross Stencil

Dinosaur Stencil

Dog Stencil

Dolphin Stencil

Eagle Stencil

Flower Stencils

Graffiti Art Stencils

Grapevine Stencil

Guitar Stencil

Heart Stencil

Letter Stencils

Palm Tree Wall Stencils

Pineapple Stencil

Free Printable Stencils

Paisley Stencil

Quilting Stencil Patterns

Rose Stencil

Skull and Crossbones Stencil

Southwestern Stencils

Sports Stencils

Stencils Quilting

Teddy Bear Stencil

Toile Stencils

Tree Stencils

Tribal Stencil

Trompe l oeil

Tropical Flower Stencil

Valentine Stencils

I hope you truly enjoy these Free Stencils! Thank you so much for visiting and coming back soon for more Stenciling Ideas!

For art supplies, books and much more please visit our Affiliates below.

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In these times, we're always looking for a bargain. CreateForLess  has a good selection of plastic pallets 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.

Crafts & Supplies at!  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 I may 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.

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