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Stencil Printing Method

What is Stencil Printing:

 Stencil printing could be compared with screen printing in that only your design will be visible and a different material will be used to block out the areas which you do not want to be seen. Both methods follow the process of applying ink or paint through an open area and onto a substrate.

In screen printing, a treated screen is exposed to UV light which means the ink will only go through the area of the custom logo or design. This requires a relatively expensive set-up and expertise in the process. Stencil printing, on the other hand, can be done using a home printer, a cutter, paper or card and some imagination!

The process:

1. Make your design

Create your design using a graphics package, for example, Photoshop or Illustrator (Word will work for simple designs and text!). Compare the size of the design with the surface area you will be printing on and size it accordingly. Some examples or ideas you could do would be custom printed t-shirts, custom printed backpacks, posters, walls, the possibilities are endless!

2. Print onto thick paper or card

We recommend printing the design in black and white so you can better identify the areas that you will need to cut out. Ideally, if your printer allows, you want to print onto thick paper, card or poster board. This will allow you to re-use your stencil and make it easier for you to cut it out.

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3. Cut-out the design

In Stencil Printing the white part of the stencil is called the positive whilst the black part is called the negative. Using a blade or a cutter, cut out the black part of the design or the negative so you are only left with the positive. You need to try to cut in an unbroken line and follow the perimeter. If you have a complicated design then you may have to be creative and use some extra lines to make sure you don’t lose any details.

4. Get creative

Once you have your stencils (positive and negative) then you are ready to get creative and begin printing. Simply place the stencil in the position you want and fix it down with some tape. We recommend putting some cardboard underneath the area you are going to print so you are printing onto a hard and flat surface.

There you have it, a quick and easy guide to stencil printing. 

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