New adventures...


The days have been a bit on the dreary side with recent storms -- rain and snow seem to be the forecast for the time being.  Not much in the way of sunshine.... BUT...  Sometimes you just need to break away from what you've been doing and try something new or go back to something old and do a "refresh."  The next few posts will be just about that!  I've had so much fun in the last couple of weeks, that it's hard not to explore things I've been wanting to do for a long time, but didn't have enough hours in the day.... or night.

I was gifted an IkonStencilArt kit just before Christmas and thought I might be able to create a few stencils for use in other projects and learn more about the silkscreen process.  It has been a lot of fun.  I've tried several different mediums some with success, others not so much... it has been an interesting journey and I'm not done yet, that's for sure.  Lots of ideas formulating and I'm looking forward to some serious "makes" in the future.  

The project showcased in this post is for a two step stencil.  

You'll need:
Printer (laser or inkjet) - this project used an inkjet printer
Printer acetate for your printer
Silkscreen material
Blacklight kit (IkonStencilArt)
Desired medium (chalk paste, acrylic paint, speedball silkscreen print ink)
Foam brush

*some links used in this post are affiliate links.  

I'm using my eCal3 software to create the artwork.  You can use other editing programs (PaintShop, PrintShop, etc.) including Word or Pages (though I don't see as much flexibility as might be needed for a more advanced design in Word or Pages).  

Open eCal
From the library, select a horizontal rectangle and size to 4x6 inches - in the color palette, make the background white and select none for the stroke.
Type Hello in caps using the font Smart Choices Sans Regular from CreativeFabrica.   In the color palette, select Black for the fill color and non for the stroke.  Arrange the word in the center of the rectangle both vertically and horizontally.  You can group the two layers together if designed.  Move to the upper left corner of the mat.  

From the library select another horizontal rectangle and size to 4 x 6 inches - return to the color palette and make the background white and select none for the strock. 
Type Sunshine using the script font: Sign a Day Regular also from CreativeFabrica.  Move the font and center over the Hello.  You may need to stretch is a bit.  Then move the font back down to the second rectangle. Center both horizontally and vertically.  Make sure the font fill is set to black and the stroke to none.  

Reverse both images so the writing is backwards.  You will print the images in this way on the printer transfer acetate.  This way the printer ink lays against the silkscreen material when being exposed for a much sharper image.  

Printer settings are really important.  So make sure you have the correct printer setup settings in the eCal program.  I use a Canon Pixma printer with a rear feed.  I have a special setting for printing the acetate -- following the suggestions by the manufacturer.  I chose to print the entire sheet, not just a portion, so after printing, cut the the images into the desired sizes.  Again, the rectangles were 4 x 6 inches.  I filled the remainder of the sheet with smaller images and words to be used at a later time.  

Following the manufacturer's directions expose the stencil material, wash, dry and post expose.  You can watch a video of this process here.  

IMG_2608 croppedYep, these are used and the acrylic paint does leave them stained.  I got a little anxious and wanted to use them and forgot to take a pic in their new and fresh state!  

For this project, I chose to test on yellow cardstock from Bazill.  I tried chalk paste, but still got some bleeding using the black paste.  
1.  Place the HELLO stencil centered over the yellow cardstock.  Apply the chalk paste (Bright White was used in this sample).  Wash the stencil while the paste is drying.  It doesn't take long to do either. 
2.  When the white has dried, center the Sunshine stencil over the Hello as desired.  Black chalk paste was applied.  In this sample the black paste bled under the stencil -- which has been a consistent problem with this particular brand. (I'll be testing another brand later this week as I'm not happy at all with the results.)


This test was made using acrylic paint (yes, it will stain your stencil) and you need to wash the stencil quickly or slip into a basin with water prior to washing out.  I used a foam brush to move the paint across the stencil.  The results were near perfect.  


These stencils can be used over and over and you can get some pretty fine lines and small lettering.  


I'm very excited about the possibilities.  I see lots of potential use for these stencils and a few others in the works.   

Hoping you have some creative time calendared in over the next few days.  Enjoy the time you spend nurturing your creative soul.  Happy Crafting!  


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